Saturday, March 01, 2008
Hellyeah at the Grove of Anaheim
My heavy metal loving brother doesn't go to many concerts anymore but manages to sneak out once in awhile. He managed to catch Hellyeah during an east coast tour stop and mentioned that it is an absolute must see show. Hellyeah brought along with them some great support from Bury Your Dead, Nonpoint and Machinehead for an all out metal show.
I have been a fan of Nonpoint since their first album as it was spiked with influences of Quicksand and Helmet. I remember catching one of their shows at the now defunct Galaxy theater many years ago. I completely forgot how intense Nonpoint is live. Elias Soriano (Vocals) was a madman with his dreadlocks whipping around as they ripped into "March Of War" from their latest album "Vengeance". I also have to give points to Robb Rivera (Drums) with his stuffed "Animal" from the Muppets adorning his drum kit. Nonpoint made the most of their brief time on stage as they made quick work of "The Truth" from the album Recoil. "What A Day" really got the crowd going as Andrew Goldman (Guitars) was stomping on his plastic covered pedalboard. "In The Air Tonight" from the Miami Vice soundtrack was also well received with Andrew adding some extra flanging effects to the song. Nonpoint's set was all too brief as I wanted to hear "Circles" from their second album Development but will have to catch them again.
I can't believe it has been a year since I saw Machinehead at the Grove in Anaheim. Machinehead are one of the top thrash metal bands around with Rob Flynn (Guitars/Vocals) leading the way. I am still jealous that my brother saw Machinehead at the Showcase Theater in Corona with some band called System of A Down back in the early 1990's. Machinehead devastated from the beginning by opening with "Imperium" from their album "Through The Ashes of The Empires". "Now I Lay Thee Down" was another lesson in punishment as Rob's fingers were blazing on his Gibson Flying V. The crowd went completely unhinged when they played "Ten Ton Hammer" from the classic album "The More Things Change...". "Ten Ton Hammer" has to be one of the top 20 brutal riffs of all time as you feel every low note rattle your skull. Dave McClain (Drums) did a phenomenal job of obliterating his custom ddrum kit emblazoned with the Blackening album cover art. Rob was feeling good as he would toss beers out into the crowd. It was no surprise that their pedalboards were covered with plastic to protect from any beer spillage. Machinehead closed out their set with an insane rendition of "Davidian" that had me shake my head with disbelief as I witnessed the dual guitar solos from Rob and Phil Demmel (Guitars). Machinehead had successfully conquered the Anaheim audience.
The chants of Hellyeah soon filled the Grove as the lights dimmed. Hellyeah is a super group of epic scale in that it contains members of Mudvayne, Damageplan, and Nothingface. I have long been a fan of Mudvayne since their first album and I think Chad Grey (Vocals) has one of the top voices in metal. Greg Tribbett (Guitars) is an insane riff god that pulls off some mind melting riffs and time changes. Vinnie Paul (Drums) is a living drumming legend with his work in Pantera. Tom Maxwell (Guitars) did some shredding with the band Nothingface as Bob Zilla (Bass) has played with Vinnie Paul in Damageplan. The sum of all this talent is combined to form Hellyeah.
When the giant Hellyeah logo lit up, the crowd proceeded to go insane. The rock show had begun as they tore up the audience with "Matter Of Time" that showcased the insane riffage from Greg while Vinnie Paul punched you in the face with his double bass drum assault. "GodDamn" sounds exactly like a combination of Pantera and Mudvayne with its jarring guitars and Vinnie Paul's characteristic drum work. Chad would later thank the audience for coming and mentioned how their rock show provides therapy for all those in attendance as they can scream and make as much noise as they want. The crowd happily obliged as they played a devastating cover of "Stone Cold Crazy" that had a group of metalheads next to me enthusiastically state that it was "better than Metallica!". The chants from the crowd were mixed between "Vinnie Paul" and "Hellyeah".
"Raging War" was prefaced by a somber speech and praise by Chad to all the men and women serving in the armed forces as Hellyeah launched into their own assault. "Thank You" was a slow burner with Greg using his Weeping Demon Ibanez wah for added color. "Alcohauling Ass" was a demonic country tinged metal jam that shows that Chad can really sing in case you had any doubts. The crowd held up their lighters and cell phones to help enhance the mood of the song and to put on the official seal that you have just attended a metal show. "HELLYEAH" was a perfect ending to the concert as the band had managed to play its entire album. All of the bands from the evening would later gather on stage for a group shot to celebrate the end of their tour. When asked by my friends if I would see them I again, I can only answer....HELLYEAH!