The Black Label Society Concert Experience with Guitarist Zakk Wylde

“Rock n’ f*cking roll,” the words of a man who’s clearly been satisfied by his most recent rock n’ roll euphoria.

All the fans gather outside the front door, some of them hours before the show, eagerly anticipating the music and show they are about to experience.

The type of crowd that attends a Black Label Society show is much different than those who will attend an Aaron Carter show.

Among the attendees are several musicians, and even more specifically, guitarists. That probably has something to do with front man and lead guitar player, Zakk Wylde, one of a few current guitar slashers who are capable of making jaws drop in awe.

The people stand outside and reminisce about old shows, bands and the best guitar riffs ever. Strangers begin to relate with each other and talk about why Zakk Wylde is as good as he is, or why Randy Rhoads was better. They talk about how they’re still shaking from the excitement of meeting their guitar hero several hours before the show is scheduled to start.

The doors finally open and the fans begin running. The general admission tickets make for a battle for the front spots potentially hazardous to ones health.

This makes no difference to the hard core fans willing to sacrifice comfort for the ability to stand a few feet away from the musicians.

The mosh pits begin as soon as the band comes on. There’s no mistaking the people trying to avoid the mosh pit in contrast to the people running into it.

Crowd surfers flop around and into security’s hands. The surfers clearly anger fans, especially those at the front who can’t avoid being kicked or hit in the head by their flailing limbs.

The battle for the bar at the front of the stage only heats up and remains brutal throughout the set. A big push forward, by those who want to be in the front, disrupts the breathing of those holding the prime standing space.

They grab onto the bar between shoulders, and squeeze up to the front of the stage. The weak and undetermined fail to remain in the front. They get elbowed, hit and squeezed out.

Breathing becomes more accessible as those former front of the stage fans drop back and nearly become devoured by the mosh pit.

Beer is spilled all over carelessly, becoming more of a shower substitute for those standing around the alcoholic, or several alcoholics present.

Meanwhile the band plays on. Wylde plays more rippin’ guitar solos on stage where his personal ‘bubble’ isn’t being violated.

The enjoyment of the show is sacrificed by the willing to battle for a closer spot, or the challenge of the fans that showed up late and still want prime position.

The show comes to a close with several elbows and bruises handed out. The fans walk out with satisfaction, and one man yells “Rock n’ f*cking roll.” That’s the experience we all live for.

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