We’re On A Boat! We’re On A Boat! Take A Good Hard Look At The Mother Fuckin’ Boat!
Its Good Friiiiday… and where are we… The Thekla Of Course! A personal fave as far as venues go; from friendly bar staff, to respectful entertaining door men… The Thekla in the heart of Bristol is a venue that all live music fans need to experience. Already excited to be in attendance, ticket in hand, buzzing knowing that tonight has the foundations of a great night.
From outside the entrance, I was sirened in by the distinctive call of Tarin Kerrey of Sanguine Upon wading on through the crowd to be greeted by an up close and personal display as half the band had set up stage level with the crowd! A set composing their own unique blend of rock/metal displayed within their latest release ‘Black Sheep’ and a few well placed covers to get the party started, Sanguine got the necks limbered up and ears tuned as they opened up for an epic evening.
Next up was an explosion of energy that is Raven Eye, by heck this three-piece are something to behold! From squealing guitars, to a rhythmic percussion the chemistry of Raven Eye infectious,. If the on stage performance isn’t enough for you – they will step up to you in the form of a human totem pole, formed by the guitarist and lead vox mounting the bassist for a dual effort. It’s fair to say that they blew me away, every member of that band delivered and it is not hard to see why they will be touring Europe with mighty Kiss later this year!
Without a doubt Hellyeah [5/5] well and truly have earned their well rewarded title of a Supergroup, having faced a variety of personal and professional obstacles over the years, overcoming them and smashing out a truly soul retching piece of work with their fifth album release ‘Unden!able’.
The scent of incense cast itself through the venue, followed by the suspense filled entrance of Vinnie Paul, Maxwell, Sanders, Brady and of course the enigmatic animal that is Chad Gray! As the mighty Hellyeah took the centre spot, the atmosphere was adrenaline fuelled, eager and ready for the command to be exposed which was greeted by an eruption from the crowd – a beasting appreciation for ‘X’, the opening track of their new album!
Like a moth to a flame – The crowd were drawn into the insatiable forest fire that was being cooked up, absorbed and fed back into them again, creating an energetic storm that was filled with unrelenting passion. The more Hellyeah screamed into the heart of every person there the crowd consumed it and where chomping at the bit for more – ‘Sangre Por Sangre‘!
Hellyeah are an inspiration and an example to the metal community with strong brethren values who attract the Metal Kids to what the band have worked so hard to achieve; in their own words ‘born and bred to be a metal head’
In the eye of the evening, Chad took some time to level with the flock and remind everyone why they are there, as part of a community that stands together against prejudice, accepts freedom of expression, saves lives and gives people a place of acceptance and belonging.
In the midst of the angst filled favourites, tracks such as ‘Moth’, ‘Human’ and ‘I Don’t Care Any More‘ (Phil Colins Cover) offered an opportunity for reflection on the shared sentiments. A personal highlight was a lovely surprise when the doomy intro of ‘Hush’ started to unfurl, I would not be truthful if I said I wasn’t bellowing this out! An expertly chosen warm up in preparation for the getting psycho with the chaos inciting ‘Startariot’, closing with what can only be described as a heavy metal choir chanting the Hellyeah anthem.
Whilst it was the Unden!able tour, Hellyeah gave their fans a bit of their back catalogue throwing in some chugg with tracks from ‘Blood For Blood’ and ‘Band Of Brothers’. The set was carefully orchestrated in a way that revved it up, then soothed the beast that had been unleashed – before turning up the furnace for a full throttle closure.
Considering this was the second to last date of the UK Tour they gave it all they had, much freaking love to a collection of some of the industries most resilient, hard-working and grateful bands I have ever seen live! I was in my element and I totally lost my voice (it’s still suffering now) but I give not one hoot about that as I’ve been on a high for days following this – without a doubt I won’t be missing them if they return to the UK in the future.