Black Label Society / Wino
April 8, 2015
Rams Head Live
When Zakk Wylde announced that BLS would perform in an “Unblackened” style for the Rams Head Live show I was slightly bummed because the “Unblackened” dvd was good BUT it was also a tad boring due to all of the material being totally stripped down, not to mention the entire band sat on stools all night!
Doors opened at 7 PM and Wino took the stage at 8 PM sharp. When Wino took the stage the venue was filled but not sold out by any means. I don’t know the exact sales figured but once Zakk took the stage it was pretty close to sold out.
Wino played a short 30 minute set and the absolute highlight of his set was the ending (no pun intended!) where he performed a cover of Motorhead’s “Iron Horse” which actually rocked pretty hard for an acoustic cover!
Being totally honest with you, 25 minutes into Wino’s set felt like he had been onstage 25 hours! Wino performed a decent singer/songwriter set but for a BLS crowd it was a tad anti climatic and dare I say, boring?!
Once Wino was finished a large black BLS curtain covered the entire front of the Rams Head Stage so the “Unblackened” stage could be set up. The stage set up was different from a traditional BLS show with a large BLS “Unblackened” record cover banner in the back, 2 large banners with Trees which had lost their leaves, Zakk went between a Baldwin Piano and his stool center stage where he played guitar, and everyone onstage sat down for every song.
Interesting side note, no guitars had straps attached “just incase” someone wanted to stand while playing. Dario and Zakk had pedal boards which were almost identical; Zakk had an extra pedal or 2 and Dario used a non Zakk endorsed pedal on his board. (most of the guitar pedals used onstage were all Zakk Wylde model pedals)
“Losin’ Your Mind” was the set opened and it sounded great but what I did notice once I left the front of the stage was how bad the sound was in certain spots. Rams Head has a “sweet” spot where the sound is excellent; that spot is the center/pit area & the 3rd floor. If you go in various other areas of the club you have limited sound, muffled sound, and the vocals can be totally unheard in many areas outside of the pit area.
“Suicide Messiah” pummels pretty hard when played in a mellow style, but following it with “Road Back Home” which is totally mellow and featuring Zakk on piano was interesting to say the least.
I didn’t notice until I began editing my show pics, but if you were up close while Zakk was setting down you may have seen a tad more of Zakk than you expected because the inseam of his pants were a tad revealing and the pic below shows what I’m referring to!
The funny thing about the crowd was that there were so many BLS vests worn that it felt like a biker convention! Zakk is slowly mixing in his Wylde Audio brand and on this night he played his Wylde audio white bulls eye model for the first 2 songs with his Wylde audio amps on the side of the stage, although he stuck to Gibson guitars for the bulk of the night.
“Spoke In The Wheel” was my personal favorite of the night because it sounded beautiful and you couldn’t ask for a better live version! I was actually pleased with this “Unblackened” show because it was heavier than what was performed on the dvd and the only main difference was that various keyboard parts were sampled during intros.
Overall this was a solid 2 hour set from BLS which ended just after 11 PM.
Black Label Society Set List: Losin’ Your Mind, Suicide Messiah, Road Back Home, Spoke In The Wheel, House of Doom, Machine Gun Man, Sold My Soul, Angel of Mercy, In This River, Empty Promises, Throwin’, Blessed Hellride, Dying Time, Overlord, Stillborn