Hellyeah Pays Tribute to Vinnie Paul at Michigan Show – Tour Review

2019-08-17

Hellyeah’s Chad Gray – Review and photos by Anne Erickson

Review + photos: Hellyeah’s summer tour honors the legacy of late drummer Vinnie Paul

The guys of Hellyeah were hit with a heartbreaking loss when drummer Vinnie Paul suddenly passed away in June of last year. After taking time to mourn and reflect on the life of Paul, the band made a courageous move to not only release Paul’s last recordings on a new album but also tour in honor of his legacy.

Hellyeah’s summer tour — appropriately called “A Celebration of the Life of Vinnie Paul” — reached Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Sunday (Aug. 11). The band was greeted with a packed house of fans, many of them donning Hellyeah T-shirts and swag.

Nonpoint got the crowd pumped for Hellyeah with a heavy, solid metal show that led up to the main act. Nonpoint has been rocking it since the late-’90s, and it shows onstage, as the band has one of the tightest sets out there. Songs such as “Dodge Your Destiny” and “Bullet with a Name” were welcomed with fists in the air and plenty of singing along, as was the band’s popular cover of Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight.”

Next up was Hellyeah. When Hellyeah took the stage, the crowd instantly exploded with cheers of excitement, rushing to the front to get as close to the action as possible. Frontman Chad Gray has an illuminating onstage charisma, and he remained completely engaged and full of energy throughout the show. The rest of the band — Christian Brady, Tom Maxwell, Kyle Sanders and new drummer Roy Mayorga — also radiate the confidence and enthusiasm of musicians who have been touring and making music for a long time. Mayorga did a commendable job performing the drum parts of Paul, which is anything but an easy task. His performance showed a reverence for Paul’s drum parts and the huge role Paul played in Hellyeah.

Hellyeah fans got a taste of some of the band’s new songs off their upcoming album, “Welcome Home,” out next year, as well as a splattering of Hellyeah favorites. Songs such as “Moth,” “Love Falls,” “333” and “Say When” sounded triumphant live and carried Paul’s legacy.

Hellyeah’s summer tour brings everything one would expect from a solid metal show: heavy riffs, gutting vocals and deep, sincere emotions. It’s obvious Hellyeah is determined to properly honor the life and spirit of Paul with this high-octane trek.

Hellyeah in Michigan by Anne Erickson

Hellyeah in Michigan by Anne Erickson

Hellyeah in Michigan by Anne Erickson

Hellyeah in Michigan by Anne Erickson

Hellyeah in Michigan by Anne Erickson

Hellyeah in Michigan by Anne Erickson

Hellyeah in Michigan by Anne Erickson

Nonpoint in Michigan by Anne Erickson

Nonpoint in Michigan by Anne Erickson

Nonpoint in Michigan by Anne Erickson

Nonpoint in Michigan by Anne Erickson

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