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HellYeah - Did I Enjoy Myself, HELL YEAH!

The Pearl Room - Mokena, IL, United States - February 8, 2008

by Adam Bielawski (with John Marenholkas)

HellYeahAs one pulls into the strip mall in Mokena , IL you see an endless line of people waiting to get into the Pearl Room. The first words out your mouth might be "what the f(*(&k!" with the line. The weather was slush, rain, snow or whatever you want to call it.after a prolonged stand in line for good 30 or more minutes, you finally make it through the door into a club that is packed to the damn gills. There is no getting around, so what you must do is make way to where you going to make a stance for Machine Head and the headlining group that were recently coined by many as the "supergroup," HellYeah. HellYeah as most already know consist of pure drinking, swearing, rowdy bunch of Texans who formed a couple of years ago in 2006. The veteran metal icons are Chad Gray (voice) and Greg Tribbett (guitar) of Mudvayne, Tom Maxwell (guitar) of Nothingface, Bob Kakaha (bass) and Vinnie Paul Abbott of Damangeplan. Ofcourse we all know where Vinnie started, Pantera. This is HellYeah 2008 leg of the tour slightly renamed as "More Balls, More Volume, More Strength" Tour. The wait in line, the body to body count, the prolonged wait at the bar to get a drink, but it was all worth for super show by the supergroup.

I'm not going to say I'm some old son of a bitch, but you know the fans who were jammed packed into the Pearl Room date back to the 1980s, cause I know. You can call it a melting pot of head bangers from the early 80s right down to today new age "pierced everywhere in the face" youth metal punk heads of today. You can feel the era of Pantera with everyone. The brand of the band was strong on t-shirts, leather and jean jackets, in addition, the drink of choice seemed to be Jack Daniels. The Jack Daniels logo spread out on many fan's shirts, patches and tattoos. If you were one of the few who did not wait all damn night to get to the bar, Jack Daniels really represented this night, even the bar had "black tooth grin shots" on the bar menu to pay homage to the guitar icon Dimebag Darrell. He will be remembered by all rockers, if you love or hate, you know of Dimebag and the tragic death before his time.

When HellYeah kicked off their set, the sound was tight, loud and right on! Every song kicked ass all the way through. Each person who was present felt it, in their soul and in their heart that metal lives. Many of the fans traveled far to this southwestern suburb of Chicago but it's all in the name of "our metal." This can be read on everyone's faces, because eyes do not lie. Let me tell ya, I have been to quite a few concerts over the years, and this place, tonight in Mokena , IL , was loud as HELL yeah! Don't believe me, well Disturbed were present as well, yes, Dan Donegan and David Draiman could be seen from the sidelines.

When the time came for introductions of the "supergroup" the roof came close to blowing off, especially when Vinnie Paul took the microphone. He addressed the crowd by saying, "the people here are awesome and I don't know why we haven't ever played this place before." Vinnie Paul continued thanking all in attendance saying, "I want to thank everyone for the support of my brother Dimebag," adding, "can we all give dime a big HellYeah," pointing to heaven. At this moment the fans erupted with an endless chant of "HellYeah!" As the chanting continued, HellYeah proceeded with the concert kickin into Alcohaulin' Ass (a black tooth grin for everyone). Each and every song was played and received great with the legion.

The finale of the night was no other than the title track of the band, HellYeah. The song just kicked ass and everyone in the venue knew it, word by word, "can you give me a HellYeah!" The Pearl Room was at what I consider capacity crowd, better yet, you were slammed in like a damn sardine in a can, so ask me if I enjoyed myself. I tell you HELL YEAH!