By: Chris Coutsoukis
Over this past weekend legendary metal act Black Label Society stormed the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom as part of their Spring 2014 'Unblackened Tour'. The packed house of more than 3,000 charged fans were treated to a rare acoustic set led by frontman and guitar master, Zakk Wylde. The Unblackened Tour brings the band's 2013 live CD/DVD Unblackened to life, which was recorded at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, CA. Unblackened transforms hard-hitting Black Label favorites giving them a more acoustic nature, and is perhaps the only time you will see the band in such an intimate light. Frontman Zakk Wylde commented, "I always wanted to take Unblackened on the road, we just didn’t have the time until now. You can take a song that you’ve played thousands of times and rearrange it, and all of a sudden it’s something totally fresh. The attitude of the songs doesn’t change when we play them acoustically–the tunes are gritty regardless.”
Keeping pace with the Unblackened theme, special guest and pioneering doom-rocker Scott "Wino" Weinrich opened the night with his own acoustic set. Wino, like Wylde, is no acqueteience to the act of shredding and set the tone for a night filled with powerful acoustic axe-manship. Despite being armed with acoustic guitars, Label took the stage with power and ferocity. The band delivered unique performances of Pride & Glory favorites like "Losin' Your Mind" and "Machine Gun Man" as well as Zakk Wylde ballads like "Road Back Home" and "Throwin' It All Away". Fans got more than they expected when they were treated to rare renditions of BLS favorites like "Overlord", "The Blessed Hellride", and "Stillborn" as they had never heard before, including an emotional tribute to fallen guitar icon Dimebag Darrel during "In This River". Wylde, a guitar innovator and virtuoso, unleashed a night of blistering guitar solos, intimate vocals, and piano balladry which fans in attendance will surely not be forgetting anytime soon. You can pick up your own copy of Unblackened or tickets to remaining tour dates at this link.
*Shot at Black Label Society: Unblackened Live at The Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom 4/4/15 - Hampton, NH. © Chris Coutsoukis, 2015.*
Remaining Black Label Society Spring 2014 Dates:
April 06 - Sayreville, NJ - Starland Ballroom
April 08 - Baltimore, MD - Rams Head Live
April 09 - Fort Wayne, IN - Piere’s
April 11 - Grand Rapids, MI - Orbit Room
April 12 - Milwaukee, WI - The Rave
April 14 - Wichita, KS - The Cotillion
April 16 - Grand Junction, CO - Mesa Theater
April 17 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Depot
April 18 - Sacramento, CA - Ace of Spades
April 19 - Anaheim, CA - City National Grove of Anaheim
All images and visuals are originally produced and owned by Headrush TV. Any unauthorized use of material is strictly prohibited.