Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society and Boston’s BLS chapter were once again reunited for an explosive evening that proved to be an unforgiving assault on the senses. Black Label Society (Zakk Wylde/guitar/piano/vocals, John DeServio/bass, Jeff Fabb/drums and Dario Lorina/guitar, are currently touring behind the exceptional Grimmest Hits and celebrating the twentieth anniversary of their flagship album Sonic Brew.
For their stop at the House of Blues in Boston on October 4, anticipation for the start of the show was brought to a boiling point as the house blasted a monster-mashup of “Whole Lotta Love” and “War Pigs”. Just after the song wrapped, the stage-wide banner, embossed with the BLS logo, dropped from the rafters to reveal Wylde and company bathed in red lights and bookended by canons billowing smoke straight up and out over the fist-pumping attendees. BLS wasted no time by tearing into the blistering “Genocide Junkies” and “Funeral Bell”. Early highlights in the set included “Bleed for Me” and “Suicide Messiah”. Fabb kept the train rollin’ with his pummeling double-bass drum blasts, while DeServo devilishly meandered around stage right, holding his bass guitar aloft with a menacing grin. Lorina’s impeccable rhythm chops and flashy-fills seamlessly weaved themselves in and out of Wylde’s frenetic, wah-saturated solos. Halfway through the set, BLS killed it with “Trampled Down Below” and “This Blessed Hellride” which were certainly crowd-pleasers.
Later in the set, “Fire It Up” helped serve up a showcase for Wylde’s legendary guitar solo. As “Fire” wrapped up, Wylde left the stage which brought all eyes to search for where the bearded-wonder would show up next. Wylde, with axe in hand, trudged through the crowd on the floor and proceeded to rage whilst protected from security guards from the frenzy of fans trying to get as close to their king Berzerker. Father Dario soon followed to add to the shred fest and the two made their way up to the third-floor balcony where the duo proceeded to churn out an epic fretboard-fiesta! Wylde and Lorina then found their way back down to the first floor to take the stage again. Wylde found and stood on his personal riser and, like a true god of thunder, held his Warhammer above his head – drawing much adulation from his fans. “Concrete Jungle” and “Stillborn” brought the blistering set to its end. Wylde celebrated by beating his chest with both hands, like an enraged gorilla. Whether with BLS, Ozzy Osbourne, Generation Axe or the Experience Hendrix tour – Zakk had once again slayed another crowd and they loved every second of it.