Black Label Society and Black Dahlia Murder

(Originally Published on South Florida Insider)

Black Label Society and Black Dahlia Murder Bring a Double Dose of “Black” metal to the South Florida Masses – Review of the Black Label Society Concert at the Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Story and Photos by: Gleb Barabanov

Black Label Society and Black Dahlia Murder might sound like an unlikely pair of touring partners, but sometimes (like pineapple on a pizza), its the most unlikely combinations that go best together. That was definitely the case this past Tuesday as The Lord of the Riffs himself Zakk Wylde teamed up with the critically acclaimed melodic death metallers Black Dahlia Murder to deliver an epic night of mayhem to South Florida. Local institution Revolution Live was the perfect place for this Metal Fiesta to take place, and the intimate nature of the venue meant that everyone was able to get a good spot for the show.

Kicking off the festivities were New Zealand powerhouse Alien Weaponry. To me, this band was the surprise hit of the night, and I’m hyped that they were able to get on a tour with so much exposure to U.S. audiences. In a very Chevelle-esque fashion, the band consists partly of two brothers who have been playing together for a long time, and this chemistry undeniably shines through in the hard hitting, nu-metal tinged thrash hybrid that they perform. After performing a few songs from their debut album TU, the group departed the stage while the techs worked on flipping the stage for the next group.

After a short wait while everyone got ready, the lights dimmed and Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” began to play over the loudspeaker as the band assembled on stage. The speakers quieted, the strobe lights started to flash and Trevor Strnad and his gang of Black Dahlia misfits broke into their first song, Widowmaker. After expertly blasting through a few more songs from their latest album Nightbringers, they played their most popular songs Miasma and Statutory Ape and the crowd went absolutely wild. After finishing off the night with Kings of the NightworldBDM left the stage and the wait for the main event began.

The techs hoisted a huge Black Label Society flag in front of the stage to obscure the goings-on behind the scenes, and after a while the lights dimmed once again and a juxtaposed remix of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath songs began to play as the band members took their place. The huge curtain suddenly dropped and Zakk blasted off into his first song, Genocide Junkies, wildly flailing his guitar all over the place as he masterfully pulled off riff after squeal-laden riff. For over two hours, the hard-rock heroes delivered hit after hit from all over their extensive catalogue, touching on almost every album in their discography.

About half-way through the set, Zakk took a break from playing the guitar and sat down to play the piano for a few of their slower songs, including In This River which was dedicated to Pantera’s Dimebag Darell and Vinnie Paul Abbott and featured huge banners with the brother’s visages draped over the wall of amps flanking the band. After finishing up the slower songs, the band once again picked up steam and exploded into some of their most well known songs like The Blessed Hellride and Fire It Up, with the band members even going out into the crowd to play their instruments in the pit for a rare moment of crowd interaction. After finishing up their time on stage with an extended version of Stillborn, the band took their final bow and departed from the stage, leaving the crowd ever hungry for more. Here’s hoping Zakk and company wont make us wait to long for their return to South Florida!