“Pedal to the Metal Tour - Mudvayne and Black Label Society.” – Concert Review.

(iWireless Center, August 7th, 2009)

By Bob Zerull

Ever since the Jesus freak secretary at my place of employment told me that Mudvayne and Black Label Society were playing at the iWireless Center in Moline, IL, I was pumped. With Mudvayne, and its brand of math rock, and Black Label Society, led by one of the greatest guitar players of all time, Zakk Wylde, it was sure to be an exciting night.



I arrived at the show a little late and missed opening acts Bury Your Dead and Suicide Silence. I got there just in time for Static X to take the stage. Static X, in a very ballsy move, opened up with the band’s one hit “Push It.” I loved this move. They were practically daring you to go grab a beer or use the restroom. It showed a ton of confidence on their part. To Static X’s credit not many people left the show. Front man Wayne Static and company kept the energy high and the music heavy playing their self proclaimed evil disco music. The best way I could describe Static X and their evil disco genre is a mixture of System of a Down and Rob Zombie.

After Static X left the stage a giant banner with the Black Label Society logo and colors went up in front of the stage. Once the BLS stage was setup and ready to go the lights went down and Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” came blasting through the arena. Then the Black Label sirens went off. The opening riffs to “Black Mass Reverends” started and the giant banner in front of the stage fell and the show began.

I am a huge Zakk Wylde fan it is hard for me to say I was disappointed, but I kind of was. The band’s set was way too short and the sound seemed off, of course Zakk’s extended mid set solo made it all worth it. That guy has chops I don’t think I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately Zakk kept referring to Moline, IL as Iowa, but it is right on the border, so I suppose I can let that pass.

Up next was Mudvayne. Mudvayne opened its set with “Not Falling,” off of the band’s second album, “All Things to Come.” Lead singer Chad Gray came out in what appeared to be a bear suit only he wasn’t wearing the head and instead was supporting a white Mohawk. As I sat in the 19th row of the lower bowl watching the crowd I feel that I’m being accurate when I say I thought I was witnessing the most violent mosh pit that I’ve ever seen. There were always at least two pits going, but most of the time there were three to four. I’ve always described Mudvayne as a heavier combination of Tool and Slipknot.



Mudvayne ripped through its set. The band sounded great, but much like Black Label Society, the set was too short. I would have liked to hear “Determine” or “Forget to Remember” off of the “Lost and Found” album. Overall, the experience was enjoyable, but this show reminded me of why I usually stay away from festivals such as Ozzfest, because the bands just don’t get to play long enough.

The Good: The energy was as high as it could have been and the bands were as heavy as they could have been. Both Mudvayne and Black Label Society are full of virtuoso talent, specifically Zakk Wylde.

The Bad: The sets were too short, the arena was next to empty and sound system wasn’t perfect, but all in all I enjoyed the show. The biggest complaint I have is that these amazing bands couldn’t play longer.



BYLINE:

Bob Zerull is a frequent movie and concert goer who talks about his ventures to arenas and theaters more than any person should be allowed to do. Now, he puts them down on paper. Visit: www.cadaverchristmas.com.

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