By Chad Alexander
June 4th 2014, Marquee Theatre, Tempe AZ: Last Wednesday night, Tempe AZ was bludgeoned by the triple attack of Butcher Babies, Devil You Know, and headliners Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society.
Opening up the night was Century Media’s Butcher Babies touring for their 2012 release “Goliath”. Frontwomen Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey were very engaging with the audience, jumping off the risers multiple times with a lot of energy and commitment to thier parts for which they traded off vocals numerous times. Meanwhile, guitarist Henry Flury, bassist Jason Klein and drummer Chris Warner kept the whirlwind guitars going and rhythm section incredibly tight. ‘I Smell A Massacre’ got the venue jumping and the frontwomen feeding off the crowd support. Other highlights were ‘Gasoline’, the Goliath title track, and the set-closer ‘Magnolia Blvd’. They really pumped the crowd up, and they’re a band you definitely want to check out.
A quick set change brought Devil You know onto the stage, promoting the release of their 2014 debut album ‘The Beauty of Destruction’ via Nuclear Blast. Vocalist Howard Jones looked healthy after his 18-month hiatus from the music scene, as the band opened the set with ‘A New Beginning’. Other highlights were ‘Seven Years Alone’, ‘A Mind Insane’ and ‘Shut It Down’. At one point, Howard was concerned about the crowd’s intensity and asked them if they were ‘still out there’. The reception was not as as high as it was the Butcher Babies but the music was clean and tight. Guitarists Francesco Artusato and Roy Lev-Ari played their parts to shred and shine. Overall it was a good set, but the crowd was just ready for the headliners.
Black Label Society, touring on their newly released “Catacombs Of The Black Vatican” album via EOne Music, ppened with ‘My Dying Time’ and played two other new songs ‘Heart of Darkness’ and ‘Angel of Mercy’, spread out through the set. If you love guitarists then this was who you came to see. Black Label Society’s Zakk Wylde bashed us over the head with incredible intricate guitar work all night, with multiple guitar changes throughout the set, each one a blistering attack on the fretboard. This was a band on a mission that didn’t leave any in thier BLS patches and “colors” disappointed. It’s always great to hear the Dimebag Darrell tribute songs “In This River” and “The Blessed Hellride”, and along with longtime partner JD Diservio on bass and newcomers Dario Lorina (from Lizzy Borden) on guitar and Jeff Fabb on drums, BLS rocked the crowd and played off their energy till the final chest-beating note of ‘Stilborn’. All in all, a great show for everyone in attendance.
6/6 – San Francisco CA – Regency Ballroom
6/7 – Hollywood CA – Fonda Theatre