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Reviews, Comments & Other Putdowns for this event (by Ray)

  • Venue Review: The Wiltern
    Kind of a corporate venue with lots of rules and regulations but that is expected in a place like this. The staff were all cordial and pleasant so all was good. The floor was pretty packed so we opted for the balcony where the old farts with bad knees and a low tolerance for being shoved around sit.

  • 1st band Review: Cycle of Pain
    I’m sorry I missed these guys. I would have liked to hear how the album translates into a live setting. If you like BLS and other heavy-minded music that is very guitar-heavy then check out their debut self-titled CD.

  • 2rd band Review: Dope
    I saw Dope many, many years ago when they played with Static (now known as Static-X) at Club 369 in Placentia and I was not a fan then but, who knows, they may have gotten better. I didn’t see them so I can’t review the show. I do know that, based on the songs I’ve heard, the “being aggro for the sake of just being aggro” is a little too much for me. I’m not a fan of “F**k this and F**k you because I don’t like you” – it’s not enough for me to listen (not actual lyrics, it’s just the vibe I get – maybe they can use that in a song). Hey, don’t get me wrong, they are good at what they do but it is just not for me. Check ‘em out and decide for yourself.

  • 3rd band Review: Sevendust
    I had seen these guys many years ago when they played with Clutch at the Glass House and I can’t say their music moved me too much back then, but they were okay. It could have been that it was my first time seeing Clutch and they are gods to me so all else fell by the wayside that night. Okay, back to this show… We managed to see a few songs by Sevendust, including the Pantera cover “Walk” – I think it was that song… And, if I’m not mistaken, they ended with an Alice In Chains song, which had the crowd going. Overall they sounded good and played hard, which the fans seemed to like so I have nothing bad to say other than the strobes were pretty annoying. The coolest part was when Lajon (the singer) was presented with an official BLS vest by Nick Catanese (guitar player in BLS). I don’t know the story behind this moment but Lajon seemed very happy and honored to get it. Anyway, like I said previously, these guys aren’t my cup of tea musically but they play their asses off and have stuck to their guns for many years so respect has to be given for that.

  • 4th band Review: Black Label Society
    Man, I remember seeing Ozzy’s first tour with Zakk… It’s been cool seeing him grow up on the stage and morphing from a skinny clean-shaven young lad in bellbottoms to the guitar god he is today. This night’s show was a typical BLS gig in that just about everyone there was flying the BLS colors, drinking beer, being a little rowdy and having a good time. I don’t know of any other band who can draw such respect, loyalty and admiration from their fans the way BLS does. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that even the Kiss Army aren’t as rabid for Kiss as the S.D.M.F’s are for BLS. So, this was probably my 4th or 5th Black Label show and I must say there was something different going on with Zakk on this night. I was going to say that it appeared like he was just going through the motions but more than that, it almost seemed like he was mentally somewhere else, although I can’t explain it. The songs were tight, his voice sounded good and there was no lack of energy on the stage so I’m not really sure how to explain it other than maybe there was a little fatigue from the road?? Anyway, the highlight for me was when they played Suicide Messiah but I think the crowd reacted a lot more to Stillborn, which was at the end of the show. The pyrotechnics seemed huge for that size venue as we could feel the blasts all the way up in the balcony (see photo #1 in the slideshow). It was a fun show and I’ll be sure to catch them the next time around.

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