Metal Greats Salute Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler at Bass Player Live! Concert
The Bass Player Live! Concert & Awards Show honored musicians who too often get overlooked, though there was hardly any introduction needed for the night’s top honoree — Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler. Hartke helped line up some of metal’s biggest names on Saturday night (Nov. 9) at Los Angeles’ Fonda Theatre to salute the man who helped paved the way for their own careers.
A who’s who of metal joined in the tribute. Anthrax‘s Charlie Benante handled drums throughout the entire set of Black Sabbath classics, thoroughly pummeling his set on certain occasions while showing the perfect amount of restraint in other more percussive moments. King’s X frontman dUg Pinnick opened the set, with Megadeth‘s Chris Broderick on guitar and the Winery Dogs‘ Billy Sheehan on bass for a soulful yet rocking version of ‘Supernaut.’ Megadeth’s David Ellefson replaced Sheehan for ‘A National Acrobat,’ and Pinnick would return later in the night to perform ‘Hole in the Sky’ with Rex Brown sitting in on bass. With each of his songs, it was clear that Pinnick was putting every ounce of emotion into his performance and fully enjoying the brotherhood of musicians saluting Butler.
Corey Taylor was next up fronting the band. After launching with a powerful performance of ‘Children of the Grave,’ the singer took advantage of the lineup to take on the rarely played ‘Hand of Doom’ to a big response from the crowd. It helped that Black Label Society‘s JD Deservio and Broderick both absolutely set the house ablaze with their playing on the track. Taylor stepped aside for a brief respite to give Sebastian Bach a chance to rock ‘Heaven and Hell’ with Rudy Sarzo on bass.
If that was impressive, the rest of the performance just took it to another level. The five-piece of Taylor, Broderick, Benante, Anthrax’s Frank Bello on bass and Zakk Wylde delivering some wicked harmonica playing rocked the crowd on ‘The Wizard.’ Between Taylor and bassist Jason Newsted, there was enough energy to power the entire city of Los Angeles during the performance of ‘War Pigs,’ though Wylde may have been the focal point for a lot of fans with his nimble guitar work.
At this point, the concert stopped long enough to salute Butler. The humble bassist told the crowd he felt that metal musicians were the best in the world and admitted he didn’t know if he was deserving of all the attention. But chants of “Geezer, Geezer” throughout the Fonda Theater let the bassist know all he needed to know. At that point, Butler joined in the final two tracks of the night with Benante and Wylde. Corey Taylor fronted ‘Fairies Wear Boots’ before stepping away and letting Wylde take the lead on the powerful finale ‘N.I.B.’
The Bass Player Live event also offered plenty for music lovers of all tastes. Rockabilly legend and the night’s first honoree Lee Rocker performed a set that included ‘Stray Cat Strut,’ ‘Rock This Town,’ and the song that launched Elvis Presley’s career, ‘That’s All Right.’ Young bassist honoree Tal Wilkenfeld followed with a set that also featured Tom Petty vets Benmont Tench and Steve Ferrone, while rocking through performances of covers ‘Jolene’ and ‘The Shape I’m In.’
The Rolling Stones bassist Darryl Jones organized a stellar lineup for a Willie Dixon tribute, opening with ‘Hoochie Coochie Man. Don Was joined in and broke out the standup bass on ‘Little Red Rooster’ and acclaimed bassist Jerry Jemmott took the spotlight during the blistering finale, ‘Wang Dang Doodle.’ See fan-filmedvideo footage, as well as our exclusive photo gallery from the Bass Player Live! concert below.
‘Fairies Wear Black’ and ‘N.I.B.’ — Geezer Butler, Corey Taylor, Zakk Wylde + More
‘The Wizard’ – Corey Taylor, Zakk Wylde + More
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Bass Player Live 2013 Photo Gallery
Frank Bello, Corey Taylor and Charlie Benante
Megadeth’s David Ellefson and Chris Broderick
King’s X’s Dug Pinnick
The Winery Dogs’ Billy Sheehan
Newsted’s Jason Newsted
Kill Devil Hill’s Rex Brown
Black Label Society’s Zakk Wylde
Bass Player Live host Jim Norton
Geezer Butler Tribute
Willie Dixon Tribute