If you’ve ever attended one of the various DWP music festivals, odds are that you have run into the Zippo Encore tent. As one of the main partners of the festival, Zippo’s presence is always felt. In one of the cooler things that an event sponsor does, Zippo offers a private invite only acoustic set with a surprise musician or band.
Thanks to Zippo, Metal Nexus got the opportunity to attend one of the Saturday Zippo Sessions. We arrived at the Zippo Encore tent and were met with a large and excited crowd who were anxious to find out who they would get the private acoustic set with.
A member of the Zippo team led the crowd to an intimate private area near the festival entrance. The stage area was surrounded by walls so the experience would truly be secluded. As we arrived to the stage area and took our seats, we noticed the members of Lamb of God mingling around and the folks who had the bands shirts on got immediately excited.
Jose Mangin, DJ for Sirius XM’s Liquid Metal and Octane stations, was on stage to introduce us to the artists we were about to see. He stated that this indeed would be a very special set and one that we will remember for a long time. Special doesn’t even begin to describe it as he introduced us to Mark Morton and friends.
Mark Morton, who is the lead guitarist from Lamb of God, released a solo album earlier in the year titled ‘Anesthetic.’ Many of the top singers in the business were guests on the album. To my knowledge none of these songs had ever been performed live before with the artist that sang on the album.
Mark Morton comes out and introduces the crowd to Mark Morales and Nick Villarreal who are members of the band Sons of Texas. After a quick introduction and Morton explaining that he was much more nervous for this set than he was playing the main stage later on in the day, the trio played “Reveal.”
After the song, Morton thanked Morales and then introduced us to the next guest singer, Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan. They immediately went into the song that Lanegan sang on the album titled “Axis.”
Our last guest singer was a big one. Papa Roach’s Jacoby Shaddix came out to a thunderous applause. Shaddix explained what a thrill it was to appear on Morton’s solo record and that Lamb of God was his favorite American metal band. “I’m super fanning right now.” The trio played “Sworn Apart” in which Shaddix performs on the album.
To say that it was an absolute thrill to attend this rare and unique event would be an understatement. The three songs were performed perfectly and the intimate setting made it even better. Not only did the crowd enjoy themselves but Randy Blythe, lead singer of Lamb of God, was like a kid on Christmas morning. He had a grin from ear to ear and took numerous pictures with his personal camera.
How do you get to experience such an awesome event like this? The next time you are at a music festival, look for the Zippo Encore tent. You never know who you might get to see play up close and personal.