Close your eyes and mix the heavy roar of Pantera, the classic thunder of Black Sabbath, riffs of Dio, a dash of Corrosion of Conformity and overall haunting vocals in your head; now imagine it, LIVE. Legendary drummer Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath / Dio / Heaven & Hell), bassist Rex Brown (Pantera / Down), guitarist Mark Zavon (Stephen Pearcy / 40 Cycle Hum), and Dewey Bragg (Pissing Razors) better known as Kill Devil Hill, ventured to the remote town of Ramona, CA., on August 03, 2012, in support of their self-titled debut album, to North County San Diego’s Ramona Mainstage, for a blistering Friday night of rock n’ roll.
Opening for Kill Devil Hill, San Diego-based, Trailerpark Rockstars, took the stage. Unfortunately, due to the location of the venue and the high ticket price ($25 – higher than ANY show on KDH’s tour) both deterred typical crowd attendance. Regardless, Trailerpark Rockstars put on a show as if they were playing an arena gig, keeping the crowd entertained as they awaited Kill Devil Hill, who hit the stage and tore into the song, We’re All Gonna Die, but technical difficulties were afloat as they stopped – and started again. It was a bit confusing as Brown turned his back to the crowd for what seemed to be the entire first song – his bass was out of tune. Somehow, the hip-shot tuner on his headstock had broken from the time of sound-check to the time of the show. Luckily, he had another bass and as soon as he plugged in, he was back grooving with Appice’s thunderous beat. Appice’s drum solo after Old Man, was one to be reckoned with; it started off reminiscent of Hot For Teacher, by Van Halen, but progressed into a solo only Appice would have in his brilliant mind. As the drum solo ended the band launched into Voodoo Doll, with Brown thumping the bass and clearly happier as their set progressed.
It was apparent throughout the evening the support fans showed for Kill Devil Hill. They were fist-pumping non-stop right in front of the stage; belting out all of the words to each song. The wave of energy coming from a feverish mosh-pit gave the word, “intense” new meaning when the band played Strange and when they ripped into Rise From The Shadows; the entire crowd rocked in unison.
Bragg mentioned that he had been sick but despite being ill, his vocals were on-spot and phenomenal. Kill Devil Hill’s eighth tune of the night, Mysterious Ways, slowed the band’s tempo a bit with the only acoustic song on their debut release. Zavon’s acoustic prowess was crisp and clean and the soulful harmonies Bragg and Zavon sang together, were flawless. Appice jokingly spoke to the crowd before they started and asked if he should help sing the song but clearly neither of them needed it. The show ended with an encore of Drawbridge, afterwards of which, the band did a meet and greet with their fans. All in all, Kill Devil Hill put on a show worthy of their collective past accolades and brings their new brand of music to the masses.