Watch Zakk Wylde play a Jimi Hendrix tribute show just two days after his first concert with Pantera

Zakk Wylde
(Image credit: George D Bates/YouTube)

Zakk Wylde performed at a special Jimi Hendrix 80th-birthday concert at Austin City Limits Live’s Moody Theater in Texas on Sunday (December 4), just two days after he appeared at Pantera’s first show in 21 years last week.

The event – which fell one week after what would have been the guitar icon’s 80th birthday – saw a host of guest artists perform, including Band of Gypsys and Jimi Hendrix Experience bassist Billy Cox, as well as Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Dweezil Zappa, Eric Johnson, Doyle Bramhall II, and Chris Layton.

For Wylde’s guest appearance, he joined the backing band to perform Manic Depression and Purple Haze – from The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s 1967 album Are You Experienced, and Little Wing, from 1967’s Axis: Bold As Love. He also oversaw the audience singing Happy Birthday to the late guitar legend.

Armed to the teeth with a Warhammer electric guitar – from his company Wylde Audio – Wylde channeled Hendrix’s spirit with casual aplomb, tackling his trademark solos with ease, and even taking an opportunity during Purple Haze to head into the crowd for some up-close-and-personal – and at times, behind his head – shredding.

Wylde is no stranger to Hendrix tributes, having embarked on the Experience Hendrix tour several times in the past, most recently in 2019.

In a 2021 interview with Revolver, Zakk Wylde touched upon Jimi Hendrix’s technique, arguing that he probably didn’t know the extent of the theory behind all of his awe-inspiring playing.

“Jimi Hendrix, when he’s playing diminished stuff, I guarantee you, you’re like, ‘Jimi, that’s like a diminished thing,’” Wylde said, via Rock Celebrities. “He would probably go like, ‘Zakk, I have no idea that’s like that, I just like that sound.’ He just likes the sound, it’s just like, ‘I didn’t realize that’s the name of that. I really like the flavor of that.’ It’s [all about] your imagination, [and] where it can take you.”

Back in 2017, Zakk Wylde flexed his best Hendrix-style chops alongside Steve Vai, when he paid tribute to the guitar icon by unleashing fretboard fury on Voodoo Child in front of attendees from that year’s Vai Academy.

Wylde appeared alongside Phil Anselmo, Rex Brown and Charlie Benante for the first of a planned string of Pantera tour dates last Friday (December 2) at Mexico’s Hell & Heaven Metal Fest. The group played a selection of classic cuts from the Pantera catalog, including A New Level, Mouth For War, Strength Beyond Strength, Walk and Cowboys From Hell.

The set also featured a video tribute to fallen Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell and drummer Vinnie Paul, who passed away in 2004 and 2018, respectively.

Wylde’s schedule is littered with Pantera commitments for the foreseeable future, as the band are set to hit a run of dates across South America for the rest of December, before hitting the road again from May 2023, first in Europe, then in the US.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at GuitarWorld.com from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.