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I’ll be honest: the last time I saw Seether I wasn’t wowed. In fact, I left the Oppikoppi stage after their performance six years ago, truly disappointed. One of their classic songs, “Rise Above This”, nicely summarises the change around from then to now. Following the release of their seventh studio album, “Poison the Parish”, it was only fitting that the band made their return to Shaun Morgan and Dale Stewart’s home country. This time they sold out Mark’s Park and top notch local acts shared the stage.

Kicking the day off in the midday sun, was Hellcats. This band needs no introduction and if I had my way, I’d have loved to see them play much later in the day - possibly even in the slot just before Seether. Although their rock ‘n roll riffs and manic drums seemed a bit out of place at 1pm, they pulled out all the stops and undoubtedly won over new fans. They aren’t new to the arena of opening for international acts and hopefully more amazing slots will be on the horizon for them going forward.

I wasn’t too familiar with Deity’s Muse, who played next. In fact, I was rather amazed that a lesser known act managed to secure such a prime performance slot. That being said, these okes have a garnered a solid reputation in the music industry, opening for internationals like Karnivool, 36 Crazy Fists and Rise Against, in the past. Their latest album, “Convergence”, also saw them winning a SA Metal Music Award. Although they aren’t my cup of tea, I can see why they are respected within certain niche genres in SA.

Next up was Francois van Coke for a somewhat out of place acoustic set, amidst a heavy rock line-up. He remains a crowd favourite and although the songs were drastically toned down, everyone still enjoyed seeing the rock legend on stage alongside guitarist, Jedd Kossew. They simply never disappoint and this event was no different from the norm.

CrashCarBurn took a long break, but they are back with vengeance and created the perfect atmosphere at Mark’s Park, opening for Seether. Their new album is different, yet, they still have that same energetic dynamism of a decade or more ago. The crowd in front of the stage became larger as their set passed, as everyone was preparing for the big act of the night and wanted to be as close to the action as possible.

Seether took to the stage for one jaw-dropping performance from start to finish. Their Oppikoppi show was erased in my mind two songs in and I was fully engaged and won over by what I saw and heard. They truly set out to startle and display that they are still as relevant as the early 2000’s. Performing old and new songs in one powerhouse set, nobody left dissatisfied. Their only show in SA (for this return) was worth every cent and only left the crowd yearning for more. Hopefully it won’t be another six years before their next return.

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