HELLYEAH – Commodore Ballroom – June 2017

HELLYEAH have a solid pedigree as a heavy metal band, with all members of the band hailing from prominent metal backgrounds. Singer Chad Gray, guitarists Tom Maxwell and Christian Brady, bassist Kyle Sanders, and of course on drums the incomparable Vinnie Paul never disappoint

Opening with “!”: and X from the latest album, 2016’s Unden!able, the band had the venue pulsating and begging for more.  Frontman Gray, is a heavy metal evangelist.  He looks the part, opening the show covered with “blood”, and constantly gets down to face level with the audience.  He truly believes in the family of heavy metal, and wants everyone in the audience to feel they are part of the show. Within a couple of songs, he had already made two trips into the crowd, and there is nothing holding him back.

The rest of the band is not being left behind.  Starting with Vinnie Paul ‘s booming skins from the back of the stage, Sanders’ pounding bass, and the twin guitars of Maxwell and Brady, the sound is immense. (the fact that I neglected to put my earplugs in didn’t help J )

After crowd favourites Demons in the Dirt and Sangre por Sangre, Gray chatted with the audience, and welcomed those HELLYEAH concert virgins to the family. He also took time to acknowledge the fact that heavy metal is for life, a fact that evidenced by the huge age range in the audience. I have been listening to metal for almost 40 years, and to this day there is nothing that makes me feel young again like blasting hard loud rock.

The moshing was at it’s height through Moth and Cross to Bier, the band slowed it down a little for Human, although things quickly ramped up again with Unden!able and the air raid sirens ushered in War in Me, followed by Say When.

There was one last breather with Love Falls, the bands latest video offering, and then then it was a full-on assault through to the end of the show, closing out with HELLYEAH!!

Everyone left with a smile on their face, and validation that despite what a lot of mainstream music fans may think, metal truly is the greatest genre of all.

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