August 2, 2016
Rams Head Live
Zakk Wylde set list: Sold My Soul, Autumn Changes, Tears of December, Lay Me Down, Road Back Home, Yesterday’s Tears, Between Heaven and Hell, Darkest Hour, Guitar Solo in Crowd, Throwin’ it All Away, Dead as Yesterday, Eyes of Burden, Way Beyond Empty, The King, Lost Prayer, Sleeping Dogs
At 8 PM sharp the Zakk Wylde “Book of Shadows II” US tour started it’s Baltimore stop with Jared James Nichols kicking the night off.
JJN embodies all things “70’s guitar rock” and for good measure the band included covers of “Mississippi Queen” and “Strangle Hold” to assert their love for said genre.
JJN are a 3 piece band and Jared (The bands lead singer/guitarist) used Zakk Wylde guitar pedals, straps, and even a Zakk guitar throughout their set.
Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown followed JJN’s set with an equally impressive slab of Rock N Blues furry. Tyler and company are Texas based and wear their influenced on their musical sleeve(s).
In terms of overall style, both openers served up old school blues based hard rock. Zakk did a great job choosing openers that represented a style of music that compliments what he does quite well.
Zakk Wylde is a guitar god and was definitely the featured attraction of this night BUT I think Tyler Bryant gave Zakk a good run for his money. Tyler Bryant’s set list rocked harder than Zakk’s.
Tossed in the Tyler Bryant set was a cover of the blues standard “Got My Mojo Working” which the band “rocked up”.
Zakk Wylde’s set was an interestingly mellow blend of piano and acoustic driven rockers which were more of an ode to Greg Allman than Randy Rhoads.
I give Zakk credit for keeping the night interesting by playing electric guitar through most of the night. The “Un-Blackened” tour where he sat down for the entire show was at tad boring at times and most fans prefer seeing Zakk playing electric guitar.
Towards the end of the show Zakk left the stage to play a 10 minute guitar solo in the middle of the crowd. The crowd loved it but the problem was controlling the crowd. Once Zakk left the stage a sea of fans ran to where Zakk was thus leaving huge holes against the front of the stage.
In terms of the crowd size, the venue was 1/2 filled. Rams Head Live has 3 levels and the 2 upper levels were shut off with only the floor level being used. This was a far cry from the past where Zakk was able to sell out Rams Head Live.
To be honest with you, the “Book of Shadows II” tour was overly indulgent on Zakk’s part; the casual fans did not attend this show because they wanted a full on “rock” set from Zakk. The “Un-Blackened” acoustic tour weeded out the BLS fans who wanted Zakk’s heavier side as opposed to the die hards that love it all. The set list for this tour did not feature any of Zakk’s harder material which equaled a smaller crowd turn out for this tour.