In Columbus, OH December 8, 2004, the metal community lost a true legend unexpectedly. “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott and three other people during a Damageplan concert were shot and killed by a young obsessed fan. The metal community was turned completely upside-down and all were devastated by this unfortunate and tragic act. 13 years later, we all are still paying tribute to Dimebag here in the Wisconsin local scene.
The show was hosted by Shane Keddell, the well respected Promoter and sound technician at Grave Marker Music. Located at the Xtra920, a venue in Appleton WI, metal heads from all over the area braved the snow storm to gather together in honor of their fallen hero. There was even a raffle held to win either a Dean guitar (the brand in which Dimebag supported) and tickets to the up coming event Savagefest. I set up the Merch table for All Kings Fall right next to the opening band Squid Hammer Metal, a Wisconsin metal band based out of Watertown, WI. They always have an impressive table. Lots of cool tees and other things all guarded by a dead squid in a jar, which is pretty metal.
As soon as the doors opened everyone shuffled in eagerly from the cold to get ready to rock out. Sound check was over and Squid Hammer Metal stepped up to the stage.
Along with their originals, Squid Hammer Metal played a few Pantera cover songs in honor of Dime. They then held up their drinks for a toast and introduced All Kings Fall to play next. Ian Gray ( bassist of AKF) shared a story about when he heard the unfortunate news about the tragedy of Dimebag. ” I remember in 2004 I was at a Cradle of Filth and Type O Negative concert at the Rave in Milwaukee. There was this woman out side shouting hysterically ‘Dime’s been shot! Dime’s been shot!’ ” He took a breath and continued “Everyone thought it was a joke of some kind..but sure enough when I got home the next day it was all over the news and I was shocked” I could tell he was reflecting on those feelings again and everyone was with him in that moment, remembering how they felt at the time.
After All Kings Fall there was a KISS Tribute band by the name of Paul and The Destroyers. To me, this was a great tribute to Dime. His favorite band was KISS when he was growing up. So much so in face that he had requested in his will that he be buried in a “KISS Kasket”. It was sent to the Dimebag by Gene Simmons himself. (He was buried with the ‘Bumblebee’ guitar from Eddie Van Halen as well if you didn’t know that) It was a really special thing to be able to get a taste of what Dimebag loved and was inspired by and we all sang and danced along with the classic tunes. They were really fun and full of energy and enthusiasm. There was fog and lasers as well. I definitely felt like I had been transported to the 80’s for a short while.
The end of the night was one of the most beautiful parts of the show, its called the Vulgar Display of Wisconsin. Several bands from the scene all had picked one song that Dimebag had played during his career to share with everyone. We all gathered around with our Pantera tees and red dyed beards to say our farewell. The first band was Evoked and they started it of with “Domination” after that they were followed by Shane’s band Headstone. They played a very passionate tribute with “This Love”. Then it was Shield the Survivors and they changed it up by being the only band to pay tribute with a cover from Dime’s band Damageplan. All Kings Fall followed with a cover of “Mouth for War” and finally the night ended with the band LEAD.
Its really quite amazing to me that everyone still has the respect to honor Dimebag Darrell. The fact that one man was so inspiring to so many people..is really unbelievable. He was so young and made such a large impact on the world. His fans, his friends, his family, and many people who worked right beside him all miss him dearly. People die, but legends live forever.
“Music drives you, it wakes you up, it gets you pumping and, at the end of the day, the correct tune will chill you down”
“Metal is what I am into. Shit that moves you. Shit that has heart and soul”
–Dimebag Darrel (August 20, 1966 to December 8th 2004)