Black Label Society with special guests Hatebreed and The Butcher Babies played a sold out show to their Detroit chapter, treating the crowd to a night of high-octane, in your face, raw heavy metal.
The show kicked off with the Butcher Babies starting the night with “I Smell a Massacre.” This band is fronted by Carla Harvey and Heidi Shepherd, with Henry Flury on lead guitar, Jason Klein on bass, and Chris Warner on drums. Harvey was happy to be back in her home state, and the crowd was happy to have them here.
The Butcher Babies put all their energy into every show, you feel the power from the front row to the back of the venue. Harvey and Shepherd kept the crowd captivated, getting right in their fan’s faces, even jumping into the middle of a forming mosh pit in the middle of their set. Playing favorites like “Goliath,” “Axe Wound,” and “Magnolia Blvd.” these women are a powerhouse. Along with the heavy bass and drums and guitar riffs, Butcher Babies started the night right, with in your face raw energy.
Hatebreed came out next in a full hardcore metal. Based out of Connecticut, the band is composed of Jamey Jasta on vocals, Frank Novinec and Wayne Lozinak on guitar, Chris Beattie on bass, and Matt Byrne on drums. The band drove the crowd into a frenzy with songs like “Destroy Everything” and “Smash Your Enemies,” the pit was huge, explosive, and somewhat violent, with crowd surfers flying in the air from all over.
Jasta was very grateful and warm to the crowd, thanking them for coming out multiple times, and making sure to high five every crowd surfer he could. He also showed an incredible amount of respect to the security working at the front of the stage, telling the crowd to give them a hand for protecting all the crowd surfers. Also, telling the crowd to respect the women by not grabbing them anywhere they shouldn’t. That being said, the band was bound and determined to tear the venue apart.
After a 30-minute set change, the crowd’s anticipation was buzzing in the theater. Black Label Society came out with “The Beginning…At Last.” The band never let up, playing a mix of old favorites like “Funeral Bell,” “Bleed for Me,” and “Godsped Hellbound,” and showcasing songs off their new album, Catacombs of the Black Vatican, like “My Dying Time” and “Angel of Mercy.”
One of the standout moments of the show was Zakk Wylde’s signature 15-minute guitar solo, fast and heavy. Wylde was almost unbelievable in his technique, whirling riffs together you can’t hear from anyone else. What makes this band great is that the rest of the band doesn’t rely on Wylde’s talent alone, each member is a standout. John DeServio raw and heavy on bass is incomparable, Jeff Fabb heavy and booming on drums is unmatched, and new member Dario Lorina wailing on guitar is supreme, each member commands their own presence, making Black Label Society a juggernaut.
Another highlight of the night was Wylde’s tribute to the late Dimebag Darrel, “In This River.” As he started playing the piano, two huge banners of the legendary guitarist were unfurled over the amps. It was a subdued but touching moment, the emotion and respect from the crowd could be felt throughout the entire song.
The band ended its 90-minute set with “Stillborn,” featuring a deafening crescendo from the cheering crowd with a climatic display of smoke pillars and light show accompanying the finale of screaming guitar riffs, a true celebration of heavy metal.