Hellyeah, Devour the Day, Like a Storm and Archer Feb. 11, 2015
Texas-based heavy rockers Hellyeah love to throw a party, but over the course of the band’s two most recent albums, Band of Brothers and Blood for Blood, the group has taken on a more serious tone with its music. The new creative evolution of the band has made for some fantastic new music, and on Wednesday night Hellyeah brought it all to the Knitting Factory stage. While the band’s new material may find them moving in a more serious direction, their shows remain bombastic party-like events. This week’s Boise appearance was proof of that. But well before Hellyeah made its way to the stage, a trio of other up and coming acts; Archer, Like a Storm, and Devour the Day, prepped, pumped and fed the exuberant crowd.
The show was kicked off by Santa Cruz, California’s Archer. The band is touring in support of its upcoming debut album, Culling the Weak, which is available only at the band’s shows. Frontman Dylan Rose handles his guitar like a combination Randy Rhoads-Zakk Wylde and his vocals add a committed edge to the band’s traditional yet thrashy sound. Bassist David DeSilva’s 5-string machinations combined with new drummer Keyhan Moini’s stick work nicely. The band opened with their album’s opening track, “Belief” and powered through a riff-driven set that included songs like “Hurl the Cross”, “Dawn of Dilution”, “Culling the Weak” and the Megadeth-esque, “Day That Never Came”.
Auckland, New Zealand’s (by way of Minnesota) Like a Storm returned to Boise for the third time in a year, and as always the fan response was incredible. Why they were only the second band on the bill is a bit of a mystery, but the trio of brothers; Chris, Matt and Kent Brooks, took it all in stride. Chris grabbed the crowd’s attention from the moment he lifted his didgeridoo and opened “Chemical Infatuation”. They delivered fans a high-energy set that included their covers of Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” and AC/DC’s “TNT”, as well as their songs; “Wish You Hell”, “Never Surrender” and “Love the Way you Hate Me”. In the middle of the set they also performed a fantastic little didgeridoo/drum solo.
Former Egypt Central alums, Joey “Chicago” Walser and Blake Allison brought their new band Devour the Day to the stage next. They opened the set with “Respect”, from their debut album Time & Pressure. The fans were enthusiastic and engaged and the band put on a solid, heavy and passionate show. Allison proved his mettle as a frontman, and it was nice to see him in front of the drum kit, rather than behind it. Their set included the songs; “Blackout”, “Get Out of My Way”, “You and Not Me”, “Check Your Head” and their hit “Good Man”, which closed the show.
One would never know that Hellyeah had just visited Boise only a few months prior to this show because the crowd was revved up and rambunctious—ready to raise the roof. The band hit the stage to their namesake song, “HELLYEAH” and “Matter of Time”; two of four songs performed off their 2007 self-titled debut. Next they tuned up “Sangre por Sangre (Blood for Blood)” from their most recent effort, Blood for Blood. During the song, new bassist Kyle Sanders spit what appeared to be blood on vocalist Chad Gray’s face. Guitarist Tom “Tomcat” Maxwell was in his element, leading the way with each Southern-fueled riff (impressive work from a Baltimore boy); while legendary drummer Vinnie Paul propelled the band through each track one pounding attack after another. Vinnie took time out to thank the crowd for their support through the years and recent line-up changes.
Hellyeah spent much of the 14-song set on the new record, dealing out powerful renditions of “Demons in the Dirt”, “Say When”, “DMF”, “Cross to Bier (Cradle of Bones)”, and the darkly poignant, “Moth”. Hellyeah also dipped into its third album, Band of Brothers for the title track, “War in Me”, and the raucous, “Drink Drank Drunk”. The band closed out the set with their anthemic hit, “Alcohaulin’ Ass”, before returning for a double encore of “Cowboy Way” (from 2010’s Stampede) and “You Wouldn’t Know” to end the night.
The crowd was too riled up to be satiated when the show was over, but they left in good spirits after a mammoth show from four incredible bands who all brought their A-games to The Knit. By any measure, it was a great night to be a hard rock fan—Hellyeah!
All photos © 2015 Katarzyna Cepek Photography.