Veteran guitar god Zakk Wylde brought his band Black Label Society for a stop in the St. Louis metro area on Tuesday by playing a hot set at Pop’s Nightclub in Sauget, IL.
Playing their first gig in the area since 2011 (when they played twice in 5 months) BLS tore through a setlist that was raw and powerful with an in-your-face attitude.
Wylde, with his easily recognizable growl and signature style of play led his band (bassist Jon DeServio, drummer Jeff Fabb and guitarist Dario Lorina) through a 90 minute guitar driven beast that one could hear all the way in the parking lot.
Leading the way striking killer rock poses and smoking licks on his Gibson Flying-V Wylde let the St. Louis Chapter through an opening of “The Beginning…At Last”, “Funeral Bell” and “Bleed for Me” to set the tone for the night. Technically the sound was solid and far from stale.
Each song took on its own life and his 10 minute guitar solo was a shred-fest. I think he came close to accomplishing his goal of hitting 10,000 notes a minute. Seriously though, his prowess on the axe has endeared him with so many in the industry and earned him justifiable praise. One only has to hear him play live to appreciate that fact.
The show only slowed for a couple songs “Angel of Mercy” and “In This River”, the latter of which was written for his good friend, the late “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, who was killed by a gunman nearly ten years ago while playing onstage. During the song a large photo of Abbott was unfurled over the amps onstage as Wylde played the piano.
During “Fire it Up” roadies tried tossing out 20 or so black beach balls adorned with BLS markings into the crowd to be bantered about. However, instead of that happening the crowd greedily kept most of the balls for themselves, leaving only one or two to be batted back and forth, but only for a few seconds before those were snatched up as well. So much for sharing.
The crowd was pretty harsh on the support act, Wovenwar as well. The band, made up of mostly former members of the metal core band As I Lay Dying has a sound that is closer to Story of the Year than As I Lay Dying. The band itself was tight but with several technical difficulties some of the fans’ patience wore thin. But for the majority the band held its own, not bad for a first ever tour.
The progressive metal trio KYNG opened the show with a strong set and spent time bantering back and forth with the crowd, having fun at some fans expense in a tongue and cheek sort of way.
Black Label Society setlist:
The Beginning…At Last
Bleed for Me
Heart of Darkness
My Dying Time
Damn the Flood
Godspeed Hell Bound
Angel of Mercy
In This River
The Blessed Hellride
Fire it Up