Concert Review: BLACK LABEL SOCIETY – The Grimmest Show on Earth hits Albuquerque, NM
Special guests: Corrosion of Conformity, Eyehategod
I had decided to go for broke and do the whole meet and greet thing with Black Label Society, so I arrived at the venue at the designated time of 4:30 pm. When I pulled up there were already two lines formed one for the the meet and greet bunch and the other, which was already substantially long, for regular entry. The vibe was really cool and I was taken back to the days of my youth when we used to gather in the parking lots before shows and just have a good hang. I ran into my friend Ian (who had actually been there since (9:30 am trying to catch Zakk Wylde for some autographs) and a young guy named Daniel who looked like he stepped right out of the pages of an 80’s heavy metal magazine. We chatted about various bands and I regaled them with tales of the bands I had seen when they were just coming up. Good conversations were had by all. Then the doors opened and we were ushered in to meet the man, Zakk Wylde and the Black Label Society. We lined up and were greeted with a hug by Zakk and he then introduced us to the members of BLS, bassist John “JD” DeServio, drummer Jeff Fabb, and guitarist Dario Lorina and then a photo was with the band. Once the individual band photos were done we were gathered for a “family photo” and then an autograph session where they autographed a tour poster and one personal item. We then were allowed to hang out while the final show preparations were made. I went to the front, picked up my photo credentials and made my way back to the photo area.
Eyehategod hit the stage hard and fast. They received a mixed reaction from the crowd but powered through and gave a solid set. It was hard to believe they had been a part of the Sludge Metal scene for 30 years and still sounded great. “Medicine Noose” and “Peace Thru War (Thru Peace and War)” were a couple of standout tracks for me. Eyehategod currently consists of Mike Williams – vocals, Jimmy Bower -guitars, Brian Patton – guitars, Gary Mader – bass, and Aaron Hill – drums. If you are not familiar with Eyehategod and you dig heavy doom laden music check them out.
Ahh, Corrosion Of Conformity, one of my all time favorite bands. Here’s a little personal C.O.C. trivia for you. I was a vinyl hold out and eventually transitioned into cassettes, held out for a while until my wife bought me my first CD player on my 30th birthday which coincidentally was the same day Deliverance was released, thus that was the first CD I ever purchased. C.O.C was plagued with a little technical difficulties this evening which led them to only playing an 8 song set but it was full of the groove laden music we all know and love from them. I was happy to hear tracks like “Vote With a Bullet,” “Senor Limpio”, and of course “Albatross”. C.O.C.’s current lineup is Woody Weatherman – lead guitar, backing vocals, Mike Dean – bass, Reed Mullin – drums, percussion, backing vocals and the mighty Pepper Keenan – rhythm guitar, lead vocals. Thanks guys for powerful set in those 8 songs, you continue to impress me.
When Black Label Society hits the stage they always hit it hard. This time on the Grimmest Show On Earth Tour was no exception. With a wall of Wylde Audio amps behind them, air cannons, and a badass stage setup they were there to kick our asses and crush us with a wall of sound. Zakk Wylde and Co. hammered through 16 tracks including BLS classics like: “Suffering Overdue” , “Stillborn”, “Suicide Messiah”, and the song that will always be dedicated to Dimebag Darrell, “In This River”. They also mixed in several tracks off of their latest release, Grimmest Hits: “Trampled Down Below”, “A Love Unreal,” and the single “Room Of Nightmares”. At one point (of course it was after the three song rule and I had to put my camera away) Zakk left the stage and soloed through the crowd, out to the venue lobby, then up the stairs out to the mezzanine, all while still plugged in, no wireless for Zakk Wylde. The crowd was enthralled with the performance and it made me very happy to see most of the people enjoying the show with their own eyes and not through a cell phone. I have seen Zakk perform many times, with Ozzy, BLS, and Zakk Sabbath and have enjoyed every single time. If you want to see a real rock and roll show catch Zakk Wylde on ANY of his appearances and you will NOT be disappointed.
There you have it, an evening of kick ass music, meeting new people, and living the spirit of Rock n’ Roll. Thanks go out to Eyehategod, Corrosion Of Conformity, and Black Label Society.
it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s ROCK N’ ROLL!!!