by Anabel Dflux
– Photojournalist —
June 29, 2013 at San Manuel Amphitheate in Devore, CA. —
One of the most highly anticipated metal festivals in the United States, Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, finally came around on June 29, taking the San Bernardino area by storm. Braving a record heat wave, (with temperatures staying at 102°F for most of the day) thousands of excited concert goers showed up, eagerly awaiting this year’s lineups. From local bands to internationally beloved acts, Mayhem festival did not disappoint the metal-hungry audience. There was a vast genre span to enthuse even the most rigid fan. With three festival stages and a main stage, there was plenty to enjoy. The set times were nicely setup, consecutively aligned so that each band had the crowd’s full attention.
Opening the show at 1:15 p.m. was Thrown into Exile, a Hollywood local band that’s definitely a force to reckon with. Formed in 2011, this band is the definition of good luck and talent. Having opened for Fear Factory a mere few weeks prior, Mayhem festival was just the icing on the cake.
Born of Osiris, a metal band from Chicago, rocked the Musicians Institute stage as one of the middle acts of the day. Pits began opening and the energy was spinning, with a beat that even lawn ticket holders became thrilled over.
Motionless in White was a sight to see. An American band that has had the pleasure of playing some of the world’s largest international festivals, finally found its way over to Mayhem. They settled in quite nicely, a great change of scenery. Theatrical makeup and an exhilarating performance, the crowd went wild for these metal core rockers. Their set consisted of old and new songs, including A.M.E.R.I.C.A as an encore, the subject of their most recent music video. A special guest was called out to participate in one of the songs.
Job for a Cowboy definitely seemed to have the most passion, or at least, the most expressive of it, with an immense amount of jumping, head banging, and flat out rocking! Each bandmate played with an exceptional amount of skill, those that missed this show were definitely missing out.
Emmure was an interesting twist to the festival, a controversial band whose sound is definitely not conventional. A very genuine act, their lyrics captivated the festival grounds. Emmure is not to be overlooked, combining rap and pop elements as well as a heavy metal sound, the crowd seemed to enjoy their presence just as much as the other bands. Each bandmate played in nice unison with each other. Emmure is currently in the process of producing a new album.
Machine Head, a personal icon in the metal world, was up next. With an absolutely beautiful emblem and godlike band mates, their set absolutely marveled the festival. Playing all the favorite hits, the audience members ate up every chord.
Children of Bodom opened with a moody bass line, with the Finnish heartthrob Alexi causing quite a stir amongst the females in the audience. One of the oldest bands on the ballot, Children of Bodom was the last act to play before the main stage. With years under their belt, no one can argue that this band knows what it is doing- whether you like them or not!
Amon Amarth was the god of the main stage. With the entire head of a ship constructed unto the stage, these melodic deathmetalers made an absolutely stunning impression. Very few acts could match the grand nature of the Amon Amarth set. Every inch of the stage was utilized, including the ship. Adorned with Viking accessories, Hegg excited and mesmerized the crowd as he bellowed out screams and growls, with Mikkonen and Söderberg on guitars, Lundström playing the bass, and Andersson drumming out wild and passionate beats. Having recently released a new album, this concert was a support for it, though the band proceeded to play crowd favorites as well. These Swedish lads have definitely won America over.
Mastodon, an American sludge-metal band, followed Amon Amarth on the main stage. Combining clean and harsh vocals, the melodic band hypnotized the thousands of concert goers circled around the main stage. The front man Troy Sander’s wild bedhead and energy was a sight to see, as he pranced around the stage and bellowed out song after song after song! Brent Hinds was on guitar and vocals, Bill Keliher enjoyed the guitar, and Brann Dailor beat the drums with a little clown mascot on his kit! Their musical style quotes many influences that cohesively combine to create a unique metal experience. The band is currently in the process of writing a new album.
The last main acts of the festival were Five Finger Death Punch and the horror superstar of them all, Rob Zombie.
Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival Photo Gallery