Certain bands have a way of appealing to fans in a special way. Phish, Widespread Panic, and Tool are just a few of the bands that see supporters follow them to each tour stop on cross-country jaunts. Countless Californians eagerly watched a trio of near-identical sets by Billy Joel during his three-night Hollywood Bowl residency last month. Various other acts have fans who have seen them play dozens of times, with no plans to stop attending outings any time soon. Georgia metal mainstay Sevendust doesn’t seem to be the type of band that would inspire such fandom. But don’t tell that to Chris Przedpelski, a Milwaukee non-profit employee who has seen Sevendust 36 times, and will increase that number this Saturday when he attends “An Evening With Sevendust Acoustic” at The Rave. It will take his total to an astonishing 37—that’s 259dust, for those of you scoring at home—within a 15-year span.
Przedpelski’s obsession started in high school, embarrassingly enough, when he went to see Creed at the Dane County Coliseum (now called Alliant Energy Center) in Madison in 2000. The bill also included 3 Doors Down and Sevendust as openers.
“I will never forget that show,” Przedpelski says. “Sevendust came out like a full contact sport—heart pounding, fist pumping, head banging, trampolines on stage, and flying all over the place. When they played ‘Bitch,’ I lost my mind.”
Though he quickly came to his senses in regard to liking Creed, Przedpelski was thankful to have found the opener, which he’s kept tabs on since. Since then, he’s made an effort to catch the majority of the shockingly frequent Sevendust stops in Wisconsin, ranging from Milwaukee and Madison gigs to shows at Ryan’s Ballroom in Combined Locks. Amazingly, he’s never seen them out of state. (As Przedpelski says, “Sevendust has been good to Milwaukee and around the state of Wisconsin.”) The superfan didn’t really realize it at the time, but the shows began to pile up due to a combination of his devotion, and the band’s staggering tour schedule.
“The number doesn’t mean much to me,” Przedpelski says. “The only reason I know it is because friends made me break down the shows once, and then I started keeping track.”
At this point, Przedpelski has spent well over a day of his life (possibly even nearing 48 hours by this point) watching the Atlanta quintet play. So what’s kept him interested into his thirties?
“I keep going back to see them because they are amazing live,” Przedpelski says. “However, the biggest reason is that this band got me through some really tough times. Whenever I was down or having to escape, I would blast Sevendust. After I would listen to them, even if it was a little bit, hope would come back and I would get motivated to get out of that depressed frame of mind. I go to see them almost out of respect and a simple thank you. Because I will never actually know them, this is the best way I can thank them is by supporting them.”
While thankful and an ardent supporter through and through, Przedpelski has always wanted to hear Sevendust play “Dead Set” live. Also, he’s yet to see the band perform acoustically. He says he’s not going to miss Saturday’s unplugged show for the world, even though he’s moving to a new place that day. He insists there’s no numeric goal, and Przedpelski’s 37th concert shows no signs of being his final Sevendust show.
“There will never be a day that I don’t stick with this band. As long as they’re around, I will try to get to a show,” Przedpelski says. “This band has been a part of me for many years and I hope they never stop.”
You can see Sevendust (or see Przedpelski see Sevendust) at The Rave Saturday, June 14. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. and tickets cost $23.50 to $94. Don’t spend $94 on this.