Yesterday, Frank, myself and his sister Cindy (who was helping us out shooting photos) trekked out to Holmdel, NJ to check out the local stop of the Rockstar Mayhem Festival. In the past, I recall always looking forward to the outdoor festivals, as it was a total spectacle. It was like a one day Summer camp, with tons of activities to keep you distracted. All I thought about this year was how I'd rather be indoors. Am I getting old? Yes! Here is a recap of our events from yesterday:
We got there early enough to hear 3 Inches of Blood do a sound check. For a second we thought they started playing to (literally) nobody but that wasn't the case. They kicked off the show with a bang and were great. The setup of the two stages at the venue was great as they were on complete opposite sides of each other with bands starting almost immediately after the previous band ended. Everything went super smooth and the place was packed.
This is where things started going downhill for me. It was too hot! We were running around doing interviews with a bunch of the second stage bands and I really don't know how kids do it. How do you mosh and keep going in all that heat? Also, there was way too much flesh being shown. Guys, if you have boobs bigger than some girls at the show, keep your shirt on. Same goes for really hairy dudes. Additionally, if you live in New Jersey, displaying a confederate flag just screams one thing: racist.
The standout band of the second stage for me personally was Norma Jean. I was pleasantly surprised when they opened their set with "Memphis Will Be Laid To Waste", one of their older tunes and proceeded to play all the hits from their discography. I truly expected them to play a new album-heavy set, but they mixed it up and proved to be the sort of oddball band of the second stage, and my personal favorite performance.
While doing interviews, we were really close to the Metal Mulisha guys and I have to say I was incredibly impressed with the show they put on. How do you even practice moves like the ones they pull off, I'll never understand. Nor would I ever have the balls to do shit like this:
I would be re-missed if I didn't talk about the power that Hatebreed possesses. I am positive a lot of people came to this show just to see Jasta and co. rip shit up. And, that they did. The crowd was going nuts with multiple moshpits and a ton of crowd surfing (that still happens at shows?). At one point Jamey called for all the ladies to get on their guy's shoulders and a ton of them did and we even saw some boob flashings (although some of those should have stayed in their shirts…eww dirty Jerz). Hatebreed brought it.
We didn't get to catch Five Finger Death Punch or the beginning of Lamb of God's set, but even as this was probably the 20th time I've seen LoG, they still fuckin killed it. Chris Adler almost looks bored up there, making everything he does look just too easy. What a jerk! Love these guys, always will.
Rob Zombie had an AMAZING set. The stage was filled with fun little things that was a bit similar to the type of set design you would see at a GWAR show. But, bigger and with more fire. He had screens everywhere, and just a lot of stuff to take your mind off the fact that his songs are so repetative. It's a very entertaining show, but musically, it gets old fast. I was surprised, because after his 5 song set at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards a few months ago, I was actually really looking forward to this. I'm sure fatigue had something to do this.
As for Korn's performance, I'll say this – they had a pretty sweet stage setup and the drummer has a lot of quirky cymbals. I was watching them from afar at a beer garden. I used to be a huge Korn fan as kid, but I am incredibly over this band. When they played Blind, I couldn't help but bust out laughing at Davis trying to sound all tough singing "Knick-knack patty-whack, give a dog a bone". Also, the dude looks like he has a seizure on stage.
Overall, it was a fun but incredibly draining day that was capped off by a "sausage party" hosted by The Rev and Big Jay Oakerson. The sausage was delicious and the tequila hit me way hard.
Two random notes, I'd like to add. First off, the award for best merch area goes to 3 Inches of Blood:
And, secondly, while in the press tent, we noticed that Wednesday 13 is a teen wolf:
Mayhem Fest is still steam rolling through the US. Click here for remaining dates.