Thirty minutes after doors open, there is still a long line of fans waiting to get in. The freezing rain isn’t turning anyone away from getting in as soon as possible to get up front for the show. I’m told security is increased for the night, and they’re ready for a rowdy crowd.
Hard rockers Deepfall open the show for the already drunk crowd. They get a bigger reception to their cover of Journey’s “Separate Ways,” but the crowd isn’t familiar with their original songs. While also being hard rock, they certainly aren’t as wild as the other bands on the tour.
Next up is Nonpoint, a favorite of many, as they often play in the area. It’s no surprise when the crowd begins their moshing, and things really pick up for the night. Despite being around quite a bit, I haven’t seen Nonpoint live in a few years. They certainly haven’t slowed down since the last time, bringing forth an intense performance. They closed their set with fan favorites “Miracle,” as well as their cover of Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight.”
Extra security files into the pit at this point, ready for whatever is thrown at them. The barricades have been moved several feet closer to the stage for this show, and there is hardly any room for the photographers, crew, and security.
As soon as Hellyeah begins with their song “X,” singer Chad Gray jumps to the barricade and tips himself into the crowd. Security has to hold onto him, lest he be lost in a sea of fans. Gray gets close to their faces, screaming his vocals along with them. He stays at this for almost all of the first four songs. Crowd surfers are sent to the front, not to hop the rail, but to get close to Gray in order to sing along with him.
After the fourth song, Gray gave a short speech about the subject of the tour. The Celebration of Life Tour, in reference to the late Hellyeah drummer Vinnie Paul, a metal legend, and member of Pantera. Gray suggested that Paul was still there, living on through the music that was left behind. He also took time to note the names of many prolific artists that were lost in the past few years, suggesting celebrating the lives of all of those lost, including Lemmy, Chester Bennington, Chris Cornell, and even Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell.
Following the speech, the band slowed things down ever so slightly for “Moth,” but returned to the earlier heaviness, with Gray jumping into the crowd once again for “333” and the following songs. After “Welcome Home,” Gray spoke for a moment about Vinnie and the beginnings of Hellyeah. After that, they played a short video tribute to Vinnie Paul. This was followed by covers of Pantera’s “I’m Broken” and “Walk,” and the final two Hellyeah tracks of the night “Waging War” and “Hellyeah!”
Oh My God
Demons in the Dirt
Blood For Blood
*Vinnie Paul Tribute Video*
Hellyeah have some remaining tour dates with Nonpoint and Deepfall before they go on the Shiprocked Cruise in 2020! Check out the tour dates below:
Thu. 12/5- The Palace Theatre in Calgary, Canada
Fri. 12/6- Union Hall in Edmonton, Canada
Sun. 12/8- The Imperial in Vancouver, Canada
Tue. 12/10- El Corazon in Seattle, Washington
Wed. 12/11- Knitting Factory in Spokane, Washington
Thu. 12/12- Knitting Factory Concert House in Boise, Idaho
Sat. 12/14- Senator Theatre in Chico, California
Sun. 12/15- Ace of Spades in Sacramento, California
Tue. 12/17- House of Blues in San Diego, California
Wed. 12/18- Regent Theatre in Los Angeles, California
Thu. 12/19- The Van Buren in Phoenix, Arizona
Sat. 2/1- Shiprocked XI in New Orleans, Louisiana
For tickets and further information on any of the gigs listed above, click here.
Fans can find HELLYEAH at the following locations: