There were enough beards and jackets featuring patches to make even the most die-hard Motorhead fans envious when BLACK LABEL SOCIETY roared into the House of Blues inside the Mandalay Bay on February 23. Black Label Society received direst support from North Carolina rockers CORROSION OF CONFORMITY and New Orleans Sludge Rockers EYEHATEGOD.
EYEHATEGOD, one of the most popular bands to emerge from the New Orleans metal scene over the years, opened the show. The band released their 2016 self titled LP under Phil Anselmo’s Housecore record label. What is interesting is that they have always listed Corrosion of Conformity as a major influence, and that is exactly who followed them up. Corrosion of Conformity has long been one of those bands with sort of a cult following primarily due to the success of the songs “Albatross” and “Clean my Wounds”. Even the most casual fans are familiar with those, but for the die-hards, songs like “13 Angels” and “Vote With a Bullet” will always be favorites. As Pepper Keenan would explain to the crowd, “Vote With a Bullet” seems to have come full circle and have just as much meaning in these highly charged political times as it did back in the time of its release. Pepper and guitarist Woody Weatherman even made their way out to the merchandise booth for photos and autographs with the crowd long after tier set and after the show.
EyeHateGod Photos: Harold Mountain / JustAFanPhotos
Corrosion of Conformity Photos: Harold Mountain / JustAFanPhotos
L.A. rockers BLACK LABEL SOCIETY and iconic lead man ZAKK WYLDE were of course the main attraction on the evening. The show featured many highlights, but none more moving than when Zakk sat behind the piano and played his tribute to his friend Darrel “Dimebag” Abbott titled “In This River”. This obviously was not the first time Zakk paid tribute to his longtime friend, but what made this one so special was that this one came in front of Dime’s brother, Vinnie Paul Abbott, who happened to be in attendance for the show.
Tonight’s Black Label Society's show may have been presented by what Zakk likes to call the L.A. charter of Black Label Society, but this one had an unmistakable Vegas touch due to Las Vegas’ own DARIO LORINA on guitar next to Zakk. As Zakk introduced the members of the band, he happened to save Dario for last and the crowd roared when he introduced him as right here from the Las Vegas chapter!
Black Label Society may be known as burly bikers sometime pandering to the biker crowd with their hard driving sound, but they also have a much softer side than most “biker bands” as evidenced by both Zakk and Dario taking a turn behind the piano. The show had a non-stop high-energy vibe from start to end that just never seemed to let up. Pyrotechnics with shooting flames got things started and things didn’t end until Zakk made his way all the way out into the audience, including up into the balcony, playing guitar behind his head and weaving through the crowd during the encore. Zakk seemed to take it upon himself that no fan left disappointed and each got to say they had some sort of personal connection!
Black Label Society Photos: Harold Mountain / JustAFanPhotos