Backstage News, Front Row Pics

Revolver Golden Gods Tour ft. Black Label Society @ The Palladium, Worcester MA

By Frank Poulin

Black Label Society

The lines were loooong at the door of the sold-out Palladium for last week’s Revolver Golden Gods Tour and the fans were eager…the put it mildly…to get inside. This wasn’t one of those times when locals show up (in large but manageable numbers) to catch “this week’s metal show;” everyone in the house was a diehard fan of at least one of the bands playing that night (which brings up a point that deserves a quick mention, if as nothing more than an observation ~ each band on the line-up has tons of talent, a successful career, its own huge fan-base ~ they are “Golden Gods” [and Goddesses] after all ~ but for some reason the combination of bands chosen for the tour seemed a bit…odd, since the crowd did appear to have come to see one or two, not all, of the acts, and based on watching people come and go depending on who was on stage, there just seemed to be a lack of crossover appeal to the line-up) and the venue was as packed as I’ve ever seen it; selling one more ticket might have caused the walls to crumble outward…

Unfortunately, The Palladium staff had its hands overly full with such a large crowd, and by the time only about half of the people waiting to gain entry has been frisked and allowed in, the Butcher Babies were well underway with their opening set. Regrettably, we were not amongst that first wave of people and thus got inside too late to catch the band’s first three songs, so we have no shots of the band (Well, we did take one picture ;) )  Note:  We have been hearing from various sources that yes, large crowds at many of the tour stop venues were partially to blame for folks missing the beginning of BB’s set, but that a “decree” to keep some people waiting until well after the show had started had actually been handed down by the tour producers themselves…this information is by no means official or confirmed, but we did think it was worth passing along.

Black Label Society CrowdLuckily, we still got there in time to catch Butcher Babies’ last few songs and it was well worth it. Frontwomen Carla and Heidi whipped the crowd into an early frenzy and it was clear that not everyone was there just to see Black Label Society (in fact, we fully expect the Babies to be headlining their own major tour soon ~ they’ve got the chops, the following, and could easily fill major venues across the country based solely on their own merit). This fact was reinforced when the band showed up at their merch table area immediately after getting off stage and were immediately engulfed by the sizable mob already waiting to get pictures taken with them (and the entire band, especially Carla and Heidi, went far above and beyond the “duties” of a usual meet and greet ~ they came out from the merch area, talked with every single fan, gave lots of hugs, and took time to chat at length with every single person waiting to meet them) ~ so much so that The Palladium staff had to ask them to disband as it was making it impossible to circulate in the already-overcrowded venue. The ladies were gracious troopers through it all.

Devil You Know's Howard Jones

Meanwhile, back on the stage, Howard Jones, a local boy-done-good with a devoted following going back to his early days playing Worcester County dives as part of Driven right through his Blood Has Been Shed and KsE days, was leading the all-star cast of the relatively newly-formed Devil You Know into a searing set of songs pegged from their just-released debut album The Beauty Of Destruction.  Jones was in top rocker form (and, we’re very happy to report, looking like he’s in very good health), telling the crowd with an evil grin: “I’m back, motherfuckers,” which elicited cheers from those who had missed that voice and stage presence during his absence while forming DYK. We’re really looking forward to seeing more of (and hearing more from!) this band as they continue to evolve as a unit…with the body of work each member brings to the group, plus the public’s embracing of the new album, DYK’s future can’t really be anything but bright.  

Down's Phil AnselmoDown was on next. For a band that started as a side project in the ’90s, these guys sure sound tight ~ but then again, a side project of metal legends isn’t your average side project.  And when Phil Anselmo is the frontman, well, need we say more? Their new EP, Down IV, Part II, was released this week and if the fans have any say, there will be plenty more from Down in the future; all the members have other projects going on all the time, but somehow they always manage to find a way to reunite as Down.  They’ve already made it clear that they plan to keep touring now as much as possible for as long as possible, so that’s a damn good sign.

And then it was time for Black Label Society to conquer all. The band walked on with CO2 jets and lasers a-blazin’ and started playing “My Dying Time” from their new CD Catacombs Of The Black Vatican ~ and The Palladium just went crazy. The set included a nice mix of old and new songs, going all the way back to Sonic Brew (with “The Rose Petalled Garden”) and a grand piano was even trotted out about midway into the set for “In The River” (hard rock piano ~ gotta love it!).  There’s really no other way to describe what BLS brings except to say that it’s a world-class show, led by the [out-of-this] world-class guitar work of Zakk Wylde…who isn’t a musician who simply plays his guitars (famous in their own right) brilliantly, he becomes one with them, a searing, mind-blowing, whirlwind of spectacular prowess and passion for the music.   Honestly, there isn’t too much else to say about it all other than, “Wow!” (which has already been said more than a few times, I’m pretty sure).

The Revolver Golden Gods Tour is halfway over already, but if it’s coming to your town soon, you definitely want to catch it!

Black Label Society
Devil You Know
Butcher Babies
Revolver Golden Gods Tour

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