Watch: PANTERA Celebrates What Would Have Been DIMEBAG's 57th Birthday On Stage In Austin
August 21, 2023
PANTERA celebrated what would have been late guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott's 57th birthday last night (Sunday, August 20) during the band's headlining concert at the Germania Insurance Amphitheater in Austin, Texas.
Joining the four members of PANTERA on stage for a round of Dimebag's favorite drink — a "black-tooth grin": whisky with only "a splash of Coke" — and a "Happy Birthday" crowd sing-along were musicians from support act LAMB OF GOD and Dimebag's longtime girlfriend Rita Haney.
Video of the celebration can be seen below.
Dimebag and his brother, drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott, formed PANTERA in the mid-eighties in Texas. The band recorded four independent albums before their 1990 major label debut, "Cowboys From Hell", introduced a heavier sound and made them a favorite with metal fans. 1994's "Far Beyond Driven" debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 without benefit of a commercial hit single.
The group splintered In 2002 following the departure of volatile lead singer Philip Anselmo. Dime and Vinnie regrouped with DAMAGEPLAN, releasing the band's debut album, "New Found Power", in February of 2004.
Dimebag, one of the most beloved and respected musicians in hard rock, was shot onstage during a DAMAGEPLAN concert on December 8, 2004 at the Alrosa Villa club in Columbus, Ohio by a 25-year-old ex-Marine named Nathan Gale. Gale murdered a total of four people and wounded three others before being killed himself by police officer James D. Niggemeyer, who arrived on the scene minutes after Gale began his rampage.
DAMAGEPLAN was touring in support of "New Found Power" at the time of the shootings.
Dimebag was posthumously inducted into the Hollywood RockWalk in May 2007 in a ceremony attended by Vinnie Paul, their father Jerry Abbott and Haney, along with members of ALICE IN CHAINS, ANTHRAX, KISS, SLAYER and Ozzy Osbourne's band.
The reformed PANTERA kicked off its U.S. headlining tour with LAMB OF GOD on July 28 at The Pavilion at Star Lake in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania.
PANTERA's 2023 lineup includes two surviving members from the band's classic formation, Anselmo and Rex Brown (bass),along with guitarist Zakk Wylde (OZZY OSBOURNE, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY) and drummer Charlie Benante (ANTHRAX).
Anselmo and Brown, along with Wylde and Benante, are headlining a number of major festivals across South America, Asia, North America and Europe and staging some of their own headline concerts. They are also supporting METALLICA on a massive North American stadium tour in 2023 and 2024.
According to Billboard, the lineup has been given a green light by Dimebag and Vinnie Paul's estates.
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