Paul Stanley has praised PANTERA's comeback, saying the band's new lineup is "killin' it".
PANTERA's first live performance in over 20 years took place Friday (December 2) at Mexico's Hell & Heaven Metal Fest. Surviving members Rex Brown (bass) and Philip Anselmo (vocals) are joined in PANTERA's reformed lineup by guitarist Zakk Wylde (OZZY OSBOURNE, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY) and drummer Charlie Benante (ANTHRAX).
Earlier today, the KISS frontman took to his Twitter to share a photo of PANTERA's Hell & Heaven Metal Fest appearance and he included the following message: "THRILLED to see Phil, Rex and PANTERA back and KILLIN' it! Zakk and Charlie clearly did their homework with love and commitment. PANTERA did shows with us years ago and were ferocious and explosive. Others tried but NOBODY could be them. Dime and Vinnie would be proud. @Pantera".
It was first reported in July that Anselmo and Brown would unite with Wylde and Benante for a world tour under the PANTERA banner.
The band will headline a number of other major festivals across North America, South America and Europe and stage some of their own headline concerts. They will also support METALLICA on a massive North American stadium tour in 2023 and 2024.
According to Billboard, the lineup has been given a green light by the estates of the band's founders, drummer Vincent "Vinnie Paul" Abbott and guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, as well as Brown, who last year said Wylde wouldn't tour with PANTERA if a reunion were to happen. It's unclear what changed his mind.
PANTERA is playing one more show in Mexico this month —Monterrey Metal Fest on December 6 — followed by appearances at three Knotfest festivals in South America. There will also be a one-off show with JUDAS PRIEST in São Paulo, Brazil and a headlining concert in Santiago.
Back in 2015, Vinnie Paul told The Washington Times that his favorite rock and roll memory involved the original KISS lineup. He said: "PANTERA was the opening band on the KISS reunion tour in 1997, with all the original members. We toured with them in South America. We did three nights in Mexico City, then we had a flight on my birthday, which is March 11, and we were on a flight from Mexico City to Santiago, Chile. KISS was in first class, and we were in business class. Halfway through the flight, all four of the original members of KISS came back to me and sang 'Happy Birthday' in four-part harmony. They gave me a 'Kisstory' book. I felt like a 14-year-old kid. I had tears coming out of my eyes."
Vinnie Paul was buried in a custom "Kiss Kasket" provided by Gene Simmons and Stanley. The casket was offered as a gift at Vinnie's family's request.
Dimebag, who was Vinnie Paul's brother, was buried in the original KISS casket prototype in 2004 after his untimely death. The coffin featured the faces of the four founding members of KISS, the KISS logo and the words "Kiss Forever".
Dimebag was also a huge KISS fan and even had a tattoo of Ace Frehley on his chest. In addition, Darrell had Frehley autograph it and had that tattooed to his body as well.