Vinnie Paul — monster drummer and co-founding member of Pantera, Damageplan, and Hellyeah — passed away nearly a year ago on June 22, 2018 of heart disease. His Hellyeah bandmates came together at their first gig together since the tragedy to honor their late drummer on May 11th — what is now known as Vinnie Paul Day in Clark County, Nevada.
A proclamation read by Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist John Kats before the set cited Las Vegas resident Paul as "contributing to the artistic enrichment" and someone who acted as "an ambassador to the Las Vegas music community," thus invoking these honors. The crowd cheers heartily while the announcement is made, as heard in the video below.
To further commemorate the famed percussionist's memory, part of the proceeds from the sold-out show, were donated to The American Heart Association.
The band, who recruited Stone Sour drummer Roy Mayorga to fill in on drums, then played a raucous set before bringing out two Pantera covers for the encore: "I'm Broken" and "Walk." Paul's signature kit sat empty off to the side in poignant tribute to his absence while Mayorga remained center stage. They also pulled out the live debut of current single "333," which will appear on the group's coming album Welcome Home (featuring Paul's last recordings), out September 27th via Eleven Seven Music and available for pre-order here.
Bassist Kyle Sanders said of the show and coming tour, "While Vinnie Paul is obviously irreplaceable, one thing we can't not do is tour. As easy as it would be to say we're not going on the road, we have to. Vinnie would be extremely disappointed in us if we didn't promote this record properly. He'd be pissed off at all of us for putting all this work into finishing the record and then just letting it sit there on the shelf while we put a couple of songs to radio and whatever…and we know that."
Hellyeah will hit the road July 23rd in Atlanta, Georgia in support of the new album. Tickets go on sale tomorrow, May 14, at 10am local time. Find tickets and a full list of dates here. The band will donate $1 from each ticket sold on the tour to the American Heart Association.
See the group's Pantera covers above and below, as well as fan-filmed footage of their closing song "X" taken from 2016's Undeniable.
Full set list:
"Sangre por Sangre (Blood for Blood)"
"Demons in the Dirt"
"Cross to Bier (Cradle of Bones)"
"War In Me"
"I Don't Care Anymore (Phil Collins cover)"