Story and Photos by:
Casey Hanson Baruth
What started out a sunny, spring day in Casper, Wyoming during set up and sound check, turned into dark skies, cold rains, and wind at show time for the Black Label Society, Nita Strauss, and Jared James Nichols, which was set to take place at a local downtown venue, The Gaslight Social.
No one paid any mind to the weather as soon as Nichols struck the first chord on his signature Les Paul; Old Glory. Nichols’ guitar skills were packed with hard blues riffs, along with strong and soulful vocals. This three piece band might be only be that, but they rocked the audience with songs from the album, Old Glory, the new EP Shadow Dancer , as well as the new single,” Skin n’ Bone”.
The performance definitely set the mood for Nita Strauss to take the stage. The Alice Cooper and The Iron Maiden’s guitarist has had great success in her solo career, thus far. She held nothing back for the Casper crowd with her shredding solos from songs such as “Pandemonium 2.0”, “Alegria”, “Mariana Trench”; along with performing her #1 hit “Dead Inside”,(featuring David Draiman of Disturbed). Nita and her band received a great response from the fans as she warmed up the cold spring evening.
The rain let up for a bit, and the concert goers began to pile back outside, after getting warmed up inside the bar area, to get the best spot for Zakk Wylde and the BLS band members, JD ( John DeServio) bass, Jeff Fabb on drums, and Dario Larina on rhythm guitar. The local Berzerkers were ready and fueled for what would be an explosive start. As soon as the scrim dropped and the pyrotechnics fired, Black Label Society blew the audience away with their hit “Stillborn”. They also performed “Suicide Messiah” and “Overlord”, and by then the rain was back at it. The band also performed the song, “In This River”, dedicated to the late Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul of the band Pantera. Their faces were donned on banners on either side of the stage; setting the mood for how great both losses still are to the band, as well as the fans.
The show was loud and powerful, full of head banging, fist bumping, and horns flying. Even though the Gaslight Social is a smaller, more intimate venue, Casper showed up and let these three bands know, they want them back again, hopefully next time with a little more sunshine and some warmer temps.