Black Label Society
Black Label Berzerkus: Black Label Society, Children of Bodom, Clutch and 2 cents, Los Angeles, November 19th 2010.
This evening was interesting even before the concert started: lots of metal heads and motorcycle riders everywhere in front of the the Wiltern, a theater built in the 1930s with a beautiful art deco decoration and an awesome acoustics.
The concert started early and “2 cents” didn’t play for a lot of people. Since I didn’t catch their entire show, I won’t comment on it but I can tell you that the public seamed to be having a good time.
The second concert was performed by the band from Maryland “Clutch”. This concert was the surprise of the evening. Their music that leans toward a hard rock with some blues influences resulted on one of best performances of the evening, if not THE best. The four members were really impressive: a lot of technique, clear and precise sound (especially the drummer) and really cool vocals. High points: the song “Abraham Lincoln” and the “jam” session the band did with JD from BLS.
After Clutch, I was counting the minutes to see Children of Bodom. When the Melodic Black Metal band entered the stage playing Silent Night, Bodom Night and Hate me, I’ve realized I was not the only one: lots of metal heads appeared from nowhere and started banging their heads in front of the scene.
The band was not the headliner of the evening, so they played for about one hour. Even with a relatively short set list, the band managed to play songs from almost all of their albums: “ Living Dead Beat”, “Angels don’t kill”, “In your face”, “Blooddrunk”, “Downfall” e “Hate Crew Deathroll”. The public was really excited and a big moshpit was formed when Alexi asked for one before the last song.
The lead singer also took the time to talk several times to the public with a lot of energy (F*** was one every two words)! His performance was great. Specially when playing the guitar “his way”: instrument turned to public, on his knee and doing some amazing riffs (especially during “Hate me”). Even though I loved Alexi guitar and vocals, the best performance was definitely the drummer’s, Jaska Raatikainen, with his incredibly precise movements and an astonishing double pedal.
Overall, the concert was “ok” but something seamed to have lacked. Maybe it was the short time of the performance. I am pretty sure that the Los Angeles public would have loved to see a lot more of CHOB.
Continuing with the concert… The time to see BLS had finally arrived. A huge flag with the band’s emblem was covering the entire front of the stage. Everybody was anxiously waiting. The lights when down, the flag felt on the floor and than we saw Zack Wylde, JD Deservio, Nick Catanese and Will Hunt take their positions on a stage with 10 huge amplifiers, a big screen and a microphone decorated with sculls. The band started with “The Beginning... At Last”, “Crazy Horse” and “What’s in you”. I felt the floor shaking in the mezzanine.
During each one of the songs we watched the great Zack Wylde playing solos. It was awesome! I have never seen so many guitars: a different one for each song. One weird thing though: not only the guitars were being changed but also some huge sheets of paper that were placed in front of Zack’s microphone (lyrics????).
The concert was carried out with “The Rose Petalled Garden”,”Funeral Bell”, “Overlord” and “Parade of the Dead”. Than, when I thought that the concert had stagnated a little, a piano was placed on stage, Zack left his guitar aside and played “In the River”. This tribute to Dimebag, including the song’s video clip that was showing on the screen, was really touching. It was the best moment of the concert, in my opinion.
The piano went away and the concert continued with “Fire It Up” and a guitar solo performed by Mr.Wylde. Do I have to say anything else? Perfection executed with closed eyes… I felt fortunate to see this guitar player on stage, doing what he knows to do better, during a solo that left the public static.
After the solo, the rest of the band came back to stage and played “Godspeed Hell Bound”, ”The Blessed Hellride”, ”Suicide Messiah”, “Concrete Jungle” e “Stillborn”. During these last songs, I could not stop watching the drummer Will Hunt. Really… I had my chin dropped! What an awesome musician. Even with the drum sticks flying and turning everywhere he did not stop, for even one minute, to bang his head! The other musicians made also a good show.