Black fucking Wizard.

When it comes to heavy music in this city, no band has bigger buzz right now than Black Wizard. And all you have to do is attend one of their live shows to realize all the attention is fully garnered. They've got the sickest groovy riffs, the steadiest of drums, and a definite wild side. When I heard via Facebook that one of their guitarists Johnny was quitting the band it was apparent that I would need to be attending his last show. Who knows when they'd have their feet back on the ground, so this show was going to have to get me my Black Wizard fix for the next while.

The show was at the Interurban Gallery, and the place was packed. Black Wizard had pulled their van into the venue. It was like something out of the 80s. I should have been proudly displaying my long hair, but kept it hidden under a hat and hood trying my best to be interurban. There were a few girls prancing about and a lot of people were flying their hipster flags high. I couldn't care less, as I came for the music, and it seemed like the better portion of the audience did too. After the music kicked in, an important string was broken, a guitar was switched out, the other guitarist (who was decked out in a dress and wig) jumped up onto the top of the van where his microphone waited and they blasted out their tune 'Long Way Home.' It was epic. Some dude jumped on stage to pose in a picture with the band while they played and the bassist shoved him off the stage and then laughed in his face. It was a bit of a mad house.

There was a wicked moment in the set when the bassist hopped up onto the van where guitarist Johnny was already laying. He sat on the edge and the other remaining guitarist jammed out some crazy noises with his pedal and the walls fell away. I wasn't on any drugs, but at that point, with those two guys hanging out on top of the van with their instruments, the backdrop in my mind became a forest. It was almost like we were out in the boonies, camping, and after the entertainment I was going to go for a midnight dip. Once the song kicked in and both band members jumped to their feet I was ripped back to reality and realized I better get me a drink, so I visited the bar.

After waiting what felt like too long I was informed that they were out of beer. Who the fuck runs out of beer? Where am I, the sweatshop? If you're gonna bring Black Wizard and their van to come and play your venue you better make damn sure you stock the bar in a big way. So I was forced to drink a rye and ginger. It was probably my first drink of hard alcohol in at least two years. But I think it was worth it, and Black Wizard definitely made it worth it! Every song I wanted to hear was played, and every song played was killer. Hits upon hits. We were even treated to a new one at the end that said, "Black Wizard has still got the most giant riffs you've ever heard!"

After the show was done I had to stand around sipping my drink. I know how to finish a beer and walk out, but I've lost the ability to chug anything hard that is bigger than a shot glass' worth. But it was a tasty drink, and the only people left in the bar were hipsters looking at me sideways, so I re-learned pretty quickly how to put a drink down my gullet, chuck the cup, and walk out.

Outside I found Eug the drummer of Black Wizard and instantly asked him what the deal was with his quitting guitarist.

"It's been a long time coming," he tells me, and I am instantly reminded that he sort of does look like the odd man out up there. Not that this is ever a bad thing in a band, but it all kind of made sense. He is the only one in the band with short hair, maybe this is why he wears the wigs. Eug informed me that they'd be continuing on without him, and that they're still all the best of friends. Then Johnny walked up and I decided to get the goods from his mouth as well.

"Why?" That was pretty much my first and possibly last question.

"It's complicated." He was standing there sweating in his wig and tights, and really didn't want to have to adhere to any questions about why. I might have asked him about any other projects on the rise. He might have told me, but I might not have heard because there were two angry native ladies yelling at the crowd to part ways, one had a cane that she didn't seem to be using, but excessive room was needed for them to pass. And from the other angle a crazy man with a shopping cart was trying to maneuver his way through the street corner full of people. He was less vocal and more action, but all this caused me to not hear anything that was being said about Black Wizard and the such. Eventually I was left standing on the corner by myself and quickly came to the conclusion that it was time to go as a great night had already been had.

Sadly I forgot my camera at home, that was a blunder. I don't think there'll be any lack of pictures from the show though, as I saw more than a few cameras in the house, but for now I'll just have to leave you with some pics of Black Wizard when we played in Edmonton with them. No vans in the venue, and no dresses or wigs, but they still threw down so hard I was like, "OH WHAT?!?"



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