May 4, 2014
Silver Spring, MD
Devil You Know Set List: A New Beginning, My Own, Embracing, Seven Years, The Killer, A Mind Insane, Shut It Down
DOWN Set List: Eyes, We Knew, Lifer, Lysergic, Hail, Losing All, Stone Crow, Bury
BLS Set List: Dying Time, Godspeed, Destruction, Rose Petal, Heart of Darkness, Overlord, Dame The Flood, Solo, Parade, Fields, Angel, River, Hellride, Suicide, Concrete, Stillborn
Initially I felt like the band line up for this show was a tad off because on paper certain bands seemed to be an odd fit BUT the night of the show it all made sense and each band brought a unique experience to this show which made it memorable!
Doors were supposed to open at 6:30 PM but actually opened closer to 7 PM due to the pre show meet & greets running later than expected. Butcher Babies opened the show at 7:30 PM and I will admit that the first time I saw them years ago I was not that impressed. However, on this night I realized the “point” of the bands music & live show and became a fan.
Butcher Babies live show is better than a night at a strip club because you have 2 hot babes onstage not only delivering the TNA BUT you also get live metal music to go along with it! Carla & Heidi are the stars of the show when Butcher Babies perform and I feel a tad sorry for the boys in the band because they play their hearts out but will always be ignored due to the girls up front that you just can’t ignore!
Musically there were guitar issues this night and at one point there was only bass & drums in the mix due to a guitar change which left the song with no guitars.....the crowd didn’t notice though because there were bouncing boobs on stage!
My BIG piece of advice to Butcher Babies would be this: Get it together & write a “hit” which will solidify you in the metal world...the live show is energy filled & fun BUT the music needs a little tweaking so people remember more than a pretty face & boobs. On that note I’ll say that Butcher Babies did a kick ass job of warming up the crowd & I enjoyed their short set.
Devil You Know were next and it was odd when Howard did the band introduction and mentioned what band each member was previously from & then he had to tell the crowd that he was from Killswitch Engage but left due to the fact that he almost died. Howard came off arrogant and he didn’t impress me this night; his band were solid and there was solid guitar work between the 2 guitarists.
DOWN were next and I’ll admit that it’s odd seeing them without Kirk on guitar because he was such a huge part of that band! Phil was looking a tad rough and the first thing we all noticed was how he’d gained quite a bit of weight! Phil was in great spirits, he kept the onstage rants to a minimum and the more I watched him onstage I was reminded of Ozzy! My Ozzy reference is because Ozzy used to be this more focused, driven, strong front man back in the Sabbath days but somewhere down the line he became this lethargic, chubbier dude who lost his “edge” and Phil is at that point because he’s a tad sluggish at this point compared to how he once was.
Pepper & Jimmy are the glue that hold DOWN together on stage and at this point I can’t help but feel like DOWN is almost over due to too many line up changes and the lack of energy/chemistry with the current line up.
No big surprise but during DOWN’s set there was a serious amount of weed smoking going on throughout the crowd and it was funny watching security scramble to try and find the source(s).
Black Label Society were the nights featured presentation and they draped the large BLS curtain over the stage to cover the bands stage set up before they started. Stage wise they had amp cabs covering almost every inch of the stage behind them and Zakk had a new mic stand which featured a large cross & skulls.
This line up of BLS featured 2 new members and while Zakk’s playing is always drop-jaw intense I can’t say the new members did anything special to add to the show. Without Nick (Evil Twin) on guitar the band suffers a bit and I will hand it to Zakk because set wise he did mostly newer material and cut the bulk of the E.T. material in favor of creating something new & fresh.
“Fire It Up” was cut from the set and in my opinion that was a mistake because that’s a BLS fan favorite. During “Suicide Messiah” Zakk played an Epiphone which he had signed and as soon as he was done playing it for that song it was taken off & handed to a roadie. I found it odd that Zakk was playing a cheap Epiphone onstage but assumed it was for a fan or a giveaway since the guitar was never played again after that song.
Dario does a decent job of playing the Zakk rhythm parts and occasionally he will play some solo’s BUT what you notice immediately when Zakk & Dario stand near each other onstage is how tiny Dario is compared to Zakk....Dario looks like a twig in comparison to Zakk and they play well together but look odd when they get close to each other. Dario did do one thing that Nick never did onstage...Dario played piano which allowed Zakk to play guitar during “Angel”.
Black Label Society finished up just around midnight and it’s interesting to note that the show did not sell out until later on in the evening....the bulk of the crowd came late so they could avoid all the opening acts!