On Saturday, May 11th — which is now known as Vinnie Paul Day in Clark County, Nevada — Hellyeah played their first concert since the death of their founding drummer, who was even more famous, of course, for his time in Pantera. The show, billed as "A Celebration of the Life of Vinnie Paul," saw the band play a career-spanning set of originals as well as a few choice Pantera covers (see below). It also saw Hellyeah break in their new drummer, Roy Mayorga, of Stone Sour and Soulfly fame. The group are gearing up for the September 27th release of their new album, Welcome Home, which features Paul's final studio recordings and is led by the recently issued single "333."
In an interview shortly before the May 11th show, Hellyeah singer Chad Gray (formerly of Mudvayne) spoke of Paul and how the drummer set an example for his bandmates of how to keep a loved one's legacy alive after their death.
"Vinnie really did, actually, teach us how to do this through what he did for his brother," Gray said, according to Blabbermouth. "He conditioned us to carry torches for people, because he did it for his brother. He had his mourning period for two or three years. Obviously, the circumstance of how he lost his brother was beyond what any of us can even comprehend. Had Dime just had a heart attack, that would have been huge. But that? C'mon. So [Vinnie] took that three or four years, whatever he took off, and he finally came back around. And we've done that now. We finished our record. We've done it. And he taught us by coming back to music is love — it's true love. One of the reasons why he came back was to carry the torch for his brother, which I was totally fine with, 'cause his brother fucking taught me how to be a fucking human — a good human. Fucking have humility and be humble and be nice and talk to anyone. Don't be a fucking asshole. He taught us how to be that way and to carry the torch. So, for us to fucking go through knowing how much he conditioned us and showed us how to do that with Dime, and we all did — we were all about it, 'cause Dime was a huge hero of mine, and he [Vinnie] was a huge hero of mine. So I've been conditioned to do this. He taught me how to carry the torch. And I'm going to do that. Thank you, Vinnie, for the training. You taught us all how to continue to allow a legacy to live even after a passing. His legacy is still alive. His music is still there. This new record, it's his drumming. Maybe if that record didn't come out or we didn't get anything done or something like that, it might be different."