On the heels of June 10th album release Blood for Blood by Hellyeah, it was no shocker when Winston-Salem, NC music venue Ziggy's packed a house full of fans for the opening night of the heavy metal group's tour on Thursday, last week.
North Carolina local bands Beyond The Fade and 3 Quarters Dead opened up the night with a refreshing intensity, but it was obvious who the crowd was anticipating the most. Before the lights even dimmed, a chant of "Hellyeah! Hellyeah! Hellyeah!" was already echoing throughout the room. A wave of excitement coursed over the crowd as former Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul made his grand entrance and took seat behind his drums. Guitarist Tom Maxwell (Nothingface) and vocalist Chad Gray (Mudvayne) followed on stage, joined by their newest member bassist Kyle Sanders (Bloodsimple). They were also accompanied by touring guitarist Christian Brady, who appeared on stage with Hellyeah earlier this year at Carolina Rebellion.
The supergroup kicked their set wide open with older songs "Cowboy Way" and "Matter of Time." Then, it was time to switch gears to the new stuff. Chad growled through their currently Top 20 active rock single "Sangre Por Sangre (Blood For Blood)" and it became blatantly obvious that the gathering had already familiarized themselves. People sang along without missing a lyric, and it continued through the new non-radio songs included on the set list, too. Of course, with "DMF," "Demons In The Dirt" and "Cross to Bier," it's nearly impossible not to get absorbed into the hard hitting and guttural album.
Midway through the set, "Drink, Drank, Drunk" made for an apt sing along and precursor to Hellyeah's very well known 2007 single "Alcohaulin' Ass," which was played later in the evening. Before continuing with the show finale, Chad told the crowd that he wanted to see everyone singing along... which meant, if he looked at you, you better be moving your mouth whether you knew the words or not. He then asked the crowd, "Can you give me a HELL-?" to which the audience promptly replied with "YEAH!" - and then the band's title track ("Hellyeah") closed out the night.
Hellyeah will be heading out on tour in August with Five Finger Death Punch and Volbeat. They are set to play a number of shows in Europe and the UK, but will return to the states to continue the tour in September. See all dates here.