Sunday, February 12, 2012

Black Label Society Concert

It probably goes without saying that Chad Szeliga has become good friends with MAG and has come through for some exciting events and opportunities. Just recently it was announced that Chad would be taking over as drummer for Zakk Wylde’s, formerly lead guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society. Chad informed MAG of this great news over several conversations. For some perspective, Zakk Wylde is widely considered one of the top rock guitarists in the world. It was an excellent opportunity for Chad and so well deserved, as he is one of the most talented drummers MAG has ever seen.

MAG had seen Black Label Society when he painted shoes for Nick Catanese when Chad was drumming for the band, Hourcast. And being the awesome guy that he is, Chad invited MAG to one of Black Label Society’s first concerts of 2011-2012 tour with Chad as drummer. Of course, this included the entire back stage treatment and just generally hanging out with Chad before and after the show. As a way of thank you, MAG painted a special pair of Harley Davidson boots for Chad, which turned out amazing.

The concert, held at the IZOD Center in New Jersey, would include Thin Lizzy, Black Label Society, and Judas Priest. Chad met MAG outside and gave him a full tour backstage. This included dressing rooms, stage, and being invited to a Black Label Society meet and greet with their fans. There were even some Punk Your Chucks fans who knew that MAG would be going and were even asking about the boots he had painted for Chad.

MAG was able to get an autographed Punk Your Chucks t-shirt, signed by all the members of Black Label Society, which would probably go for big bucks on ebay, but he told me he wouldn’t be selling it…I tried people.

To list all the people that MAG got to meet or hang out with during this experience, would probably take awhile, but I’ll give it a go. Being a long time fan of Thin Lizzy, MAG was especially excited to meet the band including new lead singer, Ricky Warwick, who had replaced the late Phil Lynott, who had passed away in January of 1986. Warwick was originally part of the Scottish band, the Almighty, and also did some background vocals for Def Leppard. MAG got to meet a few original members, Scott Gorham and Darren Wharton as well as new member Damon Johnson, formerly from Alice Cooper and Brother Cane, and Marco Mendoza formerly of White Snake. I was told they were all really good guys, friendly and easy going.

While there, he got to say a brief “hello” to Eddie Trunk, host of “The Metal Show” on VH1. As for the show, it was as expected—awesome! Thin Lizzy was amazing. Black Label Society was quote, “crazy awesome.” Chad was unbelievable on the drums, always making it look easy. MAG hung around for some of Judas Priest, one or two songs before spending the rest of the time hanging out with Chad backstage.

So, another amazing concert experience with full access and amazing meetings, all thanks to Chad Szeliga. More more more to come, not all of the news being for concerts, but no less amazing. So stay tuned. I will try to update as often as I can, but it is so much easier written here than done…