The Black Label Society and My Heavy Metal Awakening


Ah, the Power of Metal.

The me of a few years ago would probably never say anything like that. But over the past half a decade or so I have plunged headlong into a wayward romance with Rock & Roll’s most rambunctious daughter: Heavy Metal.

I started by just dipping my toe in the pool: a little early Black Sabbath, then a bit of some solo Ozzy, then a dash of Rob Zombie (based mostly on my love of his second film The Devil’s Rejects, one of the finest horror films in years), and before I knew it I was practicing my imaginary stage dives while blasting Iron Maiden’s “Number of the Beast” and crooning some Dio-age Sabbath in the shower (IF YOU LISTEN TO FOOLS:THE MOB RULES!).

When the new House of Blues opened in Boston I was dieing to see a show. The only thing on the schedule that looked good was Tom Jones (don’t laugh, I’ve seen him twice: the man rocks) and I wasn’t going to be able to go. Something else on the schedule caught my eye though: The Black Label Bash featuring The Black Label Society. I was intrigued, I went down to Nuggets (my local used record store) and bought some albums (1919 Eternal and Shot To Hell) and the rest as they say is history.

The show was fantastic. There were multiple warm up acts but I sadly only caught Sevendust (who I liked enough to take another trip down to Nuggets).

Zakk Wylde’s onstage presence is (to use a well-worn cliche) electric. The man beats his chest, drinks, swears, unleashes 10 minute long guitar solos and then plays the piano (!). I’ve seen Wylde onstage once before (playing guitar for Ozzy) but never got a sense of his all around ability until this night.

There came a point in the show where me and a friend (two pasty skinny white kids sticking out like sore thumbs) saw a grown man tackled to the ground unexpectedly, probably ensuring hefty chiropractor bills for the rest of his life. I’m sure we both felt bad on the inside, but there was nothing to be done. We just looked at each other, threw up the horns, and started banging our heads.

The moral of the story: try new things and look out for flying metal heads.

So what do you think, faithful readers (all three of you)? Want to see more articles on music (I got a killer idea for a Drive-By Truckers album by album analysis and review). Want to see more movie stuff? Drop a comment, I’d appreciate it as it helps me see if (to quote “The Boss”) there’s anybody alive out there.

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