Hellyeah - LIVE: The Underworld, London 2014

Blood For Blood Tour
August 17 (21:30 - 22:40)
Capacity 500

Ending their UK tour supporting their latest effort Blood For Blood, metal outfit Hellyeah take to the stage once again at the infamous Camden Underworld and despite selling out the same venue no more than a year before, the American 'super group' still draw the fans.

Although only 19:00 the queue into the Underworld was surprisingly long, especially when considering the headliners of the night weren't due on for another two-and-a-half hours. However this amount of eager fans ensured that by 19:30 the small confines of the Underworld had already started to fill with a healthy crowd, to the benefit of the first support act of the evening, Gravil.

As the the London metallers hit the stage, the growing crowd are mostly concerned with whether any support act will be able to contend with the harsh, energetic sound and presence of Hellyeah. Unfortunately, despite all hope, Gravil missed the mark. There is no doubt that being an opening band for such a highly anticipated headliner is going to be a difficult task and in many areas, despite the short 30-minute slot, Gravil showed promise with their stage presence and quality of songs improving with each one, but with minimal crowd acknowledgement and the lack of movement and energy on stage, the overall impression of the band seemed to simply be boredom.

By the time second support act Protafield emerge on stage, the iconic venue appears to be on its way to full capacity and although its not even 20:30, the industrial metallers perform a headliner worthy set that not only showed great promise for The Defiled-esq band, but showed the determination, showmanship and attitude that should be shown with every band on the scene, whether up and coming or fully established. An overall truly valiant effort.

However despite what would appear to be a well received and great performance by Protafield, is simply wiped away by the time Hellyeah hit the stage. What had appeared to be a crowded floor, had tripled in numbers and with a 40-minute wait, which appeared to be dedicated to simply moving two amplifiers off the stage, the anticipation for the headline act had never been more intoxicating. With the audience eagerly waiting and the stage lights dimmed, the venue was almost silent until the blistering guitar riff and violent drum work of Matter of Time came bleeding out of the speakers, with the overall aggression amplified by the accompanied screaming of gleeful and determined lead vocalist Chad Grey. From the get go it is evident that the band is on top form, with new addition Kyle Sanders on bass and 'the only Christian on the stage' Christian Brady filling in on live guitar, the members which also include guitarist Tom Maxwell (ex-Nothingface), and of course drummer Vinnie Paul, appear to have a chemistry that not only highlights the extraordinary talent that is on stage, but shows that despite the tough times in the lead up to their latest release, the band are now stronger and more determined than ever.

Throughout the entirety of the show, the band run through a catalogue of tremendous hits, including their latest single, metal ballad Moth, which not only showed the versatility of the band, but also served as breathing room for the controlled chaos that had consumed the small space of The Underworld. The latter half of the set was dedicated to mosh pits, screaming, and mayhem, with tracks such as Say When, DMF, and Rage Burn, and the band closed with the iconic, debut album hit, Hellyeah!, which much like the opening of the show, simply demonstrates how for this band has come.

So despite the set only being 12 songs long (half of which were new tracks, with no contributions from second album Stampede) and Chad Grey's frequent cheesy but inspirational speeches in between songs, the U.S Titans prove once again that Hellyeah are a force to be reckoned with, on and off stage. And with a well defined setlist, great charisma and the truly raw appreciation and love for the crowd they were performing to, Hellyeah have not only consolidated their UK fan base, but have hopefully secured themselves a bigger and slightly more impressive venue for their next visit.

“ extraordinary talent ”

Setlist: Matter of Time / Sangre Por Sangre (Blood For Blood) / Demons In The Dirt / War In Me / Drink Drank Drunk / Cross To Bier (Cradle Of Bones) / Moth / Say When / DMF / Rage/Burn / You Wouldn't Know / Hellyeah!

Written by Ellis Davis
More: 2014, Gigs, Heavy Metal (Extreme Vocals),

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