Texas-based metal group Hellyeah spent Valentine's Day here in Denver and they didn’t come alone. Archer, Like a Storm and Devour the Day were also in tow this past Saturday to help support the metal super group consisting of Mudvayne lead vocalist Chad Gray, Nothingface guitarist Tom Maxwell, bassist Kyle Sanders and former Pantera and Damageplan drummer Vinnie Paul. While known for their hard rock party vibe, the band has chosen to take their music into a more serious tone with their last two offerings, albums Band of Brothers and Blood for Blood. This new direction for the band has made for some killer new music which we were excited to hear firsthand this past weekend at the Summit.
The night started with new band Archer from Santa Cruz, California. Supporting their upcoming debut album, Culling the Week, frontman Dylan Rose has a very Zakk Wylde-esque stage presence and was very energetic and interactive with the crowd. Bassist David De Silva has a very thunderous sound and harmonized really well with Dylan. Drummer Keyhan Moini thrashed on the drums and held it all together as the quickly filling venue got into the groove.
Next up came New Zealand based group Like a Storm. Lead singer Chris Brooks came out with a didgeridoo which captivated the audience as they took over the room. I had not heard of this band yet, but the crowd respond to them as if they were headlining the evening. They also performed a cover of Coolio’s “Gangsters Paradise” and AC/DC’s “TNT” complete with singer Brooks jumping into the crowd to sing and mosh with us. At this point in the evening, it was clear that everyone was in full-on "rock" mode.
New band Devour The Day hit the stage next and opened with their set with the song “Respect” from their debut album Time and Pressure. Their sound is punchy and heavy, and their stage presence is very in your face. A really good combination for a great live show and the crowd responded accordingly the pits got more aggressive.
By now the crowd was primed and ready for Vinnie Paul and crew as Hellyeah opened the show with tracks “ Hellyeah” and “Matter of Time”. The audience was in lead singer Chad Gray’s clutches as he loomed over the audience and bumped fists with the audience. The next song “Sangre Por Sangre (Blood for Blood)“ had new bassist Kyle Sanders spit what appeared to be blood directly into Chad Grays face. As he was singing and screaming directly above me, his face was dripping onto me and my camera. For a split second I was concerned about getting my equipment damaged but that was immediately overridden by sheer excitement; this kind of stuff is exactly why I love metal shows!
Bassist Kyle Sanders was completely in his element as his massive dreads thrashed about the stage as if they had a life of their own. New guitarist Christian Brady appeared and performed like he had been in the group since it’s inception. Guitarist Tom Maxwell riffed through the crowd and was clearly into his own zone as spit dripped from his mouth while he performed. Former drummer from the legendary band Pantera, Vinnie Paul, was on point as his drum sound is extremely distinguishable and reminiscent of the Cowboys from Hell Days.
Vinnie Paul and the boys did not disappoint, and made it clear that they were very thankful for fans still choosing to show up despite the holiday, and still supporting live music. Right up to the last encore “Cowboy Way”, Hellyeah’s live show is not one to be missed as it’s intensity was something you could feel. HELLYEAH!
- contributor Dave Burke from Mammoth Metal