While Zakk Wylde is gearing up for his return to the stage this summer with Ozzy Osbourne, he’s currently out on tour with his own band, Black Label Society in support of their newest release, Grimmest Hits. On Feb. 5, they performed at the Town Ballroom in Buffalo, NY to a packed house gathered for a triple billing of groove metal featuring a newly reunited Corrosion of Conformity and Red Fang in support.
In the four years since Black Label Society’s previous release, “Catacombs of the Black Vatican,” Zakk has kept busy touring with both BLS as well as his Black Sabbath cover band, aptly called Zakk Sabbath. From the showing on this evening, it was evident that fans were ready from another go around with Black Label Society.
The show started with a short set from Portland, Oregon metal outfit Red Fang, followed by a blistering performance from Corrosion of Conformity. If this show was any indication, the thirteen-year gap between their last album featuring Pepper Keenan back in 2005 and now was more than enough to bring an eager crowd out through a wintery night in Buffalo to check them out! Their set featured classics “Seven Days”, “Albatross” and “Clean My Wounds” as well as “The Luddite” a new cut from their recently released 10th album, “No Cross No Crown.” Their ten-song set was clearly not enough, but served as an exceptional warm-up for the mighty Black Label Society.
As the black skull curtain dropped, Zakk Wylde appeared on a riser just to the right of center stage in his famous pose, crouched over with his legs spread wide, headbanging his long head of hair as Black Label Society started the show off with a pair of classics featuring “Genocide Junkies” and “Funeral Bell.”
While Black Label Society has had a number of lineup changes over the years, the current lineup has been intact since 2014 (with the addition of rhythm guitarist Dario Lorina) and has seemingly become tighter ever since. As they ripped through the heaviest tunes including “Bleed for Me,” “Room for Nightmares,” and “Suicide Messiah” as well as a few more subdued tunes including “The Blessed Hellride” and the live debut of “A Love Unreal” before closing out with their breakout 2002 hit, “Stillborn.”
Between Black Label Society, Zakk Sabbath and touring with Ozzy Osbourne; it looks like Zakk Wylde will have his hands full for the next few years. Make sure to catch up in any of the aforementioned incarnations the next time he rolls through town!