Hellyeah Concert Review
Welcome To Rockville, Jacksonville
Wow what a weekend in North Florida!
HappyJack is back with some cool feedback from the Rockville Music Festival. This event was held in downtown Metro Park in Jacksonville, on a weekend bathed in sunshine. The two day Welcome To Rockville was one of the country’s most prominent metal events, and one that had everybody in the industry talking.
This Rock Festival was loaded with so many cool bands, some new and some classic, that I knew this event was gonna be the event to see. Major acts, one after another, were making Jacksonville History. I’m talking more than 40 bands!
Jacksonville has banned acts from playing here in the past – Marilyn Manson, Ozzy Osbourne and others. This Southern town has had a lot of Bible thumpers rule the City Council, but a change may be in the air.
How this event got through is a miracle – as for weeks the local news was reporting complaints from everyone from both sides not wanting to start this kind of event – A Heavy Metal Festival – not in our backyard, especially not an annual one!
The Lawyers got the permits passed and the event was set – and tickets were sold, and sold and sold – total 40,000 for the weekend, including a fully Sold Out day on Sunday.
I arrived at the Festival with Cretin, the editor of Rarasfarm.com, and we split up to photograph the different bands alternating playing on four different large stages on the fairgrounds. I immediately went to the main stage and started shooting the opening bands. High energy bands that wanted to make new Jacksonville’s fans their own.
More about them later – right now this review is about a special band – Hellyeah.
Anybody who knows metal, cannot talk about metal music without mentioning Pantera, a very high energy Heavy Metal powerhouse from Dallas, Texas. These guys really had the industry at their feet, releasing gold album after gold album, year after year. Two brothers created this band – “Dimebag Darrell,” the long-haired lead guitarist who proved a force to be reckoned with by his peers, and Vinnie Paul, the powerhouse drummer with the bombastic drums that sound like cannons. Pantera made huge leaps over the years, releasing mega selling albums with bone crunching chords that made you play the CD again and again! Pantera was on the verge of being the Metallica everybody wanted Metallica to be – but never was.
Pantera is a band that plays certain type of metal riffs, where you can expect a gathering in the pit of metal heads, passionately shoving each other back and forth in a frenzy of spins. I personally watched some action that was borderline crazy. The fans really enjoy metal music and want more after these bands left town. The camaraderie between the fans is amazing at the huge Festivals.
The fans enjoyed the raw gut wrenching A chords playing from the guitars from Pantera – that cracked your ribs. The songs were much better than Metallica’s basic sound – with Pantera’s catchy 3 chord riffs that made you smile. These guys were a band to see – full balls to the wall metal. Pantera created a lot of fans, and toured endlessly around the USA with other acts – blowing away the competition on every show.
One night in a club, tragic struck the band, as Dimebag Darrell was shot while playing on stage. Pantera lost a very important person in the industry – a well loved and very good guitarist, and brother.
Vinnie Paul started another band, with the ex-members of Pantera, along with a new face or two, to make the metal music world on fire again. The band played Welcome To Rockville Saturday night and 10,000 screaming fans went wild like for no other band that day. Hellyeah, the name for this new band adventure – was 10 times more polished – and every song sounded tight.
These guys played Dean Markley Guitars and Gibsons exclusively, which made the crowds jump all night; and Vinnie Paul playing his heart out on the biggest set of red drums ever. I play Ludwig drums and thought I had a big set – this guy has cannons – 12 feet of drums wrap around him.
Now, Vinnie is not a tall person and getting the perfect shot for photography was not going to be easy. I moved around many times to finally get that picture that really showcases Vinnie. I got it and you can check it out above. He was all smiles to the fans and was really enjoying the massive crowds that came to see Hellyeah.
The band had an average of 3 people crowd surfing, while they played. I have never witnessed so many people in the air on the fingertips of others and passed to the front where security was getting tired of handling the rowdy fans throughout the bombastic heavy metal riffs that were being played.
Hellyeah had you banging your head and from the very first note played. NO OTHER BAND OUT-PERFORMED THEM – THEY KICKED SERIOUS ASS. We are still talking about this show in Jacksonville and hope they come back again!
Hellyeah is an American Heavy Metal Super group, consisting of Mudvayne lead vocalist Chad Gray, who screams out the metal lyrics with such ferocity, that many respect the hard work he does instantly. He wore a Hellyeah T shirt that fit him well with black jeans and black shoes, and a 6″ Mohawk hair cut. This punkish metal head lead singer was definitely hitting it off with the fans, with this voice from Hell. He was doing things that the other bands wished they could do; carrying the songs with powerhouse vocals. He got everyone’s attention and no one wanted this band to stop.
Nothingface guitarist Tom Maxwell was in top form with his cowboy hat – a staple in his rock n roll identity. He was nothing short of the coolest looking guy at the festival. Perfect blend of metal chains, beads, charms and a bandana under the hat made him look like a real rocker – which he is. With his rhythm guitar, he plays A chords that crack your ribs and other hard to play notes. This guy did not rush the songs; he played perfectly with the band and what a combination to hear and see these guys in person. The hardest chords played on guitars, turned up to ten, was overwhelming to us all. Thank you for the best metal ever. Jacksonville Florida is slowly becoming a hip scene for metal music – and it’s about time! They really sounded this good – please go get their CD and play it loud.
Hopefully the city Leaders in this town will open up some more dates in the future for Festivals like this
See our full Festival recap here: Welcome To Rockville
I’ll be back with another Concert Review soon. Until then, tell your friends about RARASFARM.COM!
Thank you to the band and management teams – without you – we cannot inform the masses that want to know about their favorite bands. Thank you Rarasfarm.com for the best Rock Music Scene on the web.
We will have a full photo gallery from Hellyeah and a slew of other bands this weekend, so Like Us on Facebook and Follow Us on Twitter/Instagram.