Seether, a household name in South Africa of anyone that loves their rock ‘n roll. Almost anyone who has seen Seether live in South Africa will have a story to tell. Some went to school with either Shaun or Dale. Someone got so drunk with them they couldn’t spell their own names. But Seether has always stayed true to what they make – fucking good rock ‘n roll. And they revived the rocker soul of South Africa on Sunday 20 May 2018.
The day was sunny but a chill to the bone wind blowing through you. We arrived at Marks Parks which is set in the heart of the suburbs of Emmarentia, Johannesburg. Country club vibes with bowls being played. It was a sea of black band t-shirts ranging from Fokofpolisiekar to Korn to Nirvana to Seether of course. Entry through the gates was a breeze but the cashless card system was new to us Nelspartans.
The field was slowly filling up with fans and the wonderful smells of the food trucks filling the air. The merch tent was the first stop since STRAB is following this Seether show we decided that beer was a bit more important. Howler helped us get our cards and hey-ho it was off we go, to the beer tent.
Of course, this is Jo’burg, and I do feel for the people living there. Beer should not cost you nearly R40 a beer. Again only Budweiser, Flying Fish and Castle Free were your beer choices. Really? What happened to Black Label? Budweiser was wisely skipped and opted for something else. We found some long lost friends and caught up with a few fellow Nelspartans. The first band of the day was Hellcats and it was a perfect choice. I enjoyed them so much and they were excellent. No one could give a better show then they did. And the Hellcats deserve all the success coming their way.
Next was Deity’s Muse and it was disappointing. Some will remember them for being metal, hard rock. Well, it wasn’t at all that and in fact, their set bored me. I found the bathrooms. Next was Francois van Coke. I personally expected the full band, Die Gevaar, to be with him on stage.
Then I remember it wasn’t advertised as such. Instead, it was Francois and Jedd on stage with acoustic guitars. It was a bit awkward but the fans carried them on their hands. With songs like “Dit raak beter” and “Toe vind ek jou” sang out loud. Of course “Skyn Heilig” was also in the setlist.
Then came Crash Car Burn, if you are my age you will remember them as Tweak. Yep, the guys who brought us “Birthday Card”. Well, they have a brand new sound, it is nothing like the old days. They also recently brought out a new album. Garth Barnes, the lead vocalist, said years ago they played in a ‘Battle of the Bands’ with back then Saron Gas. It explained why they were there. For most people where we stood (third row from the front) their sound went over their heads. I would have then placed the Hellcats there because the people were hungry to rock out.
Seether came on, and for the international band, they are they were as humble as an ice cold beer. With their new album “Poison the Parish”, their fans was eager to rock out. Headbang. Rock solute them. And make the rich people of Emmarentia wish they never agreed to this.
With “Stoke the fire“, “Fine Again” and a beautiful acoustic version of “Broken” that was about 8 minutes long was just moments only you, as the fan can appreciate. “Driver Under” Shaun said beforehand he hasn’t played it in a long time. He did good with it and it was a brilliant song to hear again live. “Rise above this” was a reminder again that we need to take care of ourselves and those loved ones in our lives. Mental illness is real.
In case you didn’t know, Seether organises a huge rock day in the USA called “Rise Above Fest” where they invite band friends to come to play. And they have the suicide watch guys and girls there to help people understand mental health better and how to get help.
“Tea 69” is, of course, THE song everyone knows. Like Barney Simon, who was the MC of day, said that was the song he heard first. And thank you, uncle Barney, for playing rock on 5FM back in the day. It helped shape so many youngsters hearts and heads. Wish it will come back. It feels like rock ‘n roll is still kicking the weak ones out and keeping the survivors of the music world.
To quote a reader of this blog “The world seems to have gone soft cock. You can’t say anything at all these days that won’t offend someone. Like your words is an illness”.
Yes, friends, us rockers knows this. And we have gone to our caves but we haven’t died. We will never die. Not with music coming from Seether.
At the end of the night, it was special because Shaun in his best American Afrikaans thanked us. His face during the show was proof to me that he was loving every minute. And to Dale, who was the crazy guy on stage, you are also a legend amongst legends. The fans, all 7 000 of them were loving you and still loving you. It was great to see Seether live, on stage, in South Africa. Next time boys, let’s make it at Blue Moon?
Thank you to Henno Kruger Photography for the use of his amazing photos. Check out the rest of Seether live in South Africa photos on his Facebook page.