Black Label Society

Black Label Society @ The Rave

Milwaukee, WI

The Rave/Eagles Ballroom is once again my favorite venue in the entire country. The sound is generally impeccable, the sightlines are abundant, and the rooms themselves are each architecturally unique. I also cannot forget the wall murals, those are artsy as all hell. Waiting in line to get in allowed me to take in the crowd and listen to what was anticipated. The crowd was a pretty good mix of people. Your classic rockers to biker metalhead to the younger generation. A ton of vests and biker jackets, as one would expect. Most of the people that I spoke with were there to see Zakk and Black Label Society for the first time, like myself. I personally, couldn’t wait to witness his guitar solos right up close and in front of me while capturing images. I mean, to see a guitar legend ripping solos on a stable of signature and iconic guitars was truly a once and a lifetime opportunity for me to witness. 

There is nothing flashy or dramatic about these guys. They are there to put on a show and blaze through guitar solos and heart thumping low end beats. The stage is brightly illuminated. On the back end is a large drum riser in the middle and on each side are guitar cabs stacked 3 high by 4 wide. Behind all of that is a huge banner hanging with the Doom Crew Inc. logo smack dab in the middle. On stage right is guitarist Dario Lorina, stage left has bassist John Deservio, in the back on drums is Jeff Fabb with Zakk Wylde upfront and center behind his microphone stand of piled skulls.

One thing was mighty apparent a few songs in, they were a well oiled machine. There was a mighty impressive amount of synergy amongst them. I suppose after 10 studio albums it should be a given I suppose. 

Black Label Society played a new gem, “Set You Free” from their upcoming release, “Doom Crew INC”. It was a perfect encapsulation of what BLS is at its core. Downright mean and gritty riffs with finger-scorching solos. The groove was pretty hypnotic. They also used the grand guitar solos at the end to lead into an even longer and large guitar duel off. Five minutes . There was so much to unpack and watch. Dario Lorina, who is amazing in his own right, stood up on the center perch and basically, riff battled Zakk who was standing and ripping it on top of the BLS logo on the grand piano on stage left. Half of that time they had guitars above their heads going back and forth. This show was a rocker’s dream.

Everyone lost their minds during “Suicide Messiah” and “Stillborn”. That was a given. It was a natural response to two absolutely killer tunes with some killer riffs, but the best part leading up to those songs was the intro. Without a doubt. . Fantastic from start to finish. I was really hoping they would perform “Room of Nightmares”, but the setlist was epic regardless. There is no chance I will not see them again.

1. Bleed For Me
2. Demise of Sanity
3. Overlord
4. Heart of Darkness
5. A Love Unreal
6. The Blessed Hellride
7. Spoke In The Wheel
8. In This River
9. Trampled Down Below
10. Destruction Overdrive
11. Set You Free
12. Fire It Up
13. Suicide Messiah
14. Stillborn

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