Cover bands are a dime a dozen. You can see one pretty much every day of the week somewhere in the Twin Cities. But a Black Sabbath tribute band? Now that is rare. How about making it an all-star band? Enter Zakk Sabbath, a band that features lead guitarist Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society), bassist John DeServio (Black Label Society), and drummer Joey Castillo (Queens Of The Stone Age, Danzig, Eagles Of Death Metal, a stint with Scott Weiland).
Zakk Wylde leads the way both on vocals and, of course, lead guitar. If you manage to be up close to him playing, you realize that he’s an absolute force to be reckoned with! His 6′ 2″ frame, massive beard, and extensive hair whipping about was a sight to be seen as he launched the show with “Supernaut” from Black Sabbath’s Vol 4 album, followed by “Snowblind” and “A National Acrobat.”
Zakk Sabbath definitely did Black Sabbath justice, staying true to their music yet making it their own with several well-constructed solos. Watching Zakk wail on his signature Les Paul Bullseye guitar leaves no doubt why he is considered one of the best shredders today.
The mostly sold-out Varsity Theater was treated to a 17-song onslaught that included several deep cuts, including “Behind The Wall Of Sleep,” a personal favorite.
They also played several mainstream songs like “Children Of The Grave,” “Fairies Wear Boots,” and “N.I.B.” They energized the crowd as Zakk played his guitar wildly, even occasionally lifting and playing the guitar over his head.
Zakk Sabbath didn’t do the usual disappear and come back for an encore routine. Instead, they launched into “War Pigs” with Air Raid sirens blazing! This wasn’t the usual version of “War Pigs” either. Zakk played a 10-12 minute version, leaving the stage during it, wandering through the crowd while still slamming on the guitar! He eventually ended up on the top balcony, where he wailed away on a crushing solo for several minutes before returning to the stage.
The solo was absolutely spectacular! That being said, it did seem a little long, and several people left when he disappeared onto the balcony. As the saying goes, out of sight, out of mind.
If you get the chance to see Zakk Sabbath live, go! Black Sabbath would be proud proud!
The opening act was funny man Don Jamieson, who is mostly known for being one of the hosts of the now-defunct VH1’s That Metal Show which ran for an impressive 14 seasons. The show consisted mainly of making fun of bands from the 1980s! As much as I love the groups from back then, it’s quite easy to pick on them, and Jamieson does it well.
Zakk Sabbath Setlist:
- A National Acrobat
- Under The Sun
- Tomorrow’s Dream
- Wicked World
- Fairies Wear Boots
- Into The Void
- Children Of The Grave
- Lord Of This World
- Hand Of Doom
- Behind The Wall Of Sleep
- War Pigs