Well, it has been not quite a year since I was privileged to attend a live concert, thanks to the current pandemic we are suffering through. The industry itself has for the most part been completely decimated, and live streaming events are nice, but nothing can take the place of the live experience. Thanks to a few brave souls who have chosen to stand in opposition to the state of the world and ultimately by the grace of God overcome any fear, live music is not dead yet.
As I set out on the two-hour trek to Bakersfield CA, I could barely contain myself. Tonight, would mark a first for me, i.e. the first time I’ve ever be able to see Seventh Day Slumber perform. What exactly has taken me so long I could not tell you. The band has only been around for twenty years and released a dozen albums but for some reason they have eluded me when it comes to catching a live show. This evening changed that.
As previously stated, there are very few bands currently on the road, but Seventh Day Slumber have toured consistently since the pandemic began, often catching a lot of heat from those who do not agree with their stance on things. Now most bands even if they do manage to play out grab what little gear they can put together and head out. Not the case with Seventh Day Slumber, they pull out all the stops and brought their full production with them. Lights, sound, and pyro!! With no support act, the evening belonged solely to one band and they put on a great show in spite of vocalist and band founder Joseph Rojas having come down with some respiratory problems after breathing a whole lot of blowing dust from their gig the previous night in Barstow CA.
The turnout for the event was slightly lacking but what can you say, the show was held in a church and currently California is attempting to keep attendance at both churches and concert venues shut down. That being said, nothing can stop the power of our God and for those who were led to attend, their lives were certainly changed for the better if to just spend some time in fellowship and worship.
The guys are currently touring in support of their latest worship album titled Unseen: The Lion and the Lamb. Several songs were played from this album which takes many of today’s contemporary worship songs and presents them just a tad heavier than you would be likely to hear at any given Sunday morning service. The bands Alt Metal stylings included were an extremely powerful version of “Waymaker,” the heartfelt “Eternity,” and a rather emotionally charged rendition of the title track “Lion and the Lamb. The guys had everything nailed down with precision timing to coincide with their light show, the screen backdrop that had imagery and lyrics strewn across it throughout the night, and the intense bursts of, yes you guessed it, pyro!
While Joseph had to struggle to maintain his voice and could not hit some of the high notes his heart and humor made it easy to forgive. Making lite of the situation he cracked jokes about trying to lose weight in California when we have In-N-Out and tacos! There was also something about Filipinos (directed at bassist ken Reed) having the secret to curing any ailment. After a few members from the audience began calling out a request for the song “Caroline,” the guys figured if they brought out an acoustic guitar and tuned way down, they could probably pull it off. Joseph shared his very moving testimony at one point and plugged the band’s effort to help get patrons to sponsor a child to make sure they have clean water and food. He offered to give one of everything on their merch table if anyone would choose to help in this manner.
The band concluded with a few more rockers to finish off the night including one of my favorite tunes “Man Down” which pays homage to our veterans and really anyone who has served in the U.S. military and struggled with suicide. The guys had hoped to play a few more tunes but Josephs voice was just not up to it. All in all, a great night and worth the time spent. I hit the merch table before the show so after saying a few goodbyes, I hit the road as it was getting to be way past my bedtime.