Live Gig

Black Label Society Live at The Town Ballroom Buffalo, NY

 

Live review: Pam and Mark Schaff
Photos: Pam and Mark Schaff

 

I can’t think of a better way to spend a Monday night in Buffalo than at a concert with three great bands on the same bill. Given the enthusiasm of the sold-out Town Ballroom crowd, you would’ve thought it was a Saturday night! It was great to see so many come out for this show. You could feel the buzz in the crowd as the first band took the stage.

Red Fang

Those that are familiar with the stoner rock genre, know who Red Fang is, and what they’re all about. The last time these guys came to town was a few years ago, and regrettably were unable to attend the show. This time we were front and center for the show. They took the stage and wasted no time winning over what was already a very large crowd. They played songs off all four of their albums, their most recent being 2016’s ‘Only Ghosts’. They gave the crowd a great performance, and certainly, anyone who didn’t know Red Fang before tonight will definitely remember their name now. To say they left with a few new fans tonight would be an understatement. Hopefully, these guys don’t take too long to get back to Buffalo, we would love to see them again soon!

 

Corrosion Of Conformity

Next up was one of our favorites. It’s been a long time since COC has been in Buffalo. That drought would end tonight. Missing from this show was drummer Reed Mullin, who is currently taking care of a knee injury that he mentioned in a December interview we did with him. Drum tech Jon Green filled in flawlessly and handled the duties without missing a beat. The rest of the band Mike Dean, Woody Weatherman and Pepper Keenan jumped on stage to an energetic crowd. Starting off with a great instrumental song ‘Bottom Feeder (El que come abajo)’ from the Wiseblood album.

A song that’s a great choice to open with, and transitions nicely into the only song from the new album they played on this night ‘The Luddite,’ which sounded great. Then ‘Seven Days’, a fan favorite was next before going back to the Blind album for ‘Vote With A Bullet’ which Pepper told the crowd “it means just as much today as it did when we wrote it”. They threw in a couple of from America’s Volume Dealer with ‘Who’s Got The Fire’ and ’13 Angels’. At this point, the crowd was pretty pumped up and had no problem letting the guys know they have many fans in Buffalo. COC finished off the set with three from the classic Deliverance album, playing ‘Broken Man’, the always favorite Sabbath like ‘Albatross’ and they do a greatly extended version of ‘Clean My Wounds’ to finish things off, with Woody and Pepper exchanging solos like they’re known to do. We’ve been lucky enough to see the guys three times over the last couple years, and they sound better than ever.

We can’t wait for them to come back again. Let’s hope it doesn’t take as long this time. Be sure to pick up the new album ‘No Cross No Crown’ that’s out now, it’s definitely a killer album. If you get a chance to catch them live don’t pass it up.

Setlist

Bottom Feeder (El que come abajo)

The Luddite

Seven Days

Vote With A Bullet

Long Whip/ Big America

Who’s Got The Fire

13 Angels

Broken Man

Albatross

Clean My Wounds

 

 

Black Label Society

After the first two bands got the crowd whipped up into a frenzy, they were now ready, and the energy was growing. The curtain was up and everyone was waiting for it to drop. Cue the ‘Whole Lotta Love’, ‘War Pigs’ Black Sabbath / Led Zeppelin mash-up entrance music, And when the curtain did drop, the show was kicked off as only Zakk Wylde and Black Label Society could do.

The stage was drenched in red lights, with smoke plumes blasting into the air in front of a wall of speaker cabinets. Tearing up the crowd with the opening song ‘Genocide Junkies’. Black Label Society take the stage like few could ever do at Town Ballroom, lighting the crowd up with blistering guitar licks and hammer out some of the best tunes they have to offer. ‘Suffering Overdue’, ‘Funeral Bell’, ‘Bleed For Me’ all just pounding the crowd. Zakk at one point jumps off the stage, we’ve seen him do this before with Zakk Sabbath, and makes his way across the venue on to the bar. Soloing all along the way there and back. Through the crowd to the back of the Town Ballroom and then back to the stage. Fans going crazy at all times. ‘Suicide Messiah”, ‘Trampled Down Below’ and “Room Of Nightmares’ continue the blazing assault on the crowd of the Town Ballroom. Standing on the platform in full view, Zakk shows why he’s one of the best guitar players around. ‘Bridge To Cross’, ‘In This River’ and “The Blessed Hellride’ keep this show at fever levels at all times.

BLS throws down the song ‘Fire It Up’ and then, a special time for the Buffalo crowd, as they get the live debut of ‘A Love Unreal’ off the new album Grimmest Hits, they’re touring to support. Something the fans can remember for a while, to be the first to hear the new song live, was a great treat for all of us here tonight. Next up was another favorite with ‘Concrete Jungle’ before ending the show with the kick-ass tune ‘Stillborn’. In the end, the fans left wanting more, they played 16 songs, but seriously how much more could we take on the night filled with such great music, and three outstanding bands playing for nearly 4 1/2 hours.

Setlist

Genocide Junkies

Funeral Bell

Suffering Overdue

Bleed For Me

Heart Of Darkness

Suicide Messiah

Trampled Down Below

All That Once Shined

Room Of Nightmares

Bridge To Cross

In This River

The Blessed Hellride

Fire It Up

A Love Unreal (Live Premier)

Concrete Jungle

Stillborn

 

I bet not one person in this sellout crowd left disappointed. A show to remember for a long time to come for Buffalo rock fans. We look forward to all these bands coming back to Buffalo at some point. It was great to see this show sell out, and we hope more great shows come to Buffalo. This tour rolls on through the end of February, then Black Label Society heads overseas for a while, get out and see them if you can. Corrosion Of Conformity is on with BLS until the end of February, and have a few festivals in June. But don’t worry they have plans to headline a tour this year so there will be plenty more opportunities to see the guys.

 

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