Black Label Society 18-2-2015

by - Sunday, March 01, 2015

There are things/events in each person's life that are being treasured more than anything. Moments I like to call as "Life Achievement: Status unlocked". Being a witness to the rock/metal beast that is Zakk Wylde while performing live was one of those moments for me.

For your information, I'm not ashamed to say that I didn't know a thing about him while he was Ozzy's guitarist. To me the introduction was done through his personal work, his 1996 solo album "The Book of Shadows" (which I'm actually listening to as I'm writing these here lines). It was instant love. The music, the lyrics, the guitar riffs, his voice. It was like a lost piece from the puzzle of my life was found and put snugly into place. 

Before I even start talking about the concert, let me tell you a few things about my obsessions. I'm obsessed with chopper motorcycles, leathers, rock music and blonde men with long hair and beards who look manly and intimidating but really are massive care bears. If you add to that a guitar virtuoso, an amazing composer/songwriter and a loving father, what do you get? Yeap, that's Zakk Wylde to you, a.k.a. the Man of my dreams. Seriously, I'm no groupie. I may sound like one sometimes, but I'm really not. I don't call Zakk the man of my dreams because his appearance fits perfectly to my previous description. I started calling him like this after I saw photos and videos of him with his children. He is a proud dad and isn't afraid to be "silly" around them, cameras or no cameras present. He is not "trying" to build a certain image, he is just being himself. And I absolutely adore that. Do you catch my drift now? 
Back to the concert now, whose tickets were bought as a birthday present to me from the mister (yes, he can be surprisingly awesome some times). 

We were there when the doors opened and managed to get a good spot from where we could watch the whole show without having to battle with super excited Black Label Society metal fans. The opening act was Crobot, a dirty groove rock band, of whom I'll elaborate on another post. Let's just say here that they rocked my socks off and I've already ordered their album. Next were Black Tusk, definitely NOT my cup of tea, but gave us enough time to chat with our friends and get prepared for what was about to come. And at 20:15 my world stood still.

It's really hard to find the words to describe Zakk's performance. He was sublime, majestic, glorious. He didn't take a break. He soloed for 15 minutes while the rest of the band took a break backstage. It was during that solo I left my spot and moved through the crowd all the way to the front row, only to witness from a closer distance his amazing guitar skills. And him of course. I was so taken by the sight that I forgot to take a picture. Of course I have plenty mental pictures imprinted forever in my memory, but none I can share here with you, sorry. 

The only thing that was rather strange in my eyes and somehow disappointing was that the band never came out for an encore. Actually they made it pretty clear there won't be any, since after the set list of songs was performed the curtain was pulled and the roadies started packing the equipment right away. Add to this that we were asked to leave the venue shortly after, no matter if we wanted to stay and have another drink. I guess this is the way things are done in the UK after a concert? Or in this particular venue? I don't know and really don't care to.

If you're a metal head like me, then you've 99% heard of Black Label Society, but I'm almost 90% sure you haven't listened to Zakk's solo album. I urge you to do so. And even if you're not of similar music inclination, please do take a few minutes and listen to the album anyway. You may as well be surprised. 

I'm leaving you with my favourite of their songs, Stillborn.

Until next time,


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