Venue: The Wiltern
City: Los Angeles, CA
Set length: About an hour
Tonight’s Lineup: Cycle of Pain, Dope, Sevendust, Black Label Society
I’m pulled double duty today. The Iron Maidens in Santa Fe Springs during the day and Black Label Society at The Wiltern in Los Angeles at night – Fun shows…
Pre-review note…Dusty and I showed up late to this gig, which I NEVER do, so we missed Cycle of Pain and Dope. I was bummed that I missed Cycle of Pain and I’d seen Dope a few times waaay back in the day when they played with Static (now known as Static-X) so I was okay with that part of being late. When we got there, the place was filled with the BLS brand. A HUGE turnout of SDMF’ers, but the setting just didn’t seem right. I call a gig like this at the Wiltern a “Corporate” gig, which is not my favorite type of show. I call it that because venues like these are great for some bands, like the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, etc. But for a bunch of beer-drinkin’ metalheads who like to get rowdy at shows, this place is just a little too nice with too many rules. Don’t get me wrong, the Wiltern has great visibility and good sound but it is just a little too polished for me. The Henry Fonda theater would have been a better setting for a lineup like this, or even The Palace (not sure if it is open anymore). Anyway, back to the gig…
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.’ers 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 #118 in the gallery). It was a fun show and I’ll be sure to catch them the next time around.
All shots were taken from the balcony at this gig with a Canon G9. Not the greatest images but I posted them only to give a visual of what it looked like that night, not as a “hey, look at these great shots I took!”.