Hellyeah and Avatar Leave The Rapids Begging For More

Concert Review

Rapids Theatre
Niagara Falls, NY
Friday July 21, 2017
Review/Photos: Jenipher

Unden!able, not only the name of the latest Hellyeah effort but also the best way to describe their stage performance! Friday night the Dallas, TX based band rolled into Niagara Falls, NY in support of the album that was released just over a year ago. They brought with them a circus.

Swedish band Avatar hit the stage first in full costume. The face paint, ringleader outfits and overtly cartoonish gestures helped showcase the band’s dedication to detail. Not only did front-man, Johannes Eckerström, grab your attention from his big top platform; drummer, John Alfredsson, made sure to stand up between songs. The entire band captivated the audience with their eerie old tin toy antics. Avatar played a 7 song set that seemed way too short. The crowd, now completely ready for Hellyeah’s performance, would agree.

Hellyeah frontman, Chad Gray, is a self-proclaimed madman on stage, and rightfully so. He does not stand still and at any given moment; in fact he can be found on all fours screaming the lyrics to “Sangre por Sangre”. Or jumping from one side of the stage to the next during “X”. The interaction he has with his crowd is nearly unmatched. Often speaking to those that filled the Rapids Theatre about the power of music.

Gray’s presence is not to outdo those of his fellow band mates, yet serve as a highlight to them. Vinnie Paul has been around for quite some time now, yet continues to drum like he has no plans of letting up soon. His sticks show the signs of severe abuse by his powerhouse drumming style. Throughout the evening he kindly fed many sticks to the crowd, who ate it up.

Never a dull moment watching Hellyeah bassist Kyle “KMFS” Saunders flip his hair all over as he jumped all over the stage during songs like “War in Me”. For a pretty tall guy he definitely can catch some air. The guitar work by Tom Maxwell & Christian Brady is not to be disputed. It works seamlessly together especially on “I Dont Care Anymore” (Phil Collins cover). Sadly, the show came to an end, leaving the crowd wanting for more. However fans will have to wait till next time.

Avatar setlist:

Hail the Apocalypse
Paint Me Red
New Land
Bloody Angel
Eagle has Landed
Let it Burn
Smells like a Freakshow

Hellyeah setlist:

Demons in the Dirt
Sangre por Sangre (Blood For Blood)
Cross to Bier (Cradle Of Bones)
Be Unden!able
War in Me
Say When
Love Falls
I Don’t Care Anymore (cover)
Hey Wouldn’t You Know

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