As all my dedicated Fartheads will know, there have been some choice words exchanged between the Great Southern Brainfart and White Wizzard. I was not shy about sharing my thoughts and feelings about how things were being run behind in the White Wizzard camp. As a fan of any band, you are given the freedom and the opportunity to voice your opinions and criticisms no matter how harsh they may be. In my years as a metal fan, I did this with Iron Maiden, I did this with KISS and I did this with White Wizzard. Why did the White Wizzard thing happen to be taken to such extremes and even included members and past members strapping on the gauntlets for a war of words? Well, the only thing I can think of is that it’s because they are the first band of this level that I feel like was in a direct line of fire from my criticisms and opinions. Through all of the White Wizzard vs. The Great Southern Brainfart drama, I never said I wasn’t a fan. I was a fan and in all honesty I still am. Imagine my surprise when I saw that they were going to be performing here in Atlanta. Do I avoid it like the plague or do I man up and go choosing to let the music do the talking?
When White Wizzard took the stage, the Masquerade erupted with a huge roar from the sparse but extremely pumped and ecstatic audience. Lead singer Mikey Gremio took the mic announcing, “Atlanta. We are White Wizzard from California and this is OVER THE TOP!” The crowd went nuts as the band slammed into “Over The Top” and the minute Gremio opened his mouth to sing the first verse I was completely floored. Blown away. Face melted. Gone. What was I seeing? What was I hearing? Before I could even get a grip on just how awesome these guys were sounding they slammed into “40 Deuces” which took it to a whole new level showcasing their latest secret weapon in guitarist Jake Dreyer. Dreyer was absolutely killing it with some of the most energetic and inspired guitar playing I have ever seen. Dryer and guitarist CJ Cussell played off of each other with near telepathic precision as if they had been playing together for years.
White Wizzard also impressed me by delivering “Fight to the Death” and “Flying Tigers” from the upcoming “Flying Tigers” album and both of these songs were well accepted and seemed to really pump the audience up. Lead vocalist Gremio clowned around most of the night with Dreyer and put all of his energy into making sure the crowd was participating and having a good time. The set was closed out with a flawless “High Speed GTO” to a roar from the crowd who definitely was suffering from melted faces. After their powerful and high energy set I really had to kind of shake my head in disbelief and this is a good thing. This was a reminder for me to not judge something until I have witnessed it myself first hand. All bullshit and drama aside, White Wizzard put on a stellar performance and I can only hope that this line up will flourish and grow to be an even more solid entity than it is now. As good as this line up is at this point, if they can keep it together they could truly be a force to be reckoned with.
White Wizzard Setlist
Over the Top
Fight To The Death
High Speed GTO
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