Zombie And More At Mayhem Festival
July 30, 2013 at 12:05 PM (PT)
By Ashley Zlatopolsky
With a stellar lineup on all three stages, 2013's ROCKSTAR ENERGY DRINK MAYHEM FESTIVAL brought onboard just as much insanity and metal-laden acts as previous years. Hosting SLIPKNOT, SLAYER and MOTÖRHEAD as headliners in 2012, the bar had been set high for this time around -- but demands and expectations were well met, as the festival proved to be highly successful in production, music and overall quality.
ALL ACCESS managed to catch the CLARKSTON, MI stop, and although a rainy and chilly day for JULY, the show generated great performances from every band. Here are three great sets we recommend for those attending the remaining stops on the tour:
1. ROB ZOMBIE
Proving time and time again that he has mastered the art of production, ROB ZOMBIE, the festival’s headlining closer, put on a show that may have topped everything previously witnessed from the horror film director. It’s typical to his sets to have over-the-top stage setup, plenty of pyrotechnics and out-of-this-world band wardrobes. However, his Mayhem getup went beyond what is usually expected of ZOMBIE.
Approximately 11 massive LED video screens replaced the backdrop, which kept the audience fascinated with rotating horror clips, animated scenes and flashing song lyrics. ZOMBIE drummer GINGER FISH was elevated throughout the set on a giant skull, later turning into a radio platform during “Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown,” the band’s biggest hit off their new album, Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor. Also centered around tracks and accompanying the stage were a bigger-than-life devil for White Zombie’s “Super Charger Heaven,” inflated gumballs dropped upon the crowd for “Sick Bubblegum,” a mechanical horse (which ZOMBIE rode around stage) for “Meet the Creeper” and an alien for “More Human Than Human.” Bursts of flames supplemented each song as a fiery background for ZOMBIE’s already fueled-up stage presence.
Playing The Star-Spangled Banner, guitarist JOHN 5 led the group into their cover of GRAND FUNK RAILROAD’s “We’re An American Band.” ZOMBIE, wearing an Uncle Sam Top Hat, paraded around stage as red, white and blue sparks flew from the pavilion ceiling.
“Put your stupid phones down!” he shouted to the crowd. “I’m going to give you some advice -- one day, you’re going to die. And you’re going to think to yourself, ‘Maybe I should have rocked out harder at that concert!’” continued ZOMBIE, as people all around began to put their phones away.
The audience continued to rock through “Thunder Kiss ‘65”, another WHITE ZOMBIE classic. IVAN MOODY of FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH made a surprise guest appearance, providing vocals during the chorus. The explosive set ended with a confetti shower as the band polished off their show with “Dragula.”
2. FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH
Preceding ROB ZOMBIE, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH paved the way for excellent back-to-back sets to close out the night. An electric front man, lead singer IVAN MOODY never falls short of capturing the crowd and involving the audience throughout every show.
Illuminated by pulsating white lights, MOODY emerged onstage as the band kicked off their set with “Under and Over It”, followed by “Burn It Down." He shared a story with the audience about a dog tag necklace he received from a man fighting overseas in Iraq, and how he wears it during all performances. Waving an American flag as the crowd chanted “U.S.A., U.S.A.,” his patriotic speech led into the band’s well-known rendition of “Bad Company.”
Following the cover track, MOODY brought a few lucky kids onstage (a move typical to a FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH show):
“Make some noise for the next generation of heavy metal, people!” he roared.
Although a short set of only nine tracks, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH delivered a power-packed performance that solidified the crowd energy for ZOMBIE to continue building upon.
3. MOTIONLESS IN WHITE
Apart from the main stage was a plethora of superb side stage action, with MOTIONLESS IN WHITE as one of the standout performances of the day. The six-piece PENNSYLVANIA metalcore band, decked out head-to-toe in black clothing with matching black face makeup, drew an immense crowd for their afternoon set. Fans were ready to rage before 3 p.m. even hit the clock, packing the front of the Musicians Institute Stage all the way to the back of the lot.
“When I say bounce, you all bounce!” screamed lead singer CHRIS CERULLI, as the surrounding mob jumped up and down endlessly.
With crowd surfers flying in every direction, the band continued to rev the audience as they dropped both older tracks and newer material off their latest album, Infamous. Fan favorites were “Abigail” and “Underdog,” but the real crowd-pleaser was undeniably “America,” MOTIONLESS IN WHITE’s closing song.
“America,” heard frequently on SIRIUSXM’s OCTANE RADIO, had the entire audience shouting along to the chorus, which spells out the title. Fists were thrown in the air as each letter rolled around.
Also on the roster for Rockstar Energy Drink MAYHEM FESTIVAL are MASTODON, AMON AMARTH, MACHINEHEAD, JOB FOR A COWBOY, BUTCHER BABIES, BATTLECROSS, HUNTRESS, CHILDREN OF BODOM, EMMURE, BORN OF OSIRIS, ATTIKA 7, THROWN INTO EXILE, SCORPION CHILD, CITY IN THE SEA and acts local to each stop.