The trouble with events like Dimebash — which see a number of musicians get up one after the other, plug in, play a couple of songs and get off the stage — is that the idea can seem a lot better than the actual execution. In reality, there can be a lot of waiting around. That said, Dimebash has been taking place for a few years now and, for the most part, the cracks have been smoothed over.
The vibe at this sold out event was largely celebratory. It’s been a little over 15 years since Dime was shot and killed onstage, and two years since his brother Vinnie Paul passed away. The Abbott brothers, with their band Pantera, played a large part in defining the metal sound in the ’90s thanks to albums such as Cowboys From Hell, Vulgar Display of Power and Far Beyond Driven — all genre classics.
At the time of Dime’s death, Pantera had effectively been split for three years and the Abbott were playing in Damageplan, still performing around the world. Later, Vinnie Paul would form the country-tinged metal band Hellyeah, and that group is still performing today. In fact, members of Hellyeah (including new drummer Roy Mayorga) were in Santa Ana for Dimebash this year.
And speaking of country-tinged metal, the night was kicked off with a set by acoustic hillbilly hell-raisers WhiskeyDick, and then a medley of Dime riffs by English guitarist Nick Bowcott. SiriusXM’s Jose Mangin had the honor of starting off the “jam” portion of the night, and the MC did a respectable job. BMX star and actor Rick Thorne’s voice, meanwhile, wasn’t really up to the task in hand but he has to be commended for his effort.
Prong man Jason Christopher ran through a fun cover of AC/DC’s “Problem Child,” while Doug Pinnick played a couple of songs by his band King’s X — tunes that he says Dime and Vinnie were fans of.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen the Butcher Babies on any stage, but they chose Dimebash for a soft relaunch and it’s great to have them back. Meanwhile, Lita Ford’s music might not be something traditionally enjoyed by Pantera fans but they lapped up the former Runaways’ two-song set — even the balled “Close My Eyes Forever.”
One of the stars of the night was inarguably Derrick Green; the gargantuan frontman might not be the original singer with Sepultura, but he’s been with that band for 20 years and his versions of “Refuse/Resist” and “Roots” were brutally beautiful. For the latter, every drummer in the house pulled their tom on stage to bang the tribal part out, including Dave Grohl.
Grohl was backstage all night, working the barbecue. The sight of the Foo Fighters/Nirvana man flipping ribs for the gathered musicians and friends was slightly surreal, but also proves that Dimebash has nothing to do with ego.
Grohl joined members of Anthrax for the night’s big conclusion, which included a blast through Foo Fighters deep cut “Weenie Beenie.” The many musicians present got back up for a photo, and then it was over for another year. The important thing, of course, is that Dime and Vinnie will never be forgotten by the adoring metal community.
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