Last Wednesday (July12), HELLYEAH headlined the House of Blues in what has been the best show I've covered at that venue. Take a step back a week before the show, I was denied by their label's PR to shoot the show. Some lame ass explanation on they didn't have anymore passes to hand out. So I reached out to the "Screamin' Demon" himself, Chad Gray, on social media and got a reply back. I was astonished to get a reply back a few hours later. His overall reply was I will hook you up, just make sure you grab some sick shots of me. About an hour before the show, I arrived at the venue and checked the box office for my media pass. Keeping my fingers crossed that Chad pulled through on his word, the woman at the box office checked the list, turned around and my stress levels immediately faded as she handed over my laminate. "SCORE!" I'd post a photo of it, but I can't out of respect to the band as it's not in my nature to show the pass during a current tour run.
There I am up on the front lines. Assuming there'd be a shit load of photographers. Nope, just a total of three and plenty of room to work my magic. The house music fades as the curtain rises from the stage. The scene goes dark as background music enters the venue. A couple flickers from the strobes and LED lights focus on the drum kit. Vinnie pops out from the kit to grace the crowd. All band members but one are now warming up in anticipation of the first song to hit. Chad busts out center stage on his pedestal, fake blood covering his whole face. At this point, he's right underneath me. A few drops of blood hit my forearm as I take aim and fire the first few shots of him. From this range, I can hear his voice inches from my face while his hair is slapping the top of my head. It's an unexplainable feeling to hear one of your favorite vocalists arm lengths away and you're there freezing a moment in time. The picture below can best describe my first-person experience.
It's hard to leave a HELLYEAH without a smile on your face and little tinnitus in your ears. They're definitely considered the super group of our generation that branched off from previous bands we loved. Their latest album, "Undeniable!" is solid from beginning to end. Let me put it this way, HELLYEAH can be considered a fine wine saturated in moonshine. They get better with age, but that bottle will still knock your ass off your feet.