Poison, Volbeat, Avenged Sevenfold + More Pay Live Tributes to Vinnie Paul
The death of former Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul this weekend inspired some of his famous friends to dedicate songs to him from stages all across the world.
During their Saturday night show at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ, Poison dedicated “Ride the Wind” to Paul, who frontman Bret Michaels called “a great man and a great, awesome human being.” In an earlier social media post Michaels declared, “You were an amazing human being & we had many great times together.”
During their set that same evening at Belgium's Grasspop Metal Meeting, Volbeat performed “Goodbye Forever” as images of Paul were shown on the massive screens to either side of the stage. "Dear Vinnie, you were such a lovable guy and a friend with a big heart," the band noted earlier in the day on Instagram. "Thanks for all the great moments together. Your company was always full of smiles. You will be missed by many."
Alice in Chains, a band that has also suffered the deaths of two alumni, dedicated "Nutshell" to Paul at Hellfest on Sunday night. "Almost every night we like to play a song for our good friend Layne Staley and Mike Starr," Jerry Cantrell explained, "and we're gonna do that. But I'd like to play this one for Vinnie Paul."
Also at Hellfest, Megadeth dedicated their song “My Last Words” to Paul. Frontman Dave Mustaine told a French festival crowd: “we haven't played this song for a very long time. And we played this and we dedicated it to a friend of mine – all of ours – who passed away. This song is dedicated to you, Vinnie.”
Sebastian Bach delivered a cover of Pantera classic “Cemetery Gates” after his band taped the words "Vinnie Paul" to their bass drum in Winnipeg.
Sunday evening during his set opening for Foreigner and Whitesnake in Camden, New Jersey, Jason Bonham dedicated his band's cover of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" to Paul: "This is to celebrate, not to be down,but to celebrate the life. Tell the one you're with you love them every day."
Saturday night during their set at France's Hellfest (which started just moments after the video tribute posted below), Avenged Sevenfold dedicated their song "Hail to the King" to Paul's memory. "There's not much we can do, we all understand that this life is brief. We all understand that our friends are going to go at some point. All we can do is honor him the best way we can." (skip to 17:18 on the video below)
Bad Wolves covered the Pantera song “Sandblasted Skin” during their Saturday night show in Johnson City, Tenn., noting, “Ripped some classic Trendkill-era Pantera last night in honor of the late Great Vinnie Paul Abbott.”
Just minutes after learning of Paul's death on Friday night while onstage at the Marquee Theater in Tempe, Arizona, Puddle of Mudd dedicated their 2001 smash “Blurry” to his memory.
During her clinic at Gearfest at Sweetwater Sound in Fort Wayne, Indiana yesterday, Alice Cooper guitarist Nita Strauss and friends including Grim Reaper's Nick Bowcott performed the Pantera anthem "Walk." Strauss also paid respect to Paul on Twitter, calling his death "devastating on so many levels."
France's Hellfest festival also paid their respects, blasting "Walk" from one of their stages along with a series of photos of Paul with his brother and other friends as the crowd roared its approval.
The two surviving members of Pantera both paid quiet, dignified respect as well - with bassist Rex Brown retweeting the band's official statement on Paul's death and singer Phillip Anselmo posting a picture of a lit candle.
Staind frontman Aaron Lewis held a minute’s silence for Paul before performing a stripped-down version of their track “Intro.”
A native of Abeline, Texas, Vinnie Paul Abbott formed Pantera with his brother "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott in 1981 and, by the time of their 1983 debut Metal Magic, had bassist Rex Brown and vocalist Terry Glaze in their ranks. A few years later, Glaze departed, with Phil Anselmo taking his place, helping to dramatically change the band's sound and fortunes. 1992's Vulgar Display of Power was their first to crack the top half of the Billboard 200, and their next three albums all went Top Five, with 1994's Far Beyond Driven reaching the top.
But personality clashes between the Abbotts and Anselmo led to the band's breakup in 2003. The brothers quickly formed Damageplan, but that ended in tragedy a year later when Darrell was killed onstage in Columbus, Ohio on Dec. 8, 2004.
In 2006, Paul joined forces with two members of Mudvayne, singer Chad Gray and guitarist Greg Tribbett, and two members of Nothingface, guitarist Tom Maxwell and bassist Jerry Montano to create Hellyeah. Over the next 10 years, they released five albums, with Paul, Gray and Maxwell remaining after a few lineup changes.
Paul's family told TMZ that he died in his sleep at his home in Las Vegas. His body has been turned over to the medical examiner to determine a cause of death, and after that he'll be flown back to his home state of Texas to be buried between his mom and brother.