VINNIE PAUL Checks In From HELLYEAH Tour

HELLYEAH drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott (ex-PANTERA, DAMAGEPLAN) has issued the following report from the band's current tour:

"Well, finally the HELLYEAH tour has begun. Baltimore was the lucky first spot — and Tom's [Maxwell, guitar] hometown — so it was the perfect choice to bust our cherry! The venue, Ram's Head Live, was one of the most kick-ass live venues I have ever been too... state of the art.

"We all came in for sound check at 3 PM. and, as usual, when we started it sounded like shit and I could tell that everyone was nervous. We hung with it and nearly did the whole set, but got it done and everyone felt really good about it.

"Then it was show time. The venue filled nicely and early chants of 'HELLYEAH' could be heard from the crowd. This was a great sign and I knew we were gonna have a great show. The evening was kicked off by Jagermeister's Baltimore band, BEYOND THE SCAR. They did a nice job and had some cool grooves.

"Next up was BLOODSIMPLE, this band on Chad Gray's label Bullygoat Records, and we got a kick outta hearing their new stuff. It killed. We started our backstage warm-up, which included hitting some shots and brews, listening to some cool old-school metal and just going over the song endings that we worked up from rehearsals.

"The security man Krusher comes in and says, 'It's time to hit the deck fellas.' The crowd was chanting 'HELLYEAH! HELLYEAH! HELLYEAH!' and the venue was packed to the rafters. I gotta say, for the first time in my life I had butterflies.

"We kicked into our title track and theme song 'Hellyeah' and the room was full of energy and singing along, which was a surprise since the record had only been out a month... We grinded through 'Matter of Time' and 'Goddamn'. Then we got to the only cover we do, QUEEN's classic 'Stone Cold Crazy' — which we appropriately changed to 'Stone Cold Wasted' — and it went down great.

"We only have one record, so we played all 12 tracks, ending with 'Alcohaulin' Ass' and 'You Wouldn't Know'. Once again, the 'HELLYEAH' chant went up as we left the stage. It was truly an amazing night and I will never forget it. THANK YOU BALTIMORE!

"We also offered to autograph our CDs for our fans if they bought it at the venue. We didn't know we would sell all 120 CDs and would stick around for another hour and half signing, meeting and greeting, but it was worth it, as our new found friends made us feel right at home."

Remaining HELLYEAH tour dates:

May 27 - Madison, WI - Barrymore Theater
May 29 - Denver, CO - Fillmore Auditorium
May 30 - Omaha, NE - Sokel Auditorium
Jun. 01 - Wichita, KS - Cotillion
Jun. 02 - Tulsa, OK - Cains Ballroom
Jun. 03 - Lubbock, TX - Southbeach
Jun. 05 - Corpus Christi, TX - Pavilion

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