Live Report - Black Label Society - Meeting Of The Toronto Chapter - Sound Academy April 4th, 2009
Live Gig
Southern Fried Groove Metal

Release year: 0
Reviewed by Marty
A late guest list addition allowed me the distinction of being present and accounted for at the gathering of the Toronto Chapter of the Black Label Society last weekend. It was a choatic couple of days prior in trying to arrange another pass with photo priviledges, someone to make the trip to Toronto with me as well as the last minute Black Label Society show time change on the day of the show. Apparently, Sevendust experienced first-hand, the hassles of trying to cross into Canada without all the paperwork being in order. As a result, they were a no-show with openers Dope being allowed an extended set and Black Label Society hitting the stage a full hour earlier than initially expected. I arrived in the middle of Dope's set and although largely nu-metal in nature, songs like Die Motherfucker Die were fun and sounded huge and very heavy. The crowd was surprisingly supportive and the band seemed to really enjoy the experience.

After a short break, the strange sounds of Patsy Cline's Crazy rang out before we were all called to order by the Canadian National Anthem. The "meeting" finally got underway with Black Mass Reverends followed quickly by Destruction Overdrive. The band was in fine form with a solid live sound that was very muscular yet not too loud or shrill by any means. Zakk Wylde attacked his many guitars with reckless abandon as always with the obligatory row of Heinekens (in plastic cups of course!) stacked up along the tops of his cabinets. Suicide Messiah and Fire It Up were also concert highlights as well as the double shot of Damage Is Done and In This River which featured Zakk at the piano. In This River is Zakk's touching tribute to his friend Dimebag Darrell complete with projected images of Darrell on the stacks of Marshalls lining the entire backline of the stage during the song. Zakk has always stated that this song will never leave the Black Label Society set list. A truly wicked solo by Zakk really proves just how fierce yet technical his playing style really is. Stealing a few riffs from Randy Rhoads' trademark live solo, he was both shredding yet very atmospheric with his style during the solo. A few quick bars of Led Zeppelin's Thank You on a double neck 12 string guitar lead into The Blessed Hellride, another highlight of the show. Stoned and Drunk as well as Concrete Jungle were included and the set finished with Stillborn.

Curiously, the show had no encore yet the huge tumultuous ending for Stillborn suggested there might not be. Encores are so cliche anymore and are already built into the setlist anyway. Zakk and company played for over an hour and a half so everyone got a really good show. I was disappointed at not hearing either Funeral Bell or Suffering Overdue, two of my favorite BLS tracks but the set list featured a wide variety of tracks from all their albums and seemed to be just fine in the minds of the Toronto Chapter. Special thanks go out to Kerry Goulding from Rebel Music for arranging the passes and photo pass and extra special thanks to Carl, our honorary "staff" photographer for the night for being a real trooper. He's a huge Zakk Wylde fan and got to shoot the first three songs of the set right at the front of the stage; dodging bodies, flying feet and legs, flying beer cans and the occasional spitball from Zakk himself in the process. All in all, it was a great night. Everyone behaved themselves seeing that a Saturday night meeting in Toronto could've proven very unruly indeed. Until next time....meeting adjourned.

Killing Songs :
Destruction Overdrive, Fire It Up, In This River, The Blessed Hellride and Stillborn
Marty quoted
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