As the annual tradition has gone on now for several years, Dimebash went down on Thursday night at the Observatory in Santa Ana, kicking off NAMM weekend in Orange County. The show was sold out, but fans in attendance were treated to a celebration of the lives of the late Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell Abbott and his brother and bandmate Vinnie Paul. Dimebag was senselessly shot and killed while on stage performing with his brother Vinnie, in a night club in Ohio at age 38. The tragedy shocked the music world. But with the records, past concerts, DVDs tons of tribute bands and nights like Dimebash, the legacy of his music will live on. Sadly, last year, Darrell’s brother and longtime musical partner, Vinne Paul died at the age of 54 due to heart problems.
“There are two reasons we are all here tonight,” shouted host of the night, Jose Mangin from Sirius XM. Rex Brown’s band, Kill Devil Hill, and longtime hard rockers Fireball Ministry warmed the crowd up before the night of songs began, as well as Inland Empire Pantera tribute band, Revolution Trendkill.
The house was full of guest musicians, and everyone got a chance to jam out on classic songs by Pantera, but the revolving group of onstage musicians also played songs by bands like KISS, Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and more.
Special Guests included John 5, guitarist Nita Strauss, guitarist for Alice Cooper, Tony Campos bassist from Ministry and Static X, Johnny Kelly, drummer from Danzig and Type O Negative, and brothers Gonzo Sandoval and Phill Sandoval from Armored Saint.
This incredible line up also included Gene Hoglan, as well as members of the band KYNG, the Iron Maidens, Prong, Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies, Anthrax, and many more.
Fans loved the rendition of “New Level,” featuring Doc Coyle (Bad Wolves, God Forbid) on guitar and vocalist Tommy Vext (Bad Wolves). Even Jose Mangin got in a shot at this superstar version of live band heavy metal karaoke with an emphasis on Pantera. Mangin showed off his vocal skills on Pantera song “Revolution is My Name.”
The highlight of the night was when Corey Taylor sang “Walk,” as Dave Grohl, Chris Broderick, Scott Ian, Rex Brown and Charlie Benante jammed out onstage. Overall, this was a celebration of Pantera, Vinne, and Dimebag as well as classic heavy metal bands that still continue to inspire fans and musicians worldwide.
The only setback was that, despite the controversy from past events, Phil Anselmo should have been a part of this show. Also, it competed with the Metal Allegiance show at the House of Blues in Anaheim going on at the same time. Despite this, the show was sold out, packed to the brim with fans.
Alex Distefano is an established freelance writer and music blogger from the Los Angeles area. With over a dozen years under his belt as a published Journalist, he covers the worlds of heavy metal music, punk rock, current events, cannabis culture, comedy, radio, food, tattoos, the paranormal, and ‘conspiracy theories.’ He graduated from California State University Long Beach in 2012 with a Bachelor’s Degree in both Journalism and Ancient History. Aside from his professional writing endeavors, Distefano works as an Educator, and delivery/rideshare driver.