Kill Devil Hill is a hard rock band with seasoned metal gods supporting and driving a burly front man who looks like Jim Morrison. Dewey Bragg has a style similar to Zakk Wylde with a voice comparable to lost but not forgotten, Layne Stanley of Alice in Chains.
People say certain bands have a little something for everyone, but there’s no exaggeration with history and sound describing this band.
Vinny Appice, the drummer of ever beloved DIO has played with Black Sabbath and Heaven and Hell. With his drum solo the crowd remembered the little man with the big pipes. DIO moved metal heads of the world. Appice echoed the mourning of DIO’s fans with the love and respect we still carry for him.
Bassist Rex Brown moved the crowd in an entirely different way, with applause that was loud and rowdy. Playing for Pantera and Down, it’s expected that fans will be eager to yell.
Mark Zavon, formerly of Ratt and W.A.S.P, plays a skillfully beautiful guitar. The solos reflected his eighties past with a new sound brought to this hard and heavy band.
Lead singer Dewey Bragg is a combination of each member’s background. His voice is strong and powerful with an impressive range needed for the melodies he growls, sings, and screams. Bragg mixes hard core, melodic, and nineties grunge to satisfy every fan’s needs.
The show began with a huge opening of lights and sound. Bragg resembled Morrison in rock, Lemmy in punk, and DIO and Pantera in sound. “Strange”, the song release with self-titled album, is grunge and heavy enough to keep head bangers happy.
Dewey reflects the band’s mood with a cross on microphone and respectful pot smoking banter with audience. He asked: “How many people in here smoke weed? Throw your weed up! No, just joking! No, I’m not… throw it up, we’ve got a long way to travel!”
No one can refuse a man of this stature, with long braided beard, and patch worked vest. Sure enough, pot ended up on stage with Rex Brown smoking as his bass pumped the whole venue.
Dewey called us “ladies and gentleman” throughout the night, though the number of men outnumbered the women. And like my favorite metal shows live, I loved this crowd.
“Gates of Hell” was a further reminder of DIO with themes of darkness and light and good and evil. Drop D guitar and dark metal gunshot riffs spoke injustice with politically minded songs like “War Machine”.
Together, this band is a super group of epic proportion. The crowd went wild at the Rockpile and not a fist stayed by side. Horns were raised, heads were banged, and respect was given from band to fans and vice versa.
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