Photos and Review by Micah Gummel
Butcher Babies Photos HERE
Black Label Society Photos HERE
“We can’t go balls out — so we go tits out!” Proclaim self-labelled ‘slut metal’ group, Butcher Babies. If you’ve been keeping up on hard rock and metal, you have had to notice the Butcher Babies somewhere along the line. Maybe it was paging through your faverit music magazine. Or seeing your friends’ Instagram feeds on the days when they went to Mayhem Fest. Or passing by posters at your favorite metal club.
Somewhere in their travels, every metal fan has had their attention distracted by eye catching Butcher Babies’ frontwomen Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey-Coates. The question on the mind of many, though, was: Are these girls musically legit or are they just Playboy models with microphones?
That question gets answered quite emphatically in the first few seconds of the Butcher Babies’ album, Goliath. Shepherd and Harvey-Coates waste no time in delivering guttural growls, blood-curdling screams, and angry roars that would make Phil Anselmo proud.
The Butcher Babies made it a point to connect to the crowd right from the first beat. Carla and Heidi would both express their gratitude for the incredible metal welcome they received The band as a whole had their set and sound down tight. The road has made them professionals. The energy and presence were as large as the theatre itself.
Now for the headliner the machine known as Black Label Society played to a tight sold out crowd at State Theater in Portland. The crowd welcomed Zakk Wylde and the boys with open arms. Wylde a New Jersey native was born to play guitar! Having started playing at the age of 8 years old, Wylde ended up playing in a couple of local bands, Stone Henge and Zyris, before Ozzy Osbourne offered him a spot in his band as lead guitarist and co-writer. Wylde was only 19 at the time Ozzy ‘discovered’ him!
In 1998, Wylde formed Black Label Society as an outlet for his own artistic vision which he has said to be uncompromising, unfiltered, no bullshit rock n’ roll!
Although he continues to play with Ozzy, off and on, Wylde has made an extremely successful career with Black Label Society. They have gone on to release several successful studio albums, which have sold well over a million and a half copies. He also has a large legion of fans that continue to pack venues worldwide to see Wylde perform his skillful talents on the guitar and piano as well as his vocals.
Wylde played his vintage guitars with gusto all night. The New Jersey native cut into heavy riffs with My Dying Time through I’m Broken. His classic stage set up complimented his metal look, complete with chains and skulls on his mic stand.
Simple, straight-ahead booze-soaked grooves with plenty of Wylde’s trademark harmonic squeals, chugging along in the face of elitists for about a decade now — because what else is there for Pantera fans listen to these days?
Zakk Wylde was the star of the night, however, reeling in Black Label Society’s legendary status one number at a time. His patented riffs, accentuated by pinch harmonics, were in full force, just as one would expect, and his solos left a fiery trail each time he unleashed the skill set he built his reputation on. He positively slayed and tracks like “Funeral Bell,” “Suicide Messiah,” and “Concrete Jungle” delighted the crowd the most.