The “Black Metal Warfare Tour” pulled into its final stop at the historic Fonda Theater on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, CA, on the night of January 31, 2015. The tour, which featured co-headliners Watain and Mayhem along with Canadian opening band Revenge, was one of the most anticipated black metal jaunts in recent memory and that was evidenced by the mood in the air amongst the capacity crowd. Fortunate enough to find myself on Watain’s guest list, I was able to scope the festivities from my bird’s eye view in the balcony.
It was an amazing night as there was very strange vibe in the air. Black metal shows, in my experience tend to be a bit more somber, almost morose affairs in general. There was, however a certain (dare I say) excitement in the air for this particular outing. I’m not sure what it was; the beautiful historic venue, a nearly full moon or the sheer excitement of seeing this lineup with a sold out crowd of like minded black metal enthusiasts. But there was definitely an electric feel buzzing around me.
Buckcherry is special for a lot of reasons, but the main reason of note is that they’re one of the very few modern bands that have really captured that great sleazy 80’s-era L.A. sound made so popular by bands like Guns n’ Roses and LA Guns. They aren’t putting on an homage to the era and style of music; they’re simply one of those bands.
The band has gone through lineup changes after breaking up completely back in 2002, but Josh Todd on vocals and the neverending riffs of Keith Nelson have kept the band on track regardless of what other changes happened internally or externally as far as what’s popular musically. The band’s first three albums, Buckcherry, Timebomb, and 15, are near hard rock classics with two cuts from 15 (“Crazy Bitch,” “Sorry”) making that album the band’s most popular to date. Their fourth album, Black Butterfly wasn’t as strong as the previous releases and it made me wonder if they had run their course musically. The most popular song on that album, titled “Too Drunk,” was actually replaced with a Deep Purple cover when the album was re-issued. Then we got All Night Long, which was a return to form as far as album oriented music from the band goes. Most of the songs on the album, not just the singles, were great just like those first two albums.