By Randy Falk
Over the past two years, Zakk Sabbath – a holy trinity of metal masters – has paid tribute to the founding fathers of metal, Black Sabbath. This is no ordinary tribute band, not by a long shot. Zakk Sabbath is fronted by Zakk Wylde (who handles lead vocals and guitar), Blasko on bass and Joey C on drums.
This week, the band announced their first headlining tour dates. I recently saw the show at a small club in San Diego called Brick by Brick, an intimate venue that is basically a dive bar with a capacity of a few hundred people. It was an amazing way to see legends of hard rock and heavy metal who normally play in much larger venues around the globe.
Wylde is an incredible frontman, with a commanding larger-than-life presence (both on stage and off). You can feel his love for Sabbath and Tony Iommi with every note and power chord that he plays. It doesn’t hurt that he was Ozzy Osbourne’s lead guitarist for over 20 years, or that he has fronted Black Label Society for the past 19 years.
Blasko is no stranger to playing with Wylde, since he has served as Ozzy’s bassist since 2006. He does Geezer Butler proud with a thick, pounding bass that drives home the Sabbath sound, especially when paired with the crushing drum assault of Joey C (known for his work with Queens of the Stone Age and Danzig).
As you watch the band perform, you can clearly see that this trio is having fun paying tribute to the heroes that have had a tremendous influence on them. The sold-out audience was treated to a crushing rendition of classic Black Sabbath material throughout the show.
An ominous backdrop featuring a reaper-like figure clad in a crimson cloak hung behind the stage (appropriate imagery keeping in tradition with the occult overtones of Black Sabbath). Wylde’s guitar of choice for the evening was a gorgeous, purple and black vertigo known as “the Barbarian.” The color scheme of the guitar is a nod to Black Sabbath’s classic Master of Reality album cover.
As the blistering set opened with “Children Of The Grave,” the crowd went crazy, and a mosh pit erupted almost immediately. It would remain for most of the night. The audience roared in approval as Zakk Sabbath launched into “Snowblind” and “Supernaut.”
Throughout the incredibly energetic set, the band gave their all, delivering a stadium-worthy performance. In between songs, Wylde playfully held his hand to his ear to get the audience roaring even louder, at times beating on his chest like King Kong or the Viking Berserker that he personifies.
Blasko dominated his side of the stage, headbanging and hamming up for the constant barrage of cameras from both the audience and the professional photographers and videographers who were documenting the show. Joey C was a whirlwind behind the kit, delivering the goods and smiling as he pounded the skins.
A definite highlight of their set was when Wylde left the stage, walking through the crowd and performing a guitar solo as he was surrounded by hundreds of fans in the center of the room.
So far, there have only been a handful of Zakk Sabbath tour dates throughout California, and a short run supporting Clutch, but they just announced a headlining tour for 2017.
CLICK HERE for tour dates and ticket information.
- Children of the Grave
- Lord of this World
- War Pigs
- Into the Void
- Wicked World
- Fairies Wear Boots
- Behind the Wall of Sleep