The evening starts having a chat with other fellow music followers in the Cambridge Bath house, drinking Scottish real ale Culloden. And thanks to the generosity of a chap who met Zakk before the gig I came away from the conversation with one of Zakk Wylde’s plectrums – a good start to a rocking night.
Tonight will feature rock, metal, loud guitars and big beards. And the support band Godsized launch the night with all three in your face. Heavy southern classic rock – or more like very heavy southern classic rock from Croydon UK. These guys could have been the younger cousins of BLS and blast through a 45 minute set like a bunch of beserkers raiding Cambridge.
Black Label Society’s set kicks off with The beginning.. At last, Crazy Horses follows – an assault of monster heavy riffage. Wylde by name, and wild on stage – if there is any question why so many guitarists want to pick up a 6 string and learn to play rock the answer is up there tonight. The riffs are bone crunching, the solos are blistering. The cambridge crowd raise their arms and bounce throughout the set.
With one of the world’s greatest guitarists and Ozzy’s right hand man for many years on stage tonight you could either spend tonight in awe of fretboard wizardry or rocking out with one of the most lively gigs I’ve seen at the Corn Exchange in years – or both. But I shouldn’t just talk about Zakk, BLS is a band, and a flawless powerful one.
During 80 relentless minutes of brutal music the momentum never stops, and just one slower moment where Zakk displayed his keyboard ivory skills in a song with images by way of homage of Dimebag. It made me think back to the time in ’92 when Dimebag played on this very stage when Pantera supported Megadeth.
And when the gig finishes – it finishes Zakk beats his chest like a barbarian. There was no encore, and there didn’t need to be – Cambridge had taken a brutal metal pounding. After tonight, If someone was to ever ask me – “so what is heavy rock?”, then to let them experience hearing, seeing and breathing I can’t think of a better place than a Black Label Society show.
Godsized Myspace – http://www.myspace.com/godsized
Black Label Society – http://www.blacklabelsociety.com/