I had purchased a VIP ticket for the Black Label Society show and I have been waiting for this day for almost the past four months!
I left home at around 12.30 and got to the Wiltern at 1. We were supposed to be taken in for the VIP meet-n-greet at 1.45. When I got in I was given my VIP package which had a wrist band for early entry, Black Label Society Fanclub shirt, laminate, autographed pick pack and a 'BLS nation member since 2009' iron-on patch. When I saw the band in the next room, Zakk was drinking beer, to no suprise at all really. When I walked up to Zakk he shook my hand and gave me a hug. The other three did the exact same thing too! It was really amusing to meet JD as he is so short I don't think he is even 5 feet tall! He was happy to know that I'm on the street team for his other band Cycle of Pain and he thanked me for it. Nick and Craig were very cool too.A guy was there to take my camera for taking my picture with all the members of the band, with a backdrop of BLS flags. I'm really happy about the way that picture has come out. It has to be my second best picture ever (first is the one with James Hetfield, of course!).
After everyone was done meeting the band and getting pictures taken, we were taken to the pit and they told us they'll be doing pyro tests. The band came down in the pit too. They had a group photo taken with the band and all the fans facing away from the stage and pyros in the background! And I also got the chance to walk up to Zakk again and get a picture taken just with him which was thrilling to be honest! I was speechless!!
At around 3 o clock we were told that its all done and we can go and wait outside in the early entry queue.
We were let into the place at around 6 o clock. Quite disgustingly, the pre-sale show ticket that me and all the others in the early entry line had, was NOT a pit ticket! It was a GA floor ticket which according to them is not GA pit and GA pit tickets were sold seperately! I was shocked and really, really pissed. Quite frankly, I bought the ticket through the fanclub presale more than four months back and if anyone deserves to be in the pit, its the presale ticket holders, fanclub members for god's sake! It made no sense that we were given early entry but not pit access. For those who have not been to the Wiltern, it has 4 sections on the floor. So we were told we can't get in the frontmost one. I had to settle for the 2nd wall. Gradually I let go of the frustration and didn't allow it to ruin the show. I thought about it positively, that because I didn't get the front rail, at least there's something left to achieve for next time.
Enough rambling, I hope you're still reading. On to the show then.
Cycle Of Pain
: They were decent. Its amazing that JD doubles up with 2 bands for every show of the tour.
: They were all right. Some of the lyrics were stupid in my opinion. Stuff like 'fuck tomorrow', 'she's my alcohol'.
: I hated their entire set, specially the annoying strobe lights, except for when they played the Master of Puppets intro and also a Pantera song's intro, I can't exactly remember which one. That was the only awesome part of their show!
Black Label Society
: At 10 o clock, the huge BLS curtain dropped down and the band came out playing Black Mass Reverends!! It was time to go Wylde!!
That was followed by my favorite BLS song Destruction Overdrive. I went totally fuckin nuts! I really loved the slow head-banging Suicide Messiah too. Their set had the entire range of speeds in the songs. From 'In This River' to 'Stoned and Drunk', it had everything, which made for great head-banging fun. They threw out a few inflated balls at the start of Blessed Hellride too. And as usual they had the Dimebag tribute thing with In This River where they asked the crowd to shout 'Dimebag, Dimebag' and they played the song with Dime's poster in the backdrop which was really cool I thought. Zakk's guitar solo lasted for almost 15 minutes. Crazy would be an understatment. The guy managed to drink beer in between as well, without stopping the solo. The pyros were first-rate during the entire show. The place literally exploded for the last song Stillborn, with pyros, jets of smoke and bits of paper all over the place. It was a fitting end to a great show!!
Setlist same as previous shows. Here are my meet-n-greet pictures. Show pictures are on www.myspace.com/bruce_dickinson_is_god
in the Black Label Society album.