Kyng, Avatar and Hellyeah!
The Rapids Theatre, Niagara Falls, NY, US – July 21, 2017
Story by Joshua Thomas
To be completely honest, I didn’t know much about these bands (Kyng and Avatar) before the show, except for Hellyeah because of my favorite drummer Vinnie Paul was in the band. Nevertheless, when they all took the stage I instantly became a fan.
Kyng, the three-piece from LA, were no doubt the underdog of the show and possibly my favorite of the night. With
the soulful guitaring from Tony Castaneda, the powerful drumming from Pepe Clark and the epic bass playing and harmonizing by Eddie Veliz created a feeling like no others. Tony’s, vocals, got personal with the crowd and talked to them about the bond they have by metal music, and they ended their set with a tribute to the late Chester Bennington. the vocalist of Likin Park.
Avatar, from Gothenburg, Sweden, was the second band up and as they came on the stage the crowd was ecstatic. Everyone was on their feet singing along and headbanging along with the band. Their performance was exceptionally great with their amazing showmanship (Johnannes Eckerstrom). Their circus like outfits, stage design and sound gives you sort of an eerie feeling when everything gets quiet and slow, but it’s a good eerie feeling. When it’s not quiet it flashy and in your face metal, but it is still great metal.. .
Finally the headliner hit the stage. Hellyeah, the supergroup (consisting of Mudvayne vocalist Chad Gray, former Nothingface guitarist Tom Maxwell,
bass player Kyle Sanders, guitarist Christian Brady and former Pantera and Damageplan drummer Vinnie Paul) hailing from Dallas, Texas. If you ask me if they’re good, I’ll tell you Hellyeah. When they took the stage the crown went insane, opening a mosh pit and holding the metal horns high in the air very proudly. Combining the feel of every members former bands creates a heavy and groovy feel, hence the reason they’re groove metal (post-thrash or neo-thrash). Chad Gray, the vocalist, got very personal with the crowd, standing on the guard rails and singing into fan’s faces and reaching in and giving high-fives to them as well. The only downfall of their performance was that I think Vinny Paul’s drum set was too large, you could barely see the man behind it, but when you’re that good you need that much gear. I even almost got hit by one of his drumsticks as he threw it into the crowd, which was pretty cool.
All in all it was one of the best shows that I’ve ever been to; the energy of the bands and the crowd was through the roof.
Demons in the Dirt
Sangre por Sangre (Blood for Blood)
Cross to Bier (Cradle of Bones)
War in Me
I Don’t Care Anymore (Phil Collins cover)
You Wouldn’t Know