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Damageplan Live in Hollywood

By Sefany Jones, Contributing Editor
Thursday, May 6, 2004 @ 0:43 AM


Damageplan, on the Headbanger'

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My suspicions have been confirmed. In my review of New Found Power, I said the album was really strong, but Damageplan was going to be all about the live show…

Damageplan blew the goddamn roof off of the Henry Fonda Music Box Theater on Hollywood Blvd. with unwavering brutality and unadulterated hostility. It was the sickest display of the purest metal.

I missed openers Unearth, who I hear are incredible. I did catch the last song of Drowning Pool’s set, their current single “Step Up” off their latest release, Desensitized. Now, I had never seen them before, so I couldn’t possibly compare the new vocalist, Jason “Gong” Jones to Dave Williams (RIP), but I was pleasantly surprised at what a great frontman he was.

This audience tonight was really strange. I figured it’d be a heavy mob of DP fans, and of course Pantera mourners, but it was really split between Damageplan and Hatebreed. The Jamey Jasta worshippers are extremely die-hard, and when Hatebreed took the stage, everyone on the smoking patio dropped their joints and slammed each other out of the way to get to the pit. And a violent pit it was – these guys don’t screw around. I stayed far, far away.

Finally, Damageplan was ready to hit the stage. The last time I saw Vinnie and Dime live on stage was the infamous ‘98/’99 New Years Eve bash in Phoenix with Pantera, Black Sabbath, Slayer, Megadeth and Soulfly. I felt like a little kid when the house lights went down, and the smoke and bass starting rumbling through the venue…

They busted the place wide open with “Breathing New Life,” which was just a sonic sock in the gut. Guitarist-turned-vocalist Pat Lachman was just incredible. Huge veins were busting from his shaved head, and this guy just nailed track after track… “Pride,” “Wake Up,” “Save Me” followed in consistent raging metal form. Now here’s something I don’t think I’ve ever said: Damageplan sound exactly like they do on the album… which tells you they’re the real deal. Well, naturally it’s heavier and MUCH louder live.

The slinky intro of “Crawl” kicked in and they ripped that one out, followed by the skull-crushing “Explode.” Vinnie and Dime should get some sort of talent scout award for digging that gem of a monster bassist Bobzilla from the depths of the Dallas underground scene. He reminded me a bit of Rob Trujillo.

It’s Los Angeles – we tend to get blessed with special guest appearances, and tonight was no exception. I knew it, too… I knew he’d be there… master axeman Zakk Wylde took to the stage and they all ripped into “Reborn,” and the place went utterly insane! Zakk and Dime traded licks back and forth -- for what had to have been over 10 minutes -- on this extended version, which Dime called, “experimental.” Absolutely incredible!

Zakk took off and they launched into the title track, “New Found Power” and just destroyed the place. They followed that up with their hatred anthem, “Fuck You.” Zakk’s back out shredding his axe strings with his teeth, playing behind his head… just going crazy! (I can’t recall exactly when Zakk came back on and left again… he might have been around during the next song…)

It’s getting about time to wrap things up, and we all knew what was coming now… some motherfucking Pantera! I completely lost my composure, and jumped in the pit for a beautifully sick version of “Walk.” I felt like a jackass, but I just couldn’t control myself. “A New Level” just brought everyone to their knees. However, as intense as this was, I couldn’t help feeling a twinge of guilt watching this. I’ve never seen the Abbott brothers without Phil Anselmo, and it felt like we were cheating on him somehow. Alright, well that opens a can of worms for debate! Nonetheless, I enjoyed every second.

Damageplan was extremely powerful, tight as hell and murderously brutal. Vinnie pummeled the shit out of his double bass kit, and Dime bent those strings like the cowboy from hell he is. DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW!

(As it so happens from time to time, I was without a photo pass at the door… sorry. I’ll get some next time around…)

Damageplan set list:

Breathing New Life
Pride
Wake Up
Save Me
Crawl
Explode
Reborn
New Found Power
Fuck You
Walk (Pantera)
New Level (Pantera)


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