Let me start by saying that Zakk Wylde and I have a completely different idea of what a stripped down set should be.

Zakk Wylde and the Black Label Society decided to hit the road this spring for a "stripped down" show.  This stripped down show was supposed to be more of an acoustic evening, which is why Zakk brought musical God Scott "Wino" Weinrich along with him.  Wino is best known as the front man for doom metal legends Saint Vitus, The Obsessed, and Spirit Caravan, to name a few, but he also has some acoustic solo stuff, including a record he just released called Freedom Conspiracy.  Cool.  Wino's got a new unplugged album out, Zakk's doing a stripped down show, so we all assumed it would be an acoustic evening.

Wrong.

Amanda Smith

Don't get me wrong, BLS were really good, but stripped down they were not.  Zakk's idea of "stripped down" was doing a regular, plugged in electric set, but sitting in chairs.  So, if you're going to sit down and play plugged in, why not just stand up and thrash?

Standard acoustic move. Photo by Amanda Smith

The nice thing about this Unblackened tour was that Zakk played a lot of old Pride and Glory and Book of Shadows songs which unfortunately, don't get played live very much these days.

The real reason I went to the show was to see Wino and his guitar.  That was it.  Just a man and an acoustic guitar, proving what a talent Wino is.  And I know Zakk can do that too, which is why I was a little disappointed he sat down with his electric guitar all night.  According to Wino, a lot of fans were disappointed because they too were expecting an acoustic show.

The Legendary Wino. Photo by Amanda Smith

Overall, I had a good time.  Wino proved once again that he's the greatest musician no one has ever heard of, and Zakk continued to blow my mind with his garbled stage banter and lightning fast solos.

For those unfamiliar with Wino, check out these album:

  • The Obsessed - Lunar Womb
  • Saint Vitus - Born to Late
  • Spirit Caravan - Jug Fulla Sun
  • Wino and Conny Ochs - Freedom Conspiracy

**Special thanks to the Orbit Room for hooking myself and members of the RKRmy up with tickets, and to Amanda Smith for sending some great photos.**