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Black Label Society plays at Midway

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Black Label Society plays at Midway

Zakk Wylde and company bring a metal flair to christen the bar’s event space

Black Label Society played on Sunday, March 8 at Midway. Theirs is the first concert to take place since the bar opened and they put on a wicked show, setting the bar high for future acts.

Midway is a relatively new bar as it just opened in September, taking the place of The Ranch Roadhouse. Black Label Society (BLS) and their metal sound confirmed that the days of The Ranch pretending it was a country bar are long gone. 

The atmosphere of the place was incredible, with more people wearing BLS shirts than one could count. If people had places to be on Monday morning, they did not seem to care as their hands were in the air and heads were banging. The band put all their energy out on the stage, and the crowd reciprocated the band’s passion. 

The two opening acts (Obituary and Lord Dying) also put on quite the show, but Mackenzie Hanna, a bartender at Midway, noticed the crowd was saving their true enthusiasm for BLS.

Hanna says, “the energy was a bit more relaxed. People were still pretty fired up about them, but mostly everyone was standing around videotaping on their phones.”

Audience members’ involvement seemed to change when BLS took the stage, Hanna says. “There were minimal cell phones out and people were very engaged with the songs.”

Hanna also appreciated the audience at the concert. “The community was a lot more respectable due to it being an older crowd. Tips were amazing compared to club nights, and everyone was so kind to the bartenders.” 

Ticket buyers were not the only ones who enjoyed the night. Staff members seemed to revel in the experience as well, as Hanna states, “I definitely enjoyed it a lot more than our regular club nights due to the higher respect and relaxed mood the crowd was in … that night was very refreshing.” 

The members within the band have changed around quite a bit since their start in 1988, but the group of four still sounds great together. Zakk Wylde, the lead on guitar and vocals and starter of the band, proved to be very entertaining to watch. Wylde swung his guitar — and hair — around and sang as if he had just started the group yesterday. Wylde also worked as the lead guitarist with Ozzy Osbourne for many years and is set to be a part of Osbourne’s 2020 farewell tour.

John DeServio played in the band in 1999 but took a six-year break until 2005. He has been playing bass since then. Jeff Fabb (drums) played for a year in 2012 but came back in 2014. Dario Lorina (rhythm guitar) is the newest member of the band, as he first joined in 2014. 

Black Label Society has been through 11 band members, Wylde being the only constant throughout.

Even though the band’s members have changed, their appeal certainly has not. They gave a great and energetic show that audience members will look back on for years to come.