Boozed, Broozed & Broken-Boned (Spitfire)
by Brian Varney
Though I don’t generally go for live performance videos, I’m a pretty big fan of Black Label Society and I’ve never seen them live, so I was curious to check out the live show that is at the center of this DVD. Yeah, there are your usual “bonus” features – an interview with Zakk, who looks and sounds very uncomfortable without a guitar and a loud amp, a guitar lesson, and various video clips of assorted stuff – but it’s really the concert that’s gonna sell this.
Like a seemingly disproportionate number of live recordings, this one was recorded in Detroit. It’s kinda heartening to see a packed club full of heavy metal maniacs in the same city that has launched so many lame-ass garage rock bands in the past few years, but the shots of the audience make me glad I’m watching this at home, mostly because of the astonishing amount of beer being spit into the air. Zakk’s stage patter is, at times, only slightly less duh! than Phil Anselmo’s, but it seems to go over pretty well with the audience, especially the part where he offers a thoughtful explication of his ideological disagreements with Fred Durst “and all that other wigger shit.” I guess a rock concert is the wrong place to seek out political correctness, and I’m certainly not disagreeing with his opinion of Limp Bizkit, so maybe I’d do best to move along.
Pithy comments about Zakk’s tactlessness aside, it’s tough to argue with the fact that this is a pretty hot performance and that the band is together in a way that only comes from playing together a lot, the sort of well-oiled rock machine that can only be spawned by the road. And I’ve gotta complement Mr. Wylde for having the balls to play a solo version of the gentle and beautiful “Spoke in the Wheel” right in the middle of the show, a move that, in the hands of lesser rockers, could backfire grievously. I don’t know if it’s his starpower or simply the undeniable nature of the song, but the audience that was headbanging and jumping moments earlier stands quietly riveted for the duration of the song, or at least as riveted as is possible in a crowded, smelly rock club where fountains of beer are being launched into the air every few seconds.
(22 W. 38th Street, 7th Fl. New York, NY 10018)