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August 9, 2014
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Seether draws thousands to Douglas County Fair

When asked how he describes South African grunge-rock band, Seether, one thing came to David Embertson’s mind, “lovable losers.”

“They got a lot of attitude. You gotta love attitude,” said Embertson, 24, of Roseburg.

That attitude translates over to the band’s songs, which Embertson says have deep meaning. “There’s a lot of thought behind them. Some have a hidden meaning and are open to interpretation,” he explained.

“I’ve been a fan since ‘Disclaimer,’” he said, of the band’s first album released under the name Seether in 2002. “I would have driven across the state if I had to. This is the concert. Everybody I know planned on coming here.”

And he wasn’t far off about that.

Douglas County Fairgrounds Director Harold Phillips said all of the 1,500 reserved seats for Seether’s concert Friday night were sold out. He anticipated about 9,200 people would watch the show from the seats and surrounding amphitheater.

The amphitheater lawn was dotted with blankets and groups of onlookers. Hoards of people crowded around reserved seating to get a better look at the four-man band.

Seether is supporting its sixth and latest album, “Isolate and Medicate,” which features lead single “Words As Weapons.” The song has spent some time this summer on the pop music charts.

Lead vocalist Shaun Morgan, drummer John Humphrey, bassist Dale Stewart and lead guitarist Bryan Wickman wasted no time launching into a head-banging song, with “Gasoline,” the first track on the album “Disclaimer.”

Concertgoers, many with Seether T-shirts, leapt to their feet and threw up their rock signs, bobbing to the beat.

Phillips said about 45 percent of those who bought tickets for that concert and Deep Purple on Saturday are from outside the county. “We had a bus load come from Washington,” he said.

Greg Van Awesome and wife, Stephanie, traveled nearly 200 miles from Lincoln City to catch Seether live from the second row.

He said he appreciated the band being from South Africa and making it big in the United States.

“They have a different sound, different instruments, but in a good way. I think they have a unique sound,” said Van Awesome, 41.

“The first original they came out with, ‘Broken,’ with Evanescence put a strong performance out there from the get-go,” he said. “It blew up. It blew them up.”

After playing “Gasoline,” the band continued on with songs from its 2002 album, such as “Needles,” “Driven Under” and, the popular single, “Fine Again,” which has been featured on the 2002 video game Madden 2003, as well as Nintendo’s 1080° Avalanche.

“And I am aware now of how

Everything’s gonna be fine

One day, too late, I’m in Hell

I am prepared now

Seems everyone’s gonna be fine

One day, too late, just as well,” Morgan sang.

The band received cheers and fierce applause as Wickman tossed guitar picks into the crowd, twisting this way and that with his axe, while Humphrey flipped his drumstick in the air and caught it with one hand.

Bridget Parrett of Winston, a self-proclaimed diehard fan, said she likes Morgan’s voice.

“Their lyrics are a little more meaningful. There’s more substance,” said Parrett, 45.

“He brings back some of the Kurt Cobain style,” added Parrett’s friend, Marcus Rose, 28.

Parrett, Rose and Trisha Brookins, 25, also of Winston had been staked out on the amphitheater lawn reserving their spot since 1:30 p.m.

“The good thing is we did get to meet the band,” Rose said.

The trio met the members and took photos when they were warming up for the concert earlier in the day.

All three said it was worth sitting in the sun for six hours.

• Reporter Jessica Prokop can be reached at 541-957-4209 and jprokop@nrtoday.com.

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The News-Review Updated Aug 9, 2014 02:14AM Published Aug 12, 2014 09:19AM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.