It was a night of beards and bandanas and everything in between. The Brady Theater hosted the Berzerkus Tour with 2 Cents, Children of Bodom, Clutch and headliner; Black Label Society. The night was devoted to the love of Metal Music and everything it stands for. Mosh- pits, herbal aroma therapy, fists in the air and screeching guitar solos barely describes everything that took place.
The band 2 Cents opened up the show. They are a heavy metal band from L.A. on tour in support of their most current album “Dressed To Kill”, released April 20th. They have toured with the likes of Five Finger Death Punch, Shadows Fall, Korn and many others. It was hardly passed 7:00 when they took the stage to a very small crowd.
They wasted no time going right into a heavy metal rock show. And it was really good for what it was. The lead singer, Adam O’Rourke was desperately trying to get a very melancholy audience to join in and get loud with them, but after several attempts; it just wasn’t going his way. He also made a shout out to the promoters of the show for leaving them dry and thirsty; not supplying the band with anything to drink. I hope they got some bottled water after that because they sure deserved it. Adam shared how important it is to support original music and that “Heavy Metal” is not in the t-shirt that you bought from Hot Topic, but rather inside you. They ended the night covering “Strength Beyond Strength" by Pantera and to this, the crowd did liven up. They played a good set and I truly feel the audience enjoyed them. Oklahomans don’t get moving around that early for a show; 2 Cents don’t be mad at your Tulsa Fans, we just aren’t use to rocking our faces off at 7:10pm.
By the time Children of Bodom came to the stage, the floor section was nearly at capacity with plenty of room still in the seats; but there were definitely a lot of fans sporting COB t-shirts. Children of Bodom is a Heavy Metal band from Helsinki, Finland. They are a mix of modern meets retro-classic metal. Lots of heavy melodic hooks and speed demon style guitar playing by front man and guitar hero Alexi Laiho. Alexi was named “Best Metal Guitarist” in the 2008 Guitar World Reader’s Poll; along with COB’s 2003 release Hate Crew Deathroll ranking it in the top 50 of all time favorite guitar albums for Guitar World Magazine.
The audience was much more alive at this point, with a small mosh-pit getting in motion for the evening. Lots of head-banging, hair windmills and screaming scattered throughout the room. You could see fans of all walks of life. Everything from tiny tweens to grungie grandpas all dancing and moshing together. The fans really went nuts and got in to full rock show mode when the band played “Blooddrunk”. These guys brought back lots of memories of endless nights watching Headbangers Ball on MTV. Is that show still on? Either way, these guys were very talented and extremely entertaining.
Children Of Bodom photo gallery.
Photos by: Kevin Pyle
Finally, the floor is full, the seats are now mostly filled and it really feels like a Metal Rock Show. Everyone is on their feet in anticipation of what will happen next. Clutch comes out like an army. Neil Fallon (lead singer) has the most distinctive, authoritative, powerhouse voice I have ever heard. It’s the kind of voice that just demands your attention. All I kept seeing in my head during their opening song “Who’s Been Talking” was the movie 300 when King Leonidas was leading his men in to battle. Only Fallon was leading us with his voice. That song was totally worth the whole show; complete crazy-cool madness.
Clutch is amazing how they reach across several different genres of music. They are funk, rock, metal and blues wrapped up all in one. Concert goer, Julie Darland told me that when she saw Clutch in Memphis, they announced the band’s style as “intelligent metal”; their songs have real meaning behind them; politically, historically and spiritually. As they played songs like “Abraham Lincoln”, “Pure Rock Fury” and “Electirc Worry” the crowd was completely in sync with Clutch; jamming, singing, and grooving right along with them. Later in their set, Jean-Paul Gaster did a phenomenal drum solo worthy of much praise. Clutch ended their set with “Burning Beard” to which you heard the fans chanting “Clutch! Clutch!” for an encore, but to no avail. If you haven’t heard of Clutch; you definitely need to check these guys out.
Clutch photo gallery.
Photos by: Kevin Pyle
And here it is. What everyone was waiting for. The stage size curtain emblazoned with the Black Label Society’s logo falls while “The Beginning…At Last “ rips through the crowd, Black Label Society is raw and in your face ROCK!! The entire place just lost it! The mosh-pit tripled in size in like 30 seconds. Zakk Wylde is the Rock-God of all Guitarists. I have never in all my life seen anything like that. I truly feel honored to have witnessed him live.
Nick Cantanese (Rhythm Guitar) was a true showman as well. Numerous times he walked down to where he could shake hands and give “fist-bumps” to the crowd. Around the middle of the set, somehow a guy got past security and jumped on stage. All he did was run over to Zakk’s mic-stand, bent over and touched it with one finger, then desperately ran off and jumped into the crowd to throw security off. Not sure if they found him or not. To this, Zakk laughed it off and said “at least he didn’t take my purse”, and then remarked “I mean, European Carryall”. The crowd erupted into laughter.
BLS did their tribute to Dime Bag Darrell with “In This River”. Afterwards, the entire crowd with many lit- lighters and cell phones began chanting “Dime Bag! Dime Bag!” BLS reverently let this go on for a moment before going on to the next song.
Next, “Fire It Up” was played before Zakk Wylde went into a mesmerizing guitar solo. I’m not sure of how long it was, but it seemed to last at least 20 minutes. I am certain every guitar player in there was drooling in awe. It was absolutely incredible.
During the next couple songs, it was an entire jam fest; on stage and in the crowd. There was lots of crowd surfing going on at this point. It was my first time ever to see a child crowd surf. He looked to be about 8 or 9 years old. They carried him across the room just like the others and dropped him off in the barricades with security. I will never forget the smile on that child’s face for as long as I live. And I am sure he will never forget that moment either.
As the show is winding down, the crowd is not. Some guy out of nowhere was hanging off the balcony. Makes you wonder if that started out on purpose or not but he played if off well by putting his feet on the side of balcony and waving around to everyone. Not sure how the night ended for this fellow but it just added to all the excitement in the room.
Black Label Society photo gallery.
Photos by: Kevin Pyle
Black Label Society ended their hour and a half set with “Stillborn”, it features guest vocals by Ozzy Osbourne (Zakk played guitar for Ozzy for over 20 years). There was no encore, but with what the band gave to their fans; the night was complete. They all came to the front of the stage and took a bow together as their fans cheered them on. After Zakk wiped the sweat off his face with a towel, he handed it to a girl reaching out to him. The other band members then started throwing out drumsticks and guitar picks to the crowd. These guys may know how to rock like no other, but they are also extremely gracious and thankful to their fans. What a night to remember for all.