May 20, 2007

Hell Yeah - Ram's Head Live

By Bob Suehs

www.rocknrollexperience.com

HELLYEAH / Bloodsimple

May 20, 2007

Ram’s Head Live

Baltimore, MD

"THE FIRST NIGHT OF THE TOUR!"



Incase anyone’s been living under a rock for the past few months, Hellyeah is the new band that is essentially a Heavy Metal supergroup that features members of Pantera, Damage Plan, Mudvayne & Nothingface, & I’m not gonna even name the members, because if you don’t know these guys, you don’t know this music too well!

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I consider myself very lucky, because Hellyeah played the first show of their tour & essentially their first “real” show in Baltimore, Maryland on 5/20/07 & the show itself was not totally sold out, but it was packed in pretty nicely, & I don’t know if I’ve ever seen so many Dimebag tribute shirts in one place, ever! It was quite obvious that the crowd was there to support Vinnie Paul, & to hear some great rock n roll, BUT, getting into the venue was a totally different situation.

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I’ve personally covered too many shows at this venue to even remember them all, & in all that time, I’ve NEVER seen security as tight as it was at this particular show! I had a photo pass & I even went through a very detailed search...entrance into the venue was slow because of this, but I assume it was the necessary precaution that Vinnie wanted after the tragic situation he experienced, & to be totally honest with you, I don’t blame him, & it almost reminded me of the strict airplane security after 911. I will be really curious to see if any bootlegs pop up from this tour, because the only other act I recall seeing with super tight security like this in recent years was Marilyn Manson during the height of the bands career. The set list for the night was:

Hellyeah

Matter

Goddamn

Stone Cold

Thank You

Waging War

Nausea

One Thing

Mood/Star

Rotten

Alcohol

You Wouldn’t Know

& it was interesting to note that there were lyrics taped to the stage as well with various notes, & again, with this being a new project, it makes sense, I mean these are totally new songs & this was night #1 of the tour!

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Chad took the stage wearing a pair of leather chaps, a tattered looking cowboy hat & to be honest with you, he looked like a trucker far more than his usual Mudvayne like-self! Tom from Nothingface looked like he does when he’s playing with Nothingface..he sported his black cowboy hat & kept rockin’ all night! Greg from Mudvayne was looking more biker like than usual, & It was really hard to get a good look at Vinnie Paul most of the time, depending upon where you were, because he was really hidden behind the drums alot of the times, & even at the very end of the set, Vinnie tossed his drum sticks out & just took off...no bow to the crowd, just an unspoken thanks & off he went. Vinnie’s drum kit had a snake skin motif too I might add.

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The large Hellyeah sign that hung over the band was every bit as redneck oriented with it’s pick-up bed liner style design, & I couldn’t help but laugh at the comment that Chad made in the middle of the set...Chad made a comment that the bands music & concerts were all about drinking beer..lotsa beer, & gettin’ some pussy! The highlight of the set for me was the bands cover of the Queen classic, “Stone Cold Crazy”, which they changed to “Stone Cold Wasted” & that cover was actually better than Metallica’s in my opinion!

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Another touching moment was, during a down minute where the band was getting ready for the next song, the crowd began to chant VINNIE, VINNIE, & Vinnie Paul seemed touched, then the crowd went into a DIMEBAG, DIMEBAG chant & Vinnie pointed up to the sky & Chad replied that Dime was watching down on them...that was just a surreal moment & it showed the unity amongst the real metal fans.

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All in all, it was a great night for heavy metal, & if you bought the Hellyeah CD at the merch booth, you got to go back & get it personally autographed by the band. Also for sale were Vinnie Paul signature drumsticks, & various Hell Yeah tour shirts.