Upon learning of the passing of Pantera legend Vinnie Paul, the rock world was quick to react. Now, the onstage tributes are rolling in and Alice in Chains' Jerry Cantrell dedicated one of their songs at Hellfest to the late drummer.

"Almost every night we like to play a song for our good friend Layne Staley and Mike Starr, and we're gonna do that, but I'd like to play this one for Vinnie Paul," said Jerry Cantrell before strumming on the opening chords to "Nutshell" off Alice in Chains' 1994 EP, Jar of Flies.

Vinnie Paul died on Friday (June 22) at age 54 and no official cause of death has been listed at this time. He was the last remaining founding member of Pantera as his brother, Dimebag Darrell, was fatally shot onstage in 2004.

Reflecting on Dime and Pantera in 2014, Cantrell told Music Radar, "[Alice in Chains] kind of had a similar [career] arc [to Pantera]. Our major label debuts came out the same year – Cowboys From Hell and Facelift. Dirt came out in 92, and so did Vulgar [Display of Power] …So we rode the same arc at the same time. I’m glad I had the chance to spend as much time with [Dimebag] and I’m still hearing him everywhere I go!"

Prior to forming Alice in Chains, Cantrell quit college in 1984 to move to Texas to work for a friend's dad's insulation company in Dallas. It was there he caught wind of Pantera and eventually decided to check the group out for himself. "There was a bar called Matleys Phase II that they used to play. I remember meeting those guys at the gigs and being completely blown away by how badass they were," he remembered. "We’re the same age, so would have been 18-19 years old, and I started hearing a lot about [Dimebag] while I was down there before I’d actually seen the band, about how amazing this guitar player was, and of course being a guitar player that’s really where my focus was."

Where Does Vinnie Paul Rank Among the Top 66 Hard Rock + Metal Drummers of All Time?

Vinnie Paul 1964 - 2018: A Look Back at Pantera's Legendary Drummer


More From Banana 101.5