There will be no “Wylde” puns here

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This was as close as we could legally get to Zakk Wylde with a camera

This was as close as we could legally get to Zakk Wylde with a camera

Zakk Wylde brings unplugged show to Canada

Article: Kyle Leitch – Production Manager

On a cold February night in Saskatoon, anyone in the vicinity of the Broadway Theatre would have been treated to a blocks-long line of denim and leather clad bikers, drinking, smoking, and singing the national anthem at top volume. No, the Sons of Anarchy cosplay convention hasn’t been rescheduled. Zakk Wylde—formerly of Ozzy Osbourne and current frontman of Black Label Society—brought a more intimate acoustic show to Saskatoon for stop four of his ten-day Canadian tour.

Seeing as I’d never been to a Black Label Society show (damn my employment at Wal-Mart!), I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to catch the authentic BLS experience I’d missed for so many years, despite the fact that it was an acoustic show. As it turns out, I wasn’t going to miss a thing.

Despite being billed as a solo acoustic show, Zakk was there with a twenty-four-year-old guitarist from the Las Vegas chapter. Zakk joked at one point that this youngster was going to take over the Black Label Society, and that he was going to retire.

The show itself was odd, to say the least. Although the show was advertised as Zakk Wylde Solo, the stage was adorned with Black Label Society flags and backdrop. The set was two hours long with no intermission, and was comprised of material from BLS, Pride & Glory, and Wylde’s solo album. Wylde switched between playing acoustic guitar and piano at various points throughout the concert, and his proficiency at both was undeniably entertaining.

In interviews preceding the tour, Wylde said that he was bringing acoustic guitars and pedals to make his acoustic sound like his electrics, “when the song needed it.” As it turns out, every fucking song in the set needed it, as it didn’t sound like Wylde was playing an acoustic at all. Every song began, ended with, or featured a minutes-long squealing guitar solo, which amounted to Zakk Wylde playing scales at 4,000 beats per minute. I can safely say that I have never been more bored by such clear technical virtuosity. The solo in Stillborn was so long, I forgot what song it was a part of.

On top of that, the audio mix for Zakk Wylde’s guitar was terribly off. At any one moment, it sounded like the Broadway speakers were going to cut out, they were clipping so bad. The only perfect mixes came during “In This River”, and “Spoke in the Wheel”, when Wylde was on piano detail.

Later in the set, Wylde was interacting with the crowd a bit. Touching moments like the tribute to “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott were juxtaposed with Wylde telling the crowd that his Boitene spray was actually vaginal discharge, and assuring the crowd that, “It’s full of cunt-ry goodness!” Charming.

As cool as it was to finally get to see one of the Gods of Metal that I revered when I was younger, I think I’m going to skip further Zakk Wylde “Solo Acoustic” shows.

Image: Kyle Leitch

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