Sock Hop ‘O Doom 2015
Black Label Society
w/ Hatebreed and Butcher Babies
December 31, 2014
Review & Photos by Monika Deviat
To end off 2014 Black Label Society took Hatebreed and the Butcher Babies on tour across Canada with a trek through the US to finish off January 2015. The New Year’s Eve gig, titled the “Sock Hop O’ Doom 2015” happened to be in Calgary, Alta., at Flames Central. Doors weren’t opening until 8:30pm and the VIP meet and greet ran a bit late so the show didn’t start until 9:30pm. This gave people lots of time to enjoy some beverages (although it seems many had already been drinking since earlier in the evening) and purchase some Black Label Society knitted Christmas style sweaters.
When the Butcher Babies took the stage, the venue was getting fairly full and many people come out onto the floor. Frontwomen Carla Harvey and Heidi Shepherd delivered an aggressive and entertaining performance. They prowled the stage, snarling at the audience, headbanging and even stepping out on the barrier to get in fans’ faces.
Put in between two acts that really put on a performance, Hatebreed’s set appeared a bit monotonous. The Hatebreed fans in the audience were having a great time though. The Connecticut hardcore band was appreciative to BLS taking them out on tour and seemed to having fun on the tour. Their song choices for the set were met with roars of approval and a rowdy pit on the floor.
Black Label Society kicked off their set around 11:30pm with “The Beginning…At Last”. Frontman Zakk Wylde had a riser set up next to his custom skull covered mic stand which he strode onto immediately as his bandmates took their places on the stage. At this point there were many inebriated fans throughout the venue making for a raucous crowd. People were singing along, fists in the air. BLS put on a good performance and their song choices were selected from their newest release Catacombs of the Black Vatican [E1 Music, 2014] and a suitable range from older albums. Wylde is of course an accomplished showman. He plays his solos with flash, poses in powerful stances and beats his chest furiously a few times. Bassist JD Deservio was making faces at the crowd as he strolled around the stage. Newest additions guitarist Dario Lorina and drummer Jeff Fabb fit in and played well, but were not as animated in their interaction with the audience. The light show was really well done for the BLS set, unlike for the first two bands who were mostly awash in a somewhat dim red light for most of their sets.
Wylde didn’t say much to the crowd until after midnight. At the end of “My Dying Time” at approximately midnight, a confetti and smoke explosion indicated 2015 had arrived and Wylde wished everyone a happy new year. BLS the launched into “Damn The Flood” and Wylde’s customary extended solo followed. “In This River” a staple in BLS shows, slowed things down but then the energy was brought back up with “Blessed Hellride”. Towards the end of the set the crowd was starting to thin out a bit and that was unsurprising based on how many people were passing out at tables or just falling over drunk. Closer “Stillborn” still had people crowd surfing and joining in on the choruses.