What to do on a rainy first day of August? You point your truck south and head to The Mill & Mine in Knoxville, TN. Why, you ask? Because someone told me that Black Label Society, Corrosion of Conformity and EYEHATEGOD were going to melt the roof of the building! So I needed to go see for myself!
First off my apologies to the EYEHATEGOD guys, I made a bone head mistake and got my times wrong. So I missed their set. I heard them finishing up as I was picking up my pass at Will Call. Again I apologize to them and Metal Nexus.
I was on site in plenty of time to catch the next band – Corrosion of Conformity. This was my second time photographing COC in the last 12 months; first time was a small club in West Virginia so I was looking forward to catching them on this bigger stage. They didn’t disappoint! Pepper, Woody, Mike and John Green on drums tonight started their set off with “Bottom Feeder” from their 1996 release Wiseblood then into “The Luddite” from this year’s release No Cross No Crown (album review can be found here ). They played a 9 song set that in addition to the tracks previously mentioned included my all-time favorite COC track “Vote With A Bullet” and closed out with “Albatross” and “Clean My Wounds”. Only thing that wasn’t good about this set was that it wasn’t long enough!
I was really looking forward to covering Black Label Society this would be my first time, it was supposed to happen last month but that opportunity didn’t work out. I had seen enough videos and images from other photographers so I kinda knew what was about to happen, but videos and pictures don’t do the live show justice! I’d seen enough images to know that Zakk is a wild man on stage and he is, but the other three guys John, Dario and Jeff are just as wild and they all deliver some kick ass music!
Starting the set off with “Genocide Junkies” from 2002’s release 1919 Eternal then into “Funeral Bell” from 2003’s The Blessed Hellride. There was no letting up from there, a 17 song set which covered BLS entire discography from “Spoke In the Wheel” off the first album to “All That Once Shined” from this year’s release Grimmest Hits. In a night full of highlights one for me and a lot of others in attendance was the performance of “In This River” which in the past has always be dedicated to the memory of Dimebag Darrell ( Pantera, Damageplan) and still is, but with the recent passing of Dimebag’s brother Vinnie Paul the song has taken on a different meaning. Tonight as they played the song a banner with the picture of each brother hung over the amps on both sides of the stage. There was a tear or two shed during that performance. Everyone took a minute to gather themselves, then it was back to rocking, closing out the night with “Concrete Jungle” and “Stillborn”.
With that a killer night of music game to an end. Get out and see this tour if you can, you’ll not be disappointed.
As always get out and support these touring bands as well as your local bands. All these bands started as local bands and without early support they wouldn’t be where they are now! Buy the merch, buy the music!