MOLTEN METAL: Mayhem in San Bernardino, CA

 

 

My favorite time of the year, the annual MayhemFest, kicked off its 6th tour in San Bernardino on June 29th, 2013. What better way to spend a scorching hot summer day than with thousands of sweaty metalheads in the dirt and completely unleash the beast within!  This year’s lineup was extra HEAVY! I caught full sets of BattleCross, Son of Osirus, Machine Head, and Children of Bodom on both the Jagermeister stage and the Musician Institute stage. I also caught a few songs from Job For a Cowboy‘s set, which I enjoyed tremendously. My green VIP wrist band gave me access backstage, where I ran into a few of my favorite metal dudes. Right before Machine Head was to hit the stage, I saw Phil Demmel and we started talking.  All of a sudden, Jason Hook of Five Finger Death Punch rides up on a green dirt bike. I stopped him and asked him to join us in a photo-op and he was down!  Totally surreal and way cool of him! Everyone was in a good mood despite the heat!  Machine Head really killed it with a powerful performance and killer stage set up. I was rocking out on stage with them, looking out at the sea of metalheads crowd surfing to the almighty Rob Flynn.  The crowd surfing was out of control!  I have never seen so many girls crowd surf at a metal show.  Everyone was going nuts, but at the same time making sure no one was getting hurt.  Backstage, I ran into Mike Faley of Metal Blade Records. He was keeping cool in a seat in the shade.  I told him how sick BatterCross’s performance was and he agreed!  In a previous interview I had with Brian Slagel of Metal Blade Records, he mentioned how much he liked BattleCross and to keep a look out for them this summer. He was right, I was blown away. I bought a CD and a T-shirt form the lead singer, Kyle “Gumby” Gunther and had the band sign it! I am digging the new BattleCross album “War of Will.”   It’s intense!  Another band I’ve never seen live that I am now totally into is Born of Osiris! Pretty powerful how they mix in beats and keyboard! Children of Bodom played last on the Music Institute Stage. Alexi Laiho can do no wrong. He is the ultimate shredder!

 

It was time to move onto the main Rockstar Energy stage! Amon Amarth rocked out on a huge battle ship! It was so…BIG! Mastodon kept it simple in stage setup, but you could hear the roar of front man Troy Sanders pass the grass seats of the amphitheater, and probably into the next city!  What a day, and it was not over! As soon as it started getting darker, Five Finger Death opened with their current single ‘Lift Me Up.’ They played a heavy 10-song set and gave the hungry pit a powerful punch of metal mayhem! They concluded the set with ‘The Bleeding.’ The highlight for me was when lead singer Ivan Moody brought on stage a gang of youngsters to represent the next generation of headbangers, and to show the crowd what metal is all about. The kids started headbanging, even the cute little girls on stage, who at first were hesitant, but then got really into it!  He was adamant about having the moshpit make one giant circle during ‘White Knuckles,” and would not continue playing until the pit obliged. Rob Zombie played a huge performance with mad pyrotechnics that could burn your face off if you got to close. He opened up with ‘Teenage Nosferatu Pussy,” and threw in some White Zombie hits we all grew to love him for, like ‘Living Dead Girl,’ ‘More Human Than Human,’ and ‘Thunder Kiss ’65.’ He told all the girls to get on the shoulders of some metal dude and rock out to “Living Dead Girl.” It started getting interesting. Some “living girls” took it to the next level and took their tops off! Oh yeah, it was definitely an all American rock concert, and what better way to end the night than Rob Zombie’s version of the Grand Funk Railroad hit ‘We’re an American Band.’ God Bless America!  Thank you Rob Zombie! If you are a zombie fan like I am, check out my exclusive interview with rob in our current issue of the magazine.

 

After the show ended, I partied in the VIP patio area until traffic died down. I had a great day of metal and the sun barely phased me, thanks to the abundant amount of RockStar water that was provided backstage all day long! I don’t think I would have made it without it! I had another memorable experience in my metal world! If we want to keep enjoying these all day music festivals, I strongly suggest we keep buying albums, T shirts, and merchandise from our favorite bands. Let’s keep the metal scene alive! ‘Til next time, see you in the pit! Or in my case, backstage! Why? Because Rock N Roll Industries “is never too far from the stage!”

 

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Mayhem Festival 2013 tour dates:
6/29 San Bernardino, CA San Manuel Amphitheater
6/30 Mountain View, CA Shoreline Amphitheatre
7/2 Boise, ID Idaho Center Amphitheatre
7/3 Auburn, WA White River Amphitheater
7/5 Phoenix, AZ Desert Sky Pavilion
7/6 Albuquerque, NM Isleta Amphitheatre
7/7 Denver, CO Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre
7/10 Toronto, ON Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
7/12 Burgettstown, PA First Niagara Pavilion
7/13 Scranton, PA Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain
7/14 Darien Center, NY Darien Lake PAC
7/16 Mansfield, MA Comcast Center
7/17 Bangor, ME Bangor Waterfront
7/19 Camden, NJ Susquehanna Bank Center
7/20 Saratoga Springs, NY SPAC
7/21 Hartford, CT The Comcast Theatre
7/23 Holmdel, NJ PNC Bank Arts Center
7/24 Bristow, VA Jiffy Lube Live
7/26 Noblesville, IN Klipsch Music Center
7/27 Tinley Park, IL First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
7/28 Clarkston, MI DTE Energy Music Theatre
7/30 Atlanta, GA Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood
7/31 Tampa, FL Live Nation Amphitheatre at the Florida State Fairgrounds
8/2 Austin, TX Austin360 Amphitheater

 

 

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