Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Hellyeah at the Gramercy Theatre

Chad Gray
Mudvayne vocalist Chad Gray and Nothingface guitarist Tom Maxwell spoke about forming a new band together when their bands toured together in 2000. Due to scheduling conflicts, they were unable to build the project until 2006. Shortly after launching, they hounded ex-Pantera and Damageplan drummer Vinnie Paul to come out of hiatus and join the band. Now a certified supergroup, Hellyeah's albums and tours received maximal attention. Over time, Hellyeah changed personnel several times, but the present band consists of Gray, Maxwell, Paul, guitarist Christian Brady and ex-Nothingface bassist Kyle Sanders. Hellyeah's fifth and most recent studio album, Unden!able, with an exclamation point replacing the letter "i", was released on June 3, 2016.

Hellyeah headlined tonight at the Gramercy Theatre, and commanded the stage from the first moment. Gray came out with a head covered in fake blood, which beaded and mixed with perspiration and then sprayed onto the front row of fans as he headbanged to the band's furious beat on "X" and "Demons in the Dirt." (He used a towel to remove the remaining gook after the second song.) For a good while, the band sounded like an extreme metal band, with growled vocals, angular guitar riffs and intense percussion. About 50 minutes into the 90 minute performance, Hellyeah briefly featured a slower, tamer side with "Love Falls," but sacrificing no intensity. A curious turn was the band's cover of Phil Collins' "I Don't Care Anymore," which on the album featured archived guitar shredding from Pantera's Dimebag Darrell, recorded before his 2004 death. This was fierce groove metal, dark and brutal. The worst part of the concert was the unceasing lights behind the band that never stopped flashing into the eyes of the audience; they were absolutely annoying throughout the concert.

Visit Hellyeah at www.hellyeahband.com.

Setlist:
  1. X
  2. Demons in the Dirt
  3. Sangre por Sangre (Blood for Blood)
  4. Moth
  5. Cross to Bier (Cradle of Bones)
  6. Human
  7. Be Unden!able
  8. War in Me
  9. Say When
  10. Love Falls
  11. Startariot
  12. Grave
  13. I Don't Care Anymore (Phil Collins cover)
  14. You Wouldn't Know
  15. Hellyeah!