Zakk Wylde on Pantera Performances: ‘We’re Up There Celebrating Dime and Vinnie’

Dimebag Darrell: Rik Goldman, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons / Zakk Wylde Photo by Guillermo Legaria Schweizer/Getty Images / Vinnie Paul: Alfred Nitsch, CC BY-SA 3.0 AT, Wikimedia Commons
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It’s nothing short of surreal to be able to see Pantera perform in 2023. Of the several performances they’ve taken part in throughout the year so far, each Pantera set has been electric. Accompany longtime members Phil Anselmo and Rex Brown for these performances, there’s drummer Charlie Benante and guitarist Zakk Wylde, each stepping in for the late Vinnie Paul and Dimebag Darrell, respectively.

While chatting with Guitar World, Wylde spoke about how it’s a tremendous honor to be part of these shows. Referring to the festivals the band has played so far, as well as their upcoming North American tour dates, the guitarist says: “To me, it’s just a beautiful thing. Whenever we do the Experience Hendrix thing, we pay tribute to the amazing music and playing of Jimi Hendrix. And when I’m playing Mr. Crowley or Crazy Train with Ozzy [Osbourne], we’re celebrating the greatness of Randy [Rhoads]. It’s not controversial or tragic. It’s about this awesome thing Pantera created – and this community of people who still enjoy it.”

Wylde goes on to share that in each of the band’s performances, he and his fellow bandmates are “celebrating” the life, legacy, and artistry of Vinnie Paul and Dimebag Darrell. “We’re up there celebrating Dime and Vinnie,” Wylde says. “That’s what this is about, and it brings joy to so many people. For us, it’s really special because we’re commemorating our buddies – the guys in Pantera who we loved – and everything they did for music.”

Throughout his chat with Guitar World, Wylde is asked a variety of questions regarding Dime, Vinnie, and Pantera. Toward the end of the conversation, he is asked what is the “highlight” for him in terms of performing the band’s music. Per his reply, Wylde shares: “Just keeping them alive and paying tribute to Dime and Vinnie and Pantera. I just look at it this way. I [imagine] Dime and Vinnie are with us and we’re at the House of Blues, and we say, ‘Wait ’til you see this early birthday present we got you guys.’ And they’re figuring it’s gonna be the ultimate Kiss tribute band because they love Kiss.

“The curtain opens up, and it’s me and Charlie playing their stuff with Rex and Phil! They’d be going, ‘I can’t believe what I’m seeing right now!’ They’d be on the floor crying, laughing, high-fiving each other, going, ‘This is hilarious. The guys actually took the time to learn our stuff.’ I know they’d be having the best time. And I can just hear Dime saying, ‘Holy shit, Zakk bought a Whammy pedal for this!’”

Do you plan on seeing Pantera as they travel through North America on their respective tours with Lamb of God and Metallica this year? Below you can find the band’s upcoming tour dates.

Upcoming 2023 Pantera tour dates

*Festival Date | #Support Act TBD | ^Pantera Support for Metallica

  • Thu Jul 13 – Cadott, WI – Rockfest*
    Sat Jul 15 – Mansfield, OH – Inkcarceration*
    Fri Jul 28 – Burgettstown, PA – The Pavilion at Star Lake
    Sat Jul 29 – Noblesville, IN – Ruoff Music Center
    Mon Jul 31 – Milwaukee, WI – American Family Insurance Amphitheater#
    Wed Aug 02 – Camden, NJ – Freedom Mortgage Pavilion
    Fri Aug 04 – East Rutherford, NJ – MetLife Stadium^
    Sat Aug 05 – Hershey, PA – Hersheypark Stadium
    Sun Aug 06 – Scranton, PA – The Pavilion at Montage Mountain
    Tue Aug 08 – Syracuse, NY – St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview
    Wed Aug 09 – Darien Center, NY – Darien Lake Amphitheater
    Fri Aug 11 – Montreal, QC – Olympique Stadium^
    Sat Aug 12 – Toronto, ON – Budweiser Stage
    Tue Aug 15 – Rogers, AR – Walmart AMP
    Thu Aug 17 – Woodlands, TX – The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
    Fri Aug 18 – Arlington, TX – AT&T Stadium^
    Sun Aug 20 – Austin, TX – Germania Insurance Amphitheater
    Wed Aug 23 – Denver, CO – Ball Arena
    Fri Aug 25 – Inglewood, CA – SoFi Stadium^
    Sat Aug 26 – Chula Vista, CA – North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre
    Tue Aug 29 – Salt Lake City, UT – USANA Amphitheatre
    Thu Aug 31 – Albuquerque, NM – Isleta Amphitheater
    Fri Sep 01 – Glendale, AZ – State Farm Stadium^
    Sun Sep 03 – Pryor, OK – Rocklahoma*
    Thu Sep 07 – Bangor, ME – Maine Savings Amphitheater
    Fri Sep 08 – Gilford, NH – Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion
    Sat Sep 10 – Alton, VA – Blue Ridge Rock Festival*
    Tue Sep 12 – Alpharetta, GA – Ameris Bank Amphitheatre
    Thu Sep 14 – Virginia Beach, VA – Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater at Virginia Beach
    Fri Sep 15 – Bristow, VA – Jiffy Lube Live
    Sat Sep 23 – Louisville, KY – Louder Than Life*
    Sat Oct 07 – Sacramento, CA – Aftershock*
    Fri Nov 03 – St. Louis, MO – The Dome at America’s Center^
    Fri Nov 10 – Detroit, MI – Ford Field^

2024 Dates

  • Fri Aug 02 – Foxborough, MA – Gillette Stadium^
    Fri Aug 09 – Chicago, IL – Soldier Field^
    Fri Aug 16 – Minneapolis, MN – U.S. Bank Stadium^
    Fri Aug 23 – Edmonton, AB – Commonwealth Stadium^
    Fri Aug 30 – Seattle, WA – Lumen Field^