Revolver Golden Gods Tour: Black Label Society, The Devil You Know and the Butcher Babies
The Orlando chapter of the Black Label Society gathered together Wednesday night in Orlando at the House of Blues for mass services. Only this was no ordinary house of worship. The House of Blues rapidly became the Black Label Cathedral, and tonight’s congregation consisted of anxious Black Label Society fans of all ages worshiping their god; the one and only father, Zakk Wylde. Zakk looks like a Viking from Valhalla; a reference he often makes in his 2012 book Bringing Metal To The Children, The Complete Berzerker’s Guide To World Tour Domination. With being a guitar god, If Zakk actually were a Viking he would be Odin, The Allfather of the gods, and the ruler of Asgard; or in Zakk’s case, the Allfather of the massive Black Label family and the ruler of the electric guitar. Black Label Society is exactly that; a society. Not just a band but a brotherhood between the fans and the band itself. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet Zakk several times over the years and he is always way cool. Today he greeted me with a bro-hug and a hand shake and thanked me for being there.
The show started promptly at 7 p.m. with two opening bands. Sadly, the first week or two of this tour did not include the band Down. It would have been awesome to see Down, especially as I’m writing this the video of Phil Anselmo (vocalist), from Down and Pantera, joining Black Label Society on stage covering Pantera’s “I’m Broken,” is all over YouTube and Facebook.
Kicking things off tonight were the Butcher Babies. This was my third time seeing the Butcher Babies in less than a year. It’s really cool that the Butcher Babies are getting more and more exposure and it’s well deserved. The Butcher Babies are fronted by two of the hottest female singers in heavy metal, Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey, along with a pretty badass band featuring Jason Klein on bass, Henry Flury on guitar, and Chrissy Warner on drums. Heidi and Carla may look pretty but their songs are far from that. Their thirty minute set included the songs “I Smell A Massacre,” “Axe Wound,” and “Mr. Slowdeath.”
Up next was The Devil You Know; a newer band featuring Howard Jones, the former lead singer of the very popular band Killswitch Engage. Howard has a great metal voice that changes from harsh screams to death to melodic in such a dynamic way. If you are a fan of Killswitch Engage then you will definitely dig The Devil You Know. Someone actually uploaded the entire set from this Orlando show on to YouTube, so be sure to check it out.
Finally, the band every single person was there to see. After The Devil You Know’s set a huge Black Label Society banner was lifted from the ground to the ceiling completely blocking the view of the stage. After about fifteen minutes of guitar and drum checks the House of Blues, or shall we say, the church of doom, became very dark. Red lights started scanning across the banner and loud sirens began blaring. Everyone was ready. The music started with the soft intro to the first single of Black Label Society’s latest album, Catacombs Of The Black Vatican, “In My Dying Time.” The second the drums kicked in, the curtain dropped and four smoke stacks began blowing smoke directly behind the band. It was like the space shuttle just blasted off to the moon. This was just the beginning of a ninety-minute Black Label Society assault that as WWE’s Stone Cold Steve Austin would say “Just kicked your ass!”
Since its beginning, Black Label Society has had many different members in the band. Zakk has always been the singer and lead guitarist. Black Label Society has had a few different bass players, and several drummers, but this is the band’s first tour without rhythm guitarist Nick Catanese, often referred to as Zakk’s evil twin. Nick, unfortunately for Black Label Society fans left the band last year to pursue his own project. Nick’s presence in the band will be missed. Personally, I wish him well and can’t wait to check out his new stuff when it comes out. Nick’s replacement is the very young and talented, Dario Lorina. Dario was recruited from the band Lizzy Borden and has been playing guitar professionally since he was sixteen years old.
Black Label Society’s fourteen-song set list including five off of Catacombs Of The Black Vatican, two ballads, an eight-minute guitar solo, and a tribute to our fallen brother, Dimebag Darrell. As expected, this was a kickass show from beginning to end. Now, I’m not a religious person by any means, but going to church tonight was a ton of fun. I guess it’s all in the message and how the service is delivered. Horns up!
Black Label Society’s full set list – 1.”My Dying Time” 2.”Godspeed Hell Bound” 3.”Destruction Overdrive” 4.”Heart of Darkness” 5.”Parade of the Dead” 6.”Damn the Flood” 7.”Fields of Unforgiveness” 8.”Overlord” 9.”Angel of Mercy” 10.”In This River” 11.”The Blessed Hellride” 12.”Suicide Messiah” 13.”Concrete Jungle” 14.”Stillborn.”