Canadian PANTERA Tribute Band Sees Audiences Grow Following DIMEBAG's Death

Andrew Matte of the Regina Leader-Post is reporting that GODSIZE, a tribute band from Winnipeg that plays the music of American metal band PANTERA, found themselves reluctantly buoyed by the success of their show after the murder of PANTERA guitarist Darrell "Dimebag" Abbott. Known for his innovation in the metal world, Abbott was shot and killed in December by an ill-minded fan at a club in Columbus, Ohio, as he performed with DAMAGEPLAN, a band he formed after PANTERA had dissolved.

Any remaining pessimism among GODSIZE members was erased after their Winnipeg show was sold out, and also raised money for a charity in the slain guitarist's name.

"That crowd went crazy, they sang along to the songs, it was great," GODSIZE vocalist Paul Skelly says.

"The first thing (a musician) does is shun the whole cover and tribute thing. But for us, it was like the first time you meet a girl. We thought 'Hey, this is cool. this is great.' And it's been like that ever since we started," Skelly says.

"We're not doing this to prove a point. We're doing this because we enjoy the music."

The musicianship and camaraderie aside, Skelly says he and his pals also seemed individually paired with PANTERA members. "It sounds corny — but it's uncanny how our drummer seems to be Vinnie Paul and our guitar player is Dimebag Darrell . . . our bass player is a redneck like Rex was . . . and I'm kind of more the reclusive guy like Phil was."

Their Regina show is the first GODSIZE "tour" date. They've never performed outside of Manitoba's capital, but Skelly is eager to perform wherever clubs and fans will have them.

GODSIZE benefits, like other PANTERA tribute acts, because Abbott's death generates new interest in PANTERA's music, Skelly admits, but it also means his band's tribute means that much more.

"It's sad that something like that happened to draw attention to the band," he says, "but playing this music feels so natural, it's almost a kiddy school kid kind of thing for us."

Read more from Regina Leader-Post.

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