It was a night of ‘Doom’ at the House of Blues San Diego thanks to Black Label Society and their outrageously wicked openers Nita Strauss and Jared James Nichols. The San Diego Doom Crew showed up on the opening night of their Spring 2022 tour on April 30th. Complete with amazing hair-ography, guitar solos and mosh pits, the night went off freely and smoothly, leaving everyone with a sense of relief and a rush of serotonin.
The legendary venue was packed early on to catch the much-anticipated Jared James Nichols, known for his pick-less guitar and an incredibly charming stage presence. Playing as a part of a trio really brought the beautiful simplicity of the blues rock.
Following was an actual metal goddess Nita Strauss, also known as the touring guitarist for Alice Cooper himself.
Nita and her amazing band (including bestie Katt Scarlett on the keys) set the pace for an incredible night of shredding. Not only was it the most amazing performance, the showmanship was off the CHARTS! Nita Strauss flawlessly executes complex guitar riffs with guitar upside down, one-handed, flipped behind her back and any other way you could possibly think to swing a guitar. The energy was consistent from start to finish, never skipping a beat or missing a note. And, through all this insane performance, you can just tell the band is at their ultimate happy place (a feeling that was very common in the room). The entire set, lighting, performance was honestly perfection — every show-lovers dream. I couldn’t recommend seeing Nita and her band enough!
After a sing-along bonding sesh between the sets, the iconic Black Label Society stage curtain dropped and the band broke out in their song “Bleed for Me”, setting an insane tone for the evening. The “San Diego Chapter” of BLS (as dubbed by singer/lead guitarist Zakk Wylde), matched the band’s upbeat energy through an excellently curated array of songs like “Heart Of Darkness”, Trampled Down Below” and only slightly slowing it down for a tribute to Lemmy Kilmister and Dimebag Darrell with the song “In This River”. There were flawless twin solo moments and hand-offs to fellow guitarist Dario Lorina, while J.D. DeServio ripped through the bass guitar with a fantastic showmanship to complement. All three took their turns turning to the backbone of it all, drummer Jeff Fabb, exchanging moments of riffs and nods, pulling the band’s stage presence full-circle.
The band wasted no time with an encore, playing through their entire 15-song set like they were having the best times of their lives up there. If you ever get a chance to check these guys out, you’d consider it just your first time. I know after seeing them, I’ll be back for more every chance that comes!
Photography by Franny Kovacs