A gig scheduled for Manchester Academy does leave one guessing because but on February 19th my uncertainty was settled with my fellow metal heads eagerly queuing outside the main building, ready to absorb the night ahead (and prepared themselves for a pounding that night and the next morning).
The lights came on as scheduled (not the usual half an hour extra wait at most gigs) for Black Label Societies set….only to be teased with a mighty blare of a recording of Black Sabbath ‘War Pigs’. But us reporters in the pit and the excited crowd weren’t frustrated by this at all, in fact the whole building were singing along and the atmosphere was already ‘buzzing’ even though Zakk Wylde had yet to present himself to his eagerly awaiting fans.
Zakk came bouncing, yes I said bouncing, onto the stage and inhaled the adrenalized atmosphere. He was absorbed in every note they brought together in BLS and happily rewarded the crowd with plectrums. Bassist John DeServio was rather whimsical and was smiling ear to ear throughout the performance, he really got into the crowd…and was even happy to pose without direction when a camera was on him.
Overall, most definitely worth it to get your ears blown away on a school night. You’ve now missed them on the UK tour, but if you have the opportunity to see them on their present journey through Europe, don’t you dare miss it. They’re on their way home to the US in April but coming back for a European finish to their tour in July hitting a few festivals on the way.