By Brandon “B-Mac” McCarthy, Photos by Matt “Rabit” Martinez Red Hare Images
Darrell Abbot, aka Dimebag Darrell. What is there to say about arguably one of the most influential guitar players of all time? Though he was mainly heavy metal, he has been linked to the other great ones like Tony Iommi, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Duane Allman, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, and Eddie Van Halen, his idol. His group, Pantera, single-handedly saved heavy metal in the 1990’s, and helped give it a new genre: groove metal. While most rock stars lead controversial lives, Dimebag Darrell was the kind of man, who would give a fan a free t-shirt, smoke a joint and have a shot of Crown Royale with them as well. In 2004, while touring with his new group Damageplan, he was shot and killed, while on stage. It was a bullshit way to go out. He may be gone, but his memory and music lives on, with his fans and his girlfriend, Rita Haney. Along with Metal Ambassador Jose Mangin, Rita has put together Dimebash, a concert extravaganza, where metal artists come out to play. Matt and I had to join in on the fun, and what a show it was.
Opening up Dimebash was my old friends, supergroup Powerflo. With the power of Dimebag in his soul, and a lit up joint in his hand, frontman Sen Dog (Cypress Hill) wasted no time getting the party started with “Resistance.” The dual guitar attacks from Billy Graziadei (Biohazard) and Roy Lozano, were sheer excitement that pumped up the room with rock ‘n’ roll oxygen. Bassist Christian Olde Wolbers (Fear Factory), was insane with his beats, that rang true to my ears. From “My M.O.” to “Victim of Circumstance” and “The Grind,” Powerflo was the perfect opener for this kind of festivity. This marks the fourth time I have seen these guys, and it never gets old seeing them play.
Full Powerflo slideshow below:
Dimebash was off to a great start, with Mangin deciding to get things going with “Revolution is My Name,” with help from the members of Kyng. Pantera is one of Mangin’s favorites groups of all time, so you can see the excitement in him, when he was up there, screaming to the top of his lungs. The performance was jam packed with artists from all over the rock spectrum, from Kyng to guitar goddess Nina Strauss, dUg Pinnick of Racer’s X and KXM, and members of all-girl Iron Maiden tribute band, The Iron Maidens. Funny thing is, they did not just do Pantera covers, but an array of classic hard rock and heavy metal songs. John 5 and the Creatures came out to an impromptu instrumental session, performing classic rock tracks like Van Halen’s “Hot For Teacher,” KISS’s “Detroit Rock City,” and Ted Nugent’s “Cat Scratch Fever.” They were mesmerizing.
There also was Tony Campo, of Fear Factory and Chris Broderick, of Acts of Defiance jamming out like crazy. Dylan Rose of Archer Nation, graced the house with his version of Motörhead’s anthem, “Ace of Spades.” The biggest surprise, to me, was when Jonathan Davis of Korn came out and performed a dark version of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall.” I did not expect to see him there, and he nailed it. Mike Muir, Suicidal Tendencies vocalist, came out and stirred up the fans into a roaming frenzy. He then called up my friend Luis Delgado, vocalist for the Pantera tribute band Trendkill Revolution, to help him sing “Fucking Hostile,” from Pantera’s masterpiece Vulgar Display of Power. Not only did he hold his own with Muir, and got the fans cheering for him, he also got to play with Broderick and Pantera’s own bassist, Rex Brown. He got to live his dream, play with a member of Pantera. This was a night my homie will never forget. Mangin and Sen Dog finished off the night with the iconic “Walk.”
Full Dimebash slideshow below:
During the show, they raffled off a Dimebag Darrell imprinted signature Dean ML guitar, with the proceeds going to the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund, started up by Dio’s widow Wendy. The fan who won was out of his mind, and could not contain his excitement. After the show, I could tell Rita was happy to know that 13 years after his death, they continued to show their love and respect for this talented musician. I would like to believe Dimebag is looking down, smiling and toasting the night with a shot of Black Tooth Grin (Crown Royale and coke) in his hand. Metal will always be grateful to him, and his contributions. To Dimebash, Rita Haney, Jose Mangin, and last, but not least, the late Dimebag Darrell, I salute you. Horns up!!!