Mayhem Fest “Before, After, During”
Okay so before we get started with the living breathing awesome that is the Rockstar Mayhem Festival. I need you to take a test to save us both time. Please watch the following 15 second video of 10,000 of our metal brothers and sisters having the time of their lives at Mayhem:
If that doesn’t look like fun I would like to direct you to here: http://www.ehow.com/about_5290973_long-interior-paint-need-dry.html
Now that they are gone……
The Rockstar Mayhem Festival is the Shangri-La for metal heads and for many of us the concert highlight of the year. It is bigger, louder, and more freakin badass than anything else running. Mayhem is actually so freakin cool I quit my last “real” job to hop on the Mayhem wagon train for the 2008 tour as a media type dude. Now, there’s a couple caveats here: 1) The job I quit was the worst job I had ever had (And I have worked in a freakin morgue) which was mainly staffed by bitter and soulless cube slaves and conniving thieves. 2) I have a whole drawer full of loose screws between my ears so don’t go quitting your job to go to Mayhem. (Call in sick! hahaha)
48 hours after I slapped 2 twelve packs of (premium) beer on my bosses desk and proclaimed “I’m leaving for the Mayhem tour!” (True story.) I was playing a pre-release version of Gears of War 2 with members of Slipknot and was served macaroni and cheese with a side of fish sticks on a paper plate by a Playmate of the Year. (Very! true story.) It was at that point I was confident I had made the right career choice.
Rockstar Mayhem Festival is a showcase where the icons of metal come together with the brightest new stars. In 2008 one of those bright new stars was Five Finger Death Punch. It’s not like there’s an instruction manual for being a noob media dude so I cautiously made my way past security and onto the side stage where Five Finger Death Punch was about to play. As I walked up the ludicrously steep ramp I could not believe the size of the crowd. It’s one thing when you are in the crowd but when you are in front of 10,000 rabid FFDP fans..!?! I was on the stage and the crowd was louder than the music half the time. Insane.
Now when you add to the fact that the the Metal Mulisha who are the most freakin amazing freestyle motocross team were busting out wicked ass freestyle moves during Five Finger Death Punch’s set AND to top it off Dan Donegan of Disturbed was watching the show from the other side of the stage…it was a Mayhem moment I will never forget. Five Finger Death Punch KILLED it and when they play this year on the main stage it’s going to be even more amazing.
The 2008 Mayhem Fest was truly incredible with bands like Mastodon, 36 Crazy Fists, Machine Head and my all time favorite band Slipknot. However there was one total HOLY SHIT! media noob moment I had which was during the Dragonforce set. Please take the time to look at these next 2 pics. They are taken about 10 seconds apart on my $100 crap camera. It was at that moment I realized I was between Dragonforce and a crowd of 25,000 people.
I’m somewhere in between these two.
2008 was an amazing Mayhem. Slipknot and Disturbed destroyed the main stage. I…uh…don’t have any pictures of them cuz I was rockin out instead. Total noob move. But 2009 I was ready for that one!
The Rockstar Mayhem Festival 2009 brought the legends, the brutal new metal stars, and some guaranteed crowd favorites out in force. Marilyn Manson, Slayer, Killswitch Engage and Bullet For My Valentine played on the main stage and the likes of Cannibal Corpse, Behemoth, Job for A Cowboy, Black Dahlia Murder, Trivium, All That Remains, God Forbid and White Chapel played the other 2 stages.
See one thing I love about Mayhem is that they juggle the stages right. It’s not like other festivals where there’s 5 stages going at once and it all just becomes a big ol’ pile of ear mush. Each stage takes their turn and there’s never a tedious down time or an ear mush fest. It all runs very smooth and those secondary stages roll right up until the point where the main stage starts. Another sweet thing about Mayhem is that vendor section of the festival is badass. So if you’re not into the band on stage (Hey, it happens. I don’t like every band all the time either.) go check out all the cool vendor booths. And don’t forget to stop by the Hollywood Music TV booth and say Howdy! to the HMTV crew.
So how good was the 2009 Mayhem Fest? I think it would be best if Howard Jones from Killswitch Engage showed you:
Yeah imagine my camera dude’s (and my) surprise when that happened! Did you see that crowd go nuts? Holy crap! How that little bit of adventure came about was that during my video interview with Joel from KsE we showcased the Killswitch Engage beard comb. Well as a joke before the next stop on the tour me and camera dude stopped at a convenience store and bought a giant neon purple 80’s comb about 3 cassette tapes long and wrote “Joel’s Beard Comb” on it.
We gave him the comb when he got off the KsE bus and he totally busted out laughing (and I just recently learned the comb has made it into a family scrap book somewhere. A Total! honor for me.) So anyway the moral of the story is do stupid funny stuff and on occasion it will pay off.
The crowds in 2009 were even larger and more into the Mayhem energy than in 2008. It was jaw dropping awesome. (I can’t even imagine what 2010 will be like.) Whether it was the new guard like Job For a Cowboy or The Black Dahlia Murder or a legend like Cannibal Corpse the crowds were amazing. Everyone was totally stoked for the Metal Mulisha as well. I think now that we all know how freakin badass the Mulisha is we all want to watch their shows and what better soundtrack to have playing than Mayhem.
There are a couple other amusing stories like getting kicked out of lunch line and having Trivium and Bullet For My Valentine give me the “You dumbass!” look and various cool stuff from an after party where I met some of my heroes and got to know them as people but it is time to move on cuz …it’s 2010! and with it comes a whole new Mayhem adventure!
This years line up is gonna bring the rain and the pain. As usual with Mayhem it’s a metal fan’s dream. You have the legends Korn and Rob Zombie headlining the main stage with the metal power houses Lamb of God and Five Finger Death Punch.
I don’t know anyone who isn’t a Korn fan (They did define an entire decade with their music after all.) and Rob Zombie always brings a party like you wouldn’t believe. I saw him play at a festival in Phoenix once and the sheer amount of (topless) craziness in the crowd still makes me howl. Lamb of God? One of my favorite bands of all time. Bar none. Five Finger Death Punch is going to destroy the main stage. Their march towards total global domination is well underway.
The line up of bands on the Jagermeister and the Mayhem Festival stages look like my iPod playlist. Seriously this year looks more like there’s 3 main stages. Hatebreed? Are you kidding me? In my top 3 bands of all time. Atreyu? Amazing. I once drove 30 miles out of my way to buy their CD The Curse and their circle pits are huge. Chimaira put on bench mark shows at festivals. If you’ve never experienced the “Metal Moses” then you are in for a treat!
Overall it’s possible that this is the strongest second stage line up yet in Mayhem history with a varied line up of styles and each band being very solid in their genres. In This Moment, Shadows Fall, Norma Jean, Winds of Plague and Three Inches of Blood. All different in styles but all very amazing bands. I’m a huge Shadows Fall fan but I gotta be honest I am stoked for In This Moment and Norma Jean as well because I have never had the pleasure of seeing them live.
The 2010 Rockstar Mayhem Festival starts on July 10th in San Bernardino, California! Check www.rockstarmayhemfest.com for dates in your city and start getting ready now because it’s a concert experience that you will remember for years to come.