Black Label Society Unleashes Sonic Brewtality On The St. Croix Casino At Turtle Lake


I have a bucket list of concerts that I want to shoot and lately it seems like it has been growing faster than I can keep up with.  Zakk Wylde has been on the list for a while, so I was overjoyed to learn Black Label Society was coming to Turtle Lake.  But it seems like things are never easy for me and my enthusiasm was dashed when I arrived at the venue and was told I couldn’t get access to the pit.  A few onsite people were brought in, a few phone calls were made and I was allowed access to the pit.  Unfortunately, I was not allowed to see or hear Alien Weaponry since I was outside waiting to be given access. My apologies to Alien Weaponry and I hope to see them in the near future.

I was allowed in the auditorium in time to see The Black Dahlia Murder, who is a melodic death metal band from Waterford, Michigan that was formed in 2001.  The band has released eight studio albums, the last seven have charted on the U.S. Billboard 200, with their fifth album Ritual peaking at No. 31 in 2011, marking them as one of the most popular contemporary American extreme metal bands. Their eighth and latest album Nightbringers was released on October 6, 2017, to critical and commercial acclaim, charting at 35 on the Billboard 200.   The band’s performance was tight and the auditorium was packed, with a very active, but small mosh pit and several Black Dahlia Murder t shirts could be seen.  They were a great lead in to Black Label Society and are a must see if you are a metal fan.

A large curtain was raised during the take down/setup and after a semi lengthy delay, the lights went down and the Wax Audio mashup of “Whole Lotta Sabbath” played over the sound system.  The crowd cheered in anticipation of Black Label Society.  After the song ended, the curtain fell, exposing Black Label Society to the audience.  Zakk Wylde was wearing a kilt with large boots and a Black Label Society Black t shirt.  His shins were scraped with scratches and scabs and covered  with what appeared to be dried blood.  He was tall and muscular and a large, imposing figure on stage, with a large, full beard and long hair – I didn’t actually see his face much.  During the performance, he beat on his chest and jumped around and posed for the camera.  He and the rest of Black Label Society were very active onstage and the performance was everything I expected and more – it was loud, brutal and nonstop.  The guitar solos were unbelievable and the sound was as good as I’ve heard in a concert.  The front of the concert was a wall of amps and speakers, which had to be set to 11 or maybe even higher.

I left being so impressed and happy to have finally taking photos of Wylde.  Now I am on a mission to catch his Zakk Sabbath band in concert.  But I can wait, I need time to buy a kilt and some Black Label Society t shirts.