Zakk Wylde Opens Up on How He Feels About Pantera’s Reunion, Explains How Fans Reacted to It Live

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Zakk Wylde, known for his role as the lead guitarist in Ozzy Osbourne’s band and the frontman for Black Label Society, reflected on his experience touring with the revived Pantera lineup.

This lineup included him on guitar and Charlie Benante from Anthrax on drums, alongside Pantera’s classic members, Phil Anselmo and Rex Brown. Wylde described this opportunity as “a beautiful thing,” particularly appreciating the chance to connect with both new and old Pantera fans.

He found it mind-blowing to see the mix of people who had seen Pantera in the ’90s and those experiencing the band for the first time. The first show with this new lineup occurred at the “Hell & Heaven” festival in Mexico on December 2, 2022, marking the first Pantera performance in about 21 years. By May of the following year, they had their first U.S. show with this lineup.

Wylde sees these performances as a way to honor the legacy of the original Pantera members, particularly the late Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul.

He draws a parallel between these shows and other tribute performances he’s been involved in, like the Experience Hendrix events and playing Randy Rhoads’ material with Ozzy Osbourne, emphasizing the importance of honoring the greatness of these musicians.

Fan reactions to the announcement of the tour were mixed. Some were excited about the new lineup, eagerly looking forward to the shows.

However, others felt that, despite the presence of original members Anselmo and Brown, this wasn’t a true Pantera reunion due to the absence of the Abbott brothers. This division in my opinion highlights the complex nature of band reunions and the varied expectations of fans.

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