Hellyeah at The Machine Shop in Flint, MI

Hellyeah delivers a high energy set to crazed fans on A Celebration of the Life of Vinnie Paul Tour with support from Nonpoint and Deepfall.

Deepfall gets the evening started with a brief, but solid, set of hard rock. Hailing from Greenville, MI on the west side of the state, this six-piece band is starting to make a name for themselves with their recent release Broken. Their setlist tonight is comprised of songs from it including “I’m Sick,” “Monster,” “Ghost,” “M.F.K.S. (Voice of the Broken)” and the ripping and heavy song “Wasted” for which they recently released a video. They also play a great cover of Journey’s “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” that has the crowd singing along. They are led by vocalist Rich Hopkins who plays up to the fans up front, while guitarist Max Carrillo throws in many jumps throughout the set. The rest of the band is comprised of Tim King (keyboard), Anthony Battista (guitar), Taylor Brandt (bass) and Nick Gray (drums). When they finish the tour with Hellyeah they will be opening for Sevendust for a few shows in Georgia and Florida.

Next up is hard rockers Nonpoint, who have been entertaining fans for over 20 years. They continue to build their fanbase with solid songs including the opener and radio hit “Breaking Skin” from their 2014 album The Return. Next, are four songs from their great 2018 album X including “Chaos and Earthquakes,” Dodge Your Destiny,” “Milestone,” and “Fix This.” Lead singer Elias Soriano is highly engaging as he works the fans into a frenzy and takes time to greet them. His long dreads are frequently flying about as are those of guitarist Rasheed Thomas. Laying down the groove are bassist Adam Woloszyn and Robb Rivera who is beating the hell out his drums. 

They keep the crowd fired up with one of their most popular songs, “That Day,” from the self-titled 2012 album that has the crowd pumping their fists in the air. That is followed by a killer cover of Phil Collin’s “In the Air Tonight” that starts with an extended drum intro. It draws huge cheers from the crowd and has them singing along and waving their arms. Going all the way back to the 2000 album Statement, they play one of their early hits “What a Day.” They finish with a setlist staple and another of their most popular songs, “Bullet with a Name.” Nonpoint is one of those bands that just keeps grinding it out year after year and never disappoints. The fans show their appreciation with a rousing round of applause.

Finally, the time has arrived for the headliners Hellyeah to take the stage. Guitarist Tom Maxwell is first, followed by drummer Roy Mayorga (Stone Sour) and then the rest of the band. When lead singer Chad Gray hits the stage, the crowd goes crazy. They waste no time tearing into “X.” followed by “Oh My God” and “Demons in the Dirt.” The fans are surging toward the stage, but they are having the time of their life as they cheer loudly and try to touch their heroes. The sound is loud, but as with most shows, the crew at the world-famous The Machine Shop have it dialed-in tight, along with the usual killer light show.

The stage is packed tight with a huge drum riser, a riser up front for Chad, and two more in the pit. There is no holding Chad back as he is spending a vast majority of the show leaning into the fans and crowd-surfing while still singing. They love it and make sure not to drop him. When not in the crowd, he is actively working the riser front and center, throwing in jumps, and whipping his head back and forth. He also seems to be having a great time as he smirks and smiles while fist-bumping and even jokingly giving them the finger. He is like the Energizer bunny. Kyle Sanders (bass), Tom Maxwell (guitar), and Christian Brady (guitar) are also quite active. The guitarists tear it up on every song and Kyle is frequently working the stage from side to side.

After “Sangre por Sangre (Blood for Blood), Chad takes time to address the crowd with a heartfelt dedication to their late drummer Vinnie Paul. He also takes time to include several other famous musicians who have passed over the years including Vinnie’s brother Dimebag Darrell, Jeff Hanneman (Slayer), Chris Cornell (Soundgarden), and Lemmy (Motorhead). Following that they jump into a fan-favorite “Moth” that has Chad a bit more restrained on this slower, yet still heavy song. After new song “333,” Chad takes it to another level as he screams wildly during “Say When” that also finds a thunderous low-end from Roy as he pummels the drums.

“Love Falls” finds the fans putting up their horns, waving their arms, and singing along. It also draws some of the loudest applause of the evening. Following the title track “Welcome Home” from their recent release, Chad once again takes some time to speak from his heart. He thanks the owners and the patrons (fans) of the venue that make it one of the best in the world. He tells the fans that we are “heavy metal family forever” and “we need to stick together.” A new song “Skyy and Water” accompanies a tribute video to Vinnie Paul. 

They wind the set down with two Pantera songs, “I’m Broken” and “Walk.” The latter finds Chad walking across fans’ hands, while they hold up their cell phones to capture the moment and sing every word loudly. Not done yet, they dig deep back to their debut album and close it out with “Waging War” and “Hellyeah,” with tons of smoke filling the stage. Chad tells the crowd they love them and then takes some time to high five many fans before leaving the stage. It is surely one of the highest energy shows at The Machine Shop. Be sure to catch them on one of the remaining dates on this tour that goes until mid-December.

HELLYEAH
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NONPOINT
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DEEPFALL
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THE MACHINE SHOP
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About Gary Pahlow 19 Articles
Gary is located in Rochester Hills, MI and has been officially photographing and writing concert reviews since early 2016. His main music interests are metal and hard rock, but he is also a fan of most genres including alternative, indie, jazz, and even some pop and country. When not covering or attending concerts, you can find him traveling with his wife or watching the Detroit Red Wings.