STATIC-X and Sevendust at Kemba Live! Columbus, OH

Photos & words courtesy of Harry Acosta — Website | Instagram | Facebook

Static-X, Sevendust, Dope, and Lines of Loyalty captivated Kemba Live! with a diverse spectacle of metal talent. Metalheads of Columbus, Ohio were in for a treat, as Kemba Live! in Columbus, Ohio, served as the epicenter of a thunderous convergence of metal titans and rising stars. Kicking off the proceedings was Lines of Loyalty, a local band whose dynamic blend of metalcore and melodic metal immediately set the tone for the evening. Despite the early slot, Lines of Loyalty commanded the stage with confidence and precision, captivating the audience with their energy and tight musicianship. From the driving rhythms to the soaring melodies, their set was a masterclass in modern metal, with tracks like “Rise Above” and “Echoes of the Past” leaving a lasting impression on all who bore witness.

Following Lines of Loyalty’s impressive opening act, Dope took the stage with an unbridled ferocity that was impossible to ignore. Known for their unapologetically aggressive sound and no-holds-barred attitude, D0pe wasted no time in unleashing a sonic onslaught that had the crowd moshing with reckless abandon. With blistering riffs, thunderous percussion, and visceral vocals, they delivered a performance that was as intense as it was cathartic. Edsel Dope, vocalist for Dope is always vocal in his appreciation for the audience and doing their part to support these bands on stage by coming to the show. After showing his gratitude, they promptly return to their set with tracks like “Die MF Die” and “Violence” which hit with visceral impact, leaving the audience breathless and hungry for more.

Sevendust, veterans of the metal scene, took the stage next. With a career spanning over two decades, Sevendust are renowned for their powerhouse performances and unwavering dedication to their craft. From the moment they launched into their set, it was clear that they were on fire, delivering a blistering performance that left no doubt as to why they’re considered one of the most formidable acts in modern metal. With their signature blend of crushing riffs, soulful melodies, and impassioned vocals, they tore through their set with a relentless energy that was impossible to resist. After a surprise respite from the stage for a  heartwarming acknowledgement of a friend in the audience, Lajon Witherspoon, jumped right back in to finish “I Might Let the Devil Win.” Hits like “Enemy” and “Black” had the crowd singing along at the top of their lungs, while newer tracks like “Blood from a Stone” showcased the band’s continued evolution and relevance.

Finally, it was time for the headliners, Static-X, to take the stage … almost. First, their eclectic “opener” begged the question, will metalheads sing along to “Sweet Caroline”? The answer is yes! One of the greatest aspects of witnessing a metal performance is that it is a safe place to express your love for music in all of its forms. You could hear the faint rumblings of those who knew all the lyrics, while the entire venue roared into Neil Diamond’s famous chorus. 

Since 2019, Xero and the band have soldiered on despite the tragic loss of their founding frontman Wayne Static in 2014.  Clearly they are determined to honor his memory in the best way possible – by keeping the music alive. With original members Tony Campos, Koichi Fukuda, and Ken Jay leading the charge, Static-X delivered a set that was equal parts nostalgic and exhilarating, much like their latest release Project Regeneration Vol 2. From the moment they burst into their opening song, “Bled for Days,” it was clear that they were on a mission to pay tribute to their fallen comrade in the most fitting way possible – with a barrage of relentless riffs, pulsating rhythms, and anthemic choruses.

This show was a triumph of musical talent and artistic expression. It was a night of pure metal magic – a celebration of resilience, passion, and the unbreakable bond between artist and audience. For those lucky enough to experience a future stop for this tour, you will impress your friends, honor the memory of Wayne Static, and pay homage to Neil Dimond, if you brush up on your “Sweet Caroline” lyrics.

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Harry Acosta is a professional photographer who started out shooting concerts. He is an avid concertgoer and loves to capture his favorite musicians and unseen moments we take for granted in everyday life.

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