VOLBEAT / HELLYEAH
July 19, 2012
Rams Head Live
Timing is everything and on this particular night I walked into the venue just as Hellyeah had started their first song which immediately made me wonder, “What the hell?” because I was under the assumption that the show started at 7 PM which is what was listed on the venues web site BUT the show actually started at 6:30 PM so by the time I arrived I had already missed Killinger & Iced Earth.
Hellyeah kicked their set off loud and heavy... the 5 guys onstage rocked their respective onstage spots and it was interesting to see how the band has grown over the years because the very first show they ever played was at this very same venue and back then they were not quite as tight as they are today. Musicianship & chemistry flow hand in hand when you see Hellyeah because each member adds their own sound and vibe to the band while they all pump the same energy level which gels perfectly to create Hellyeah...the focal point will always be Vinnie Paul though & there’s no denying that!
The set was a mix of new and old and I think Chad has slowly taken over as “leader” for Hellyeah because at first he stepped back & let Vinnie be EVERYTHING but these days Chad is assuming more of a frontman role & his vocals & presence are coming through like they do when he’s fronting Mudvayne and what I mean by that is, Chad has a demanding personality which is the sign of a good frontman; Chad is stepping it up more these days and Vinnie has taken his place as a drummer a bit more at this point.
At the merch table for Hellyeah they were selling autographed Vinnie Paul drum heads that had a picture of Vinnie on them...the price? $100. They were also selling used Vinnie Paul signed drum sticks for $25 each.
All in all the Hellyeah set was around an hour long & delivered a great dose of hard rock music which the crowd devoured. The highlight of the Hellyeah set was witnessing a Grandmother crowd surf and when I say Grandmother I mean quite literally a 65+ year old woman (think Betty White) was crowd surfing & it made Chad stop and blurt out, “I wanna party with that woman after the show!” because it was something you don’t see every day! Even the security were slightly shocked to see the old woman float across the crowd like that!
Volbeat were the nights headliner and they played a kick ass set that lasted 90 minutes. The set was filled with random end of tour pranks via various members of Iced Earth who took the stage dressed as Elvis, Eddie from Iron Maiden, Vikings & one member even took the stage in his underwear!
The newest addition to Volbeat, Merciful Fate guitarist Hank Shermann was interesting because he sounded great, his Fender guitars changed the tone of certain songs just a bit BUT the clear difference was his onstage energy because the bands previous guitarist Thomas was a much better fit in my opinion.
Random surprises like “All Shook Up” by Elvis which was teased towards the beginning of the set & “Angelfuck” by the Misfits was tossed in towards the end of the set.
Volbeat singer/guitarist Michael P. truly summons the best of Glenn Danzig, Elvis & Johnny Cash with his slicked back hair, man in black image and probably the oddest thing he did at the end of the show was pulling out a pair of scissors & he cut off the right leg of his pants & tossed out the cut off pant leg to the crowd...that was something I’ve never seen a band member do onstage and like clockwork the crowd fought over what was essentially trash!
Volbeat stopped the show at one point to ask the crowd to calm down because there was a fight breaking out in the pit and security had to go in to stop the situation...the fight looked violent from what I saw.
“Still Counting” was the last song of the night & the crowd sang so loud that they were clearly louder than Michael and that was a very cool thing to witness because just a few years back Volbeat were obscure in the USA and these days they have a large fanbase due in part to constant touring, radio airplay and good exposure.
This was a great last night of tour show for the band and it’s one that those in attendance will not forget.