TVD Live Shots: Black Label Society with Nita Strauss and Jared James Nichols at the House of Blues, 4/30

Zakk Wylde and Black Label Society proved last night (4/30) why they are one of the most incredible rock and roll bands around. Their performance was a non-stop barrage of energy, audience interaction, and guitar solos that had the House of Blues rocking all night long. 

Saturday evening’s Black Label Society show was near flawless. With incredible opening sets from guitar virtuosos Nita Strauss and Jared James Nichols, the show elevated to a whole new level in front of a near capacity crowd at the legendary venue in San Diego. The evening was 100% pure unadulterated madness from beginning to end with no let down whatsoever. Let’s dig in, shall we?

First up was blues guitarist extraordinaire, Jared James Nichols. Equipped with his signature Les Paul, he slayed his 30-minute opening set in fine fashion. This cat’s energy was off the charts as demonstrated by hits such as “Bad Roots,” “Saint or Fool,” and “Shadow Dancer.” My favorite of the evening was Jared’s final song of the night, Mountain’s “Mississippi Queen.” And if that isn’t blues infused rock and roll at its finest, I don’t know what is.

Next to take the stage was Nita Strauss. Some may remember Nita from her early years in The Iron Maidens (an an-all female tribute to Iron Maiden) while others may have recently caught her on tour with Alice Cooper. Regardless of where you first experienced her guitar playing, one would probably agree that Strauss is one of the most electrifying guitarists on the planet today. I watched in awe as she put on a clinic for the thousands in attendance with songs such as “Summer Storm,” “The Show Must Go On” (a Queen cover), and “Our Most Desperate Hour.” Saturday’s performance was genius.

Finally, it was time for the evening’s main attraction, Black Label Society. Just after 9PM, Zakk Wylde took the stage in trademark kilt alongside John DeServio (bass), Dario Lorina (rhythm guitar), and Jeff Fabb (drums), and rocked the house to its core for nearly two full hours. The set was bookended with “Bleed for Me” and “Stillborn,” but Zakk’s soul was showcased in my favorite song of the night, “In This River.” The 11-song set was simply beautiful and one I will never forget.

Black Label Society’s performance on Saturday night was absolutely insane. Zakk & Company blew the roof off the House of Blues with an amazing show that had the crowd going Wylde all night long. If you get a chance to see them on their current tour, make sure to strap in for a night of unadulterated madness—it’s definitely a show not to be missed. And if you’re looking for more information on great concerts to catch this summer, be sure to follow TVD for live music reviews and photos from shows all around the world.



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