Catching the last few songs of Mammal's impressive and powerful set, it's easy to see, hear and feel the appeal of Metal even if the music isn't quite to your taste. The brutal, almost primeval beats stir something inside, the raw guitars, screaming vocals and awesome stage presence forcing attention to the stage and the vision of (frequently hairy) men flinging themselves around a stage and motivating the audience with consistent and unlevelled passion, aggression and dedication. Metal audiences are also some of the most enthusiastic and excitable audiences out there, it takes very little to get them warmed up and keep them active for an entire set, no appealing to crowds to come down the front and to stop standing with their arms folded and tapping their feet tonight!
Hellyeah are loud, stacks of Marshall and Ampeg amplifier cabinets piled two high by three wide (despite only several being miked up, surely not for show?), Vinnie's excessive drum kit consists of a ridiculous amount of cymbals and of course two bass drums, there are wireless units in operation on all guitars and crowds of roadies and security are poised for this balls to the floor rock show. Bottles fly, beer spills, people surf, heads bang and everyone's having a great time, on and off stage, multiple tributes to Australia, Melbourne, the assembled masses, the crew and to Dimebag Darrell (formerly) of Pantera bond the band to the audience and Vinnie seems an especially popular man as every time he peeks out from behind his figure consuming drum kit, the crowd go wild.It's hard to figure out if Hellyeah are completely serious, and that's not supposed to imply that they're a joke, as they play hard, fast and competently. More that with song titles such as 'Goddamn√Æ and intersong banter about being guys on the road and about being 'in it' for the music they almost feel like a tribute show to Metal itself. The 'Supergroup√Æ line up and even the name, 'Hellyeah√Æ, don't exactly help to contradict that suspicion as the band work their way through an hour long set of rock clich√às that raise a smile but also raise the roof.
Published in InPress