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UPDATE: KNAC.COM's RockStar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival Tour Diary: Virginia Review Just Added! Machine Head Guitarist Collapses, and more Unexpected Surprises

By Newsferatu, Writer
Wednesday, August 20, 2008 @ 11:10 PM


Check Back Often for Updates Throughout the Tour

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KNAC.COM is pleased to sponsor the inaugural tour of the RockStar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. This page is intended to evolve while our contributors from across the country file reports, photos and more from their experiences when the tour drops by their home towns.

Virginia

KNAC.COM's Peter Atkinson gives his take on what may be the most eventful night on the tour:

Rockstar Energy Mayhem Tour Nissan Pavilion Bristow, Va. Aug. 17 As this was the penultimate show of the festival — it wrapped up two days later near Buffalo, N.Y. — and every aspect had been covered at length in previous postings here, I was hoping there might be some surprises so I’d actually have something new to add.

Careful what you wish for. In one of the bigger “holy shit” moments of the tour, Machine Head guitarist Phil Demmel passed out during the band’s otherwise crushing Jagermeister Stage headlining set. As Machine Head were finishing up “Halo,” he literally just toppled over stage right, bringing everything to a screeching halt as his bandmates scrambled over in a panic to tend to him.

Given the arms and legs flying everywhere from the flock of stage-front crowd surfers and the number of projectiles — it rained Rockstar energy drink cans and cups full of ice at times — I thought maybe Demmel got clocked in the head by something, because he dropped like a stone. And after medical staff treated him for about 10 minutes, they strapped him to a backboard before carting him off.

But as it turned out, Demmel was just “dehydrated.” At least that’s what a posting late that night on Machine Head’s Web site from drummer Dave McClain said. McClain noted that Demmel had mentioned several times to his tech during the show that he felt lightheaded. Guess he wasn’t kidding.

“That was a scary moment for all of us,” McClain wrote. “Seeing your friend collapse like that is something that nobody wants to experience.”

Yet, this was not the first time it had happened to Demmel. At a show last year in Milan, Italy, he also fainted onstage. So looks like someone needs to pay closer attention to maintaining his precious bodily fluids.

Fortunately, he was OK after both incidents, and Demmel was expected to play the final Mayhem show, according to McClain.

The collapse, and the rather unsettling sight of Demmel being hauled off, immobilized, with three EMTs hovering over him — all while a gaggle of slack-jawed gawkers shot cell phone pix to show their friends or videos to stick on YouTube — put the kibosh on what was supposed to have been the evening’s big surprise: a rare “performance” by the piss-take “supergroup” Ladder Up An Ass.

Near as I can tell, LUAA has only appeared one other time, Aug. 7 at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. It is basically members of The Red Chord, Mastodon and Slipknot goofing around in surgical masks playing, of all things, triangles.

Google “Ladder Up An Ass” and you can find some photos of the Nassau “debut.” Seems that as the “set” went on — with what looks like 100 people hanging around to watch — a whole bunch of other Mayhem musicians joined in, while Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor wielded a tuba. There was also something about throwing marshmallow Peeps. Not sure what that’s all about.

I’ll bet it would have sounded godawful — in a “South Park” recorder concert that makes everyone crap themselves sorta way — but it looks like it would have been fun to watch, Peeps or no Peeps. Anyway, it’s a moot point now.

I got to the show pretty late and only saw one other second-stage band, Christian scream-o sextet Underoath who tore it up with gusto, thanked the Lord — it was Sunday after all — and probably got the kids who are into them pretty psyched about their imminent new album. Still, the ratio of “Pick Jesus” to Slayer T-shirts was like 1 to 1,000.

Speaking of T-shirts, who was that manning the “I Love Vagina” T-shirt stand? Why it was “Big Dave,” Ozzy Osbourne’s oafish roadie from “The Battle for Ozzfest.” Good to see he’s moving up in the world.

On the main stage, Mastodon pretty much went over everyone’s head — at least those folks who bothered to hang around and watch instead of schlepping over to see knuckle-draggers Five Finger Death Punch — while what little I saw of Dragonforce was all twirling hair and guitar shred ear-bleed.

Disturbed are a love-hate proposition — and I hate ‘em. Always have, and from what I saw at Nissan Pavilion, probably always will. I think of them in the same vein as shit-peddlers like Limp Bizkit or Kid Rock, so utterly contrived and cliched, with every ham-fisted anthem so obviously calculating, you wonder how people fail to see right through it.

And if there’s a more pretentious frontman than Dave Draiman, I’ve yet to see him. His cheesy, preacher-like pontificating is gag-inducing. “My brothers! My sisters! My blood!” — My god, what a tool!

And when he brought a 9-year-old fan named Alexa up onstage, he was every bit the creepy old uncle you’d steer clear of at family gatherings — the prison jump suit didn’t help. But he and the band had the crowd eating out of the palm of their hands. Go figure.

Slipknot was, well, Slipknot. Lots of fire, noise, flash and F-bombs. Just like always. Not that that’s a bad thing. And tonight, these guys were playing hurt. Along with DJ Sid Wilson, who broke both his feet on the opening night of the tour and literally crawled around the stage, drummer Joey Jordinson had just badly sprained an ankle, or so Taylor told the crowd.

Though he had to hop behind his kit, Jordinson had no problems doing double-time on the kick drums and handling blast-beats as the band charged through “Heretic Anthem,” etc., like a runaway train. Well it turns out the ankle was actually broken, or so the band announced following the final Mayhem show — which he also played.

Taylor — whose new mask makes him look like a Sleestak from “Land of the Lost” — is just a guilty as Draiman of going to the Frontman 101 “Scream for me Long Beach” playbook way too often, but at least he does it with some conviction. And when the Slipknot tear ass on “People = Shit,” you know they mean it.

The one thing I took away from the inaugural Mayhem Festival, at least at Nissan, was the number of kids — and I mean little kids, even younger than the aforementioned Alexa — who were there. I walked in behind two young dads and their sons, who couldn’t have been more than 6 or 7, and figured it was an aberration — or dubious parenting. But there were what seemed like hundreds of grammar schoolers inside, some toting stuffed animals and blankies. Maybe because it was a Sunday, ma and pa decided to make the Mayhem Festival family outing — or some folks mistakenly thought they were at the Jonas Brothers show that was scheduled for the next night. Whatever, the reason it was surreal. And it must have made for some interesting moments at elementary school Monday morning, especially if little Johnny pulled a Corey Taylor and demanded his second-grade classmates “show me your god-damn hands, motherfuckers.”

Chicago

KNAC.COM Chicago contributor, Shelly Harris checked out the Mayhem Festival at the Midwest Bank Amphitheater in Tinley Park, IL. Here's her report:

Okay, here’re my random observations for this day at the Chicago area’s biggest outdoor venue, First Midwest Bank Amphitheater. The place itself is likely similar to all the others on the Mayhem Festival tour schedule, as it seems most outdoor amphitheaters nationwide have a rough cookie-cutter layout – for better or worse – as the sound usually suffers unless it’s one of the rare ones with natural acoustics (as say, Alpine Valley in WI).

At any rate, at this gig there were 14 bands playing, with a break down of five each on the Hot Topic and Jagermeister stages (conveniently situated next to each other in what is normally part of the parking lot), and four on the Rockstar Energy Drink main stage.

Just so you know the routine (which I didn’t myself at first), the first bands come on at the two side stages mentioned above at around 2:20 PM (they play for 30 minutes each, except the final ones on each stage, which play for 35 minutes), and, to be sure, there is not one minute to spare between the act coming off one stage to the one immediately coming on the next. The later side stage bands even overlap with the early ones on the main stage – and there’s nearly 11 hours solid of live music, so it’s best to have an action plan and hard choices must still be made: Five Finger Death Punch or Mastodon? - Machine Head or Dragonforce? – etc.

A large number of people I saw chose to forfeit going to the side stages altogether in order to que up early – 3:00 or so – for the limited GA admission being allowed into the main stage pit (you had to have additional main stage tickets for pavilion seats otherwise), even though the bands there didn’t start until 5:45. But really, some of the best stuff was on the side stages, and I discovered the hard way that if you’re intent on seeing a sampling of as many of the bands as possible, you’re better off standing back to the distance between the two side stages.

I know the front is where the action and the vibes really are (in more ways than one) – and that’s normally where I’d be dead set on being too – but, frankly, at a fest gig like this I didn’t mind the random water soakings being dished out from the sidelines nearly as much abhorred and feared the unrestrained crush.

Call me a sissy girl, but I learned my lesson the one time I did early-position myself up front at the Jagermeister stage for Five Finger Death Punch. (I thought I was going to be seeing Australia’s Airbourne, who I especially wanted to catch, but they’d apparently been slotted up earlier on the bill contrary to the website schedule I checked out the night before).

Anyway, I soon discovered that although there was very ample security all around the grounds in general, there was no actual crowd control except at the front and around the parameters of the side stages – and literally no one near enough to see or help the masses in the real eye the of the hurricane.

You know what happens next: all the Johnny-come-latelys soon charged up from the back in successful attempts to plow past the others who have been patiently waiting, not pausing to see or care about the damage done behind them, or the intense forward crush it caused on the whole surrounding crowd. So, after feeling the press and fright of all that three or four times, and then having a couple of 200 pound- plus body surfers actually kerplunking to the ground right next to me (though both got up red and grinning), I hightailed it out of there as quickly as I could.

Actually, it was all for the best: positioned farther back the sound is actually much better – or it was this day – and, unless you’re a natural born giant, you can actually see the bands better from a distance as well. So, back and forth I went from this position, coming forward when necessary to zero in on what was up at each of the two stages.

Though, unfortunately, I did completely miss the highly recommended Airbourne due to their aforementioned slot change, the other not- to- be-missed side stage band (to my taste) was Miami’s Black Tide. There’s been quite a buzz about them already, due in part to their astonishing youth, and there really is something to be said for that authentic teenage exuberance – it’s infectious and thrilling – and difficult for even the most intense and seasoned veterans to imitate.

No doubt Black Tide were shooting for just this thing, but they did have the aura and vibe of the early DiAnno-era Iron Maiden, and in fact they actually played a “Prowler” cover that they have already recorded as part of the current Kerrang! Iron Maiden tribute album. As expected, that got their ever-growing crowd worked up into a complete frenzy – including yours truly. The excitement and vitality surrounding this band is indeed palpable, and it never hurts to attract the younguns in droves either, even – or especially – the numerous pubescent girls towards the front who told me they’d gotten hooked on the band via Myspace.

So, all the hoopla surrounding Black Tide turned out to be justified and definitely warranted: precocious real talent to accompany all the fury and force is hard to beat, and they’re a definite “must see” on a regular tour with a longer set in the future – the sooner the better, at that.

Other honorable mentions on the side stages: Machine Head (who also did a great cover of “Hallowed Be Thy Name” for the aforementioned Maiden tribute album – but then great songs are hard to screw up too much), the uber-intense Underoath, and malevolent Five Finger Death Punch who had an impressively huge and raucous crowd there to ardently support them as well.

On the main stage, the main fascination for me was the second of the four bands, London-based Dragonforce, who are positioned to be the next big thing in metal, or so says my hard-to-impress metalhead son, who has been enraptured by this band for a couple of years now. Said offspring came away from the pit of this band’s set walking on air, awed and overwhelmed and even happy to have been jocularly spit on (with liquor) by the band’s good-humored and highly charismatic lead singer JP Theart.

Dragonforce is a band that commands the stage with convincing confidence – even cockiness, and they seem to have a damn good time while doing it – and all with good reason. Melodic, powerful, frenzied, and clearly virtuoso (thanks largely to guitarist and band founder Herman Li), this band was numero uno from my view at Mayhem this year, and they’re surely the ones with the most intense upward trajectory on the metal scene in general right now. Side note: Dragonforce also takes top prize for best hair on the bill -- a prop that they dramatically play on with fans blowing it all around up front of the monitors. (Hey, I don’t blame ‘em one bit – if you’ve got it, flaunt it, and they do!)

Disturbed also made a great showing for their huge “sweet home Chicago” following who were out in force to buoy them on. As already reported, Draiman dramatically takes the stage in Hannibal Lecture jumpsuit and wheel-chair props, etc, and prowls the stage with the authority that four straight number one albums on the Billboard charts tends to generate.

To be honest, I didn’t stick around for all of the closing Slipknot set – the main stage and lawn was full by then, or even earlier, but just not my cup ‘o tea, sorry to say, or a least not enough to endure a massive traffic jam combined with a very early following morning wake up call. (No doubt others here at KNAC.COM will pay ‘em their just dues.)

Other random/ miscellaneous impressions of the day – or the good, bad, and the ugly:

  • Chicago Mayhem goers lucked out with a perfect, clear, non-humid, and breezy summer day, though there were many very sun-burned bodies on view everywhere by nightfall – ouch!
  • The crowd was surprisingly diverse: more females than you might expect, and spanning all age groups from 50 down, though the largest demographic seemed to be the 30-and-less crowd.
  • Goths, punks,
  • and all manner of metalheads abounded and mixed well, and there were more guys with shaved heads than I’ve ever seen in one place at one time – along with a surprising number of soccer mom and/or cheerleader types.
  • No one seemed to be overly intoxicated – especially for a major outdoor fest– and the under-age younguns mostly appeared more lucid than the older set, perhaps due to very diligent security and law enforcement scrutiny around the thoroughfare at the venue – combined with the typically exorbitant drink prices.
  • Various Mayhem fest band members could be seen making their way through the crowds at different times, checking out the other bands and circuses going on, though I couldn’t tell you for sure all of their names or which bands they were in, except for the very distinguishable, Rapunzle-haired Herman Li of Dragonforce.
  • For those curious about what goes on backstage at any show, and particularly a big fest like this: as usual, there really wasn’t much excitement to speak of at all; the main stage bands were basically barbequing and gathered up in small crowds with their friends in the aisles between their buses; nobody acting like a ‘70s rockstar, and in fact it was hard to tell band members apart from the many family and friends everywhere, especially so because it’s Disturbed’s hometown and there was also a large Iowa contingent there for Slipknot as well (though one notable curiosity was the very large group of bikers who were only on the main stage back patio briefly prior to the opening set for Mastodon).
  • Some of the bands on the Hot Topic and Jagermester stages do signings after their sets at the respective sponsor tents (you can check there to see the whiteboards with the particular bands and times), but you will first need to purchase something from the band’s merch booths (quite understandable), and it is sold at very reasonable prices; i.e., the Black Tide T-shirts were being sold for $20 a pop.
  • Three people came up to me asking me if I knew where Disturbed’s pre-party was being held, and they had special wrist-bands on indicating they were amongst the 25 people who had been awarded admission to this gathering via the band’s website; they said no one – no security anywhere, even backstage - knew of or about any such event, and I really felt their pain but couldn’t help them out, since the security was pretty confused with most of my queries as well … but then they don’t call it “Mayhem” for nothing.
  • Weather cooperating, and if you come to the gig well-fed, Mayhem is by far the most bang for the buck you’ll find on the concert scene this year, and you are sure to see some future super bands in the making (Dragonforce, Black Tide, Machine Head, Underoath, and Five Finger Death Punch do name but a few possibilities) – and, really, there’re not too many things cooler than to be able to say you were turned on to so-and-so at Mayhem “way back when …”
  • Note to Iron Maiden: Take both Dragonforce and Black Tide on tour with you next time over here – their Maiden connection and influence clearly shows and the new American (youthful) metalheads are guaranteed to be there in droves.
Photos coming.

Boston (OK! Mansfield)

KNAC.COM contributor Mick Stingley attended the August 5th stop on the Mayhem Tour at the comcast Center in Mansfield, MA. Check out this photo gallery from the show by clicking here.

Here's Mick's review, which we post with caution because apparently somebody forgot to tell Stingley that KNAC.COM is a Mayhem Sponsor!

The Highlights (and lows):

  • Forty bucks to park in the "Premier" lot (closer to the gate, allegedly patrolled by security).
  • A solid forty-five + minutes in line waiting to pick up tickets at will-call.
  • A whole other line to get in which might intimidate the Faithful traveling to Mecca on Ramadan.
  • Eight fucking dollars for ANY beer (Corona, Bud, Bud Light, Bud Lime).
  • No alcohol for those without ID; no alcohol for those under 25 with out of state ID.
  • Four dollars and seventy-five cents for an undercooked hot dog so godawful (shockingly, Nathan's) that no amount of yellow mustard could make it palatable.
  • Four dollars for a bottle of water. Four dollars for Cracker-Jacks. Four dollars for salted peanuts (still in the shell).
  • Free cans of Rockstar Energy Drink all day long.
  • Motocross guys jumping ramps, doing crazy tricks all afternoon near the side stages.
  • Jagermeister tent (line too long).
  • Walls of Jericho (fun).
  • Black Tide (sounded great).
  • Five Finger Death Punch (tee shirts everywhere; awesome set).
  • Airbourne (stole the show).
  • Machine Head (fucking incredible).
  • DragonForce (hilarious, awesome).
  • Drunk kids puking on asphalt before 5PM (shocking, pathetic, hilarious).
  • National Guard/Marines recruiters nonchalantly trying to sign kids up (overheard, "We rock, too!"). Beautiful.
  • "I Love Vagina" tent doing brisk business throughout the day.
  • Number of patrons escorted out of the venue as witnessed by reviewer: 6
  • Number of kids who have probably never been laid holding up handwritten signs offering "Free Hugs": 3
  • Full-on goths spotted: 4
  • Number of male skinny girl-jeans-wearing emo-kids (with the whole bangs/eyeliner thing): 4
  • Number of bands who referred to Mansfield as "Boston": almost everyone
  • Best backstage sighting: massage tent for musicians.
  • Best backstage (overheard) conversation/comments: "We're making more money doing less on this tour than if we did our own thing and did more."
  • Best tee-shirt: Machine Head "Machine Fucking Head" black tee, $30. Totally worth it.
The Shizznit:

The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Kidzbop Festival Of Screams was pretty much OZZfest without the legends.

Everything was running late and once you got in, you're overwhelmed by the sheer blinding light of one tent after another offering something you need to buy. It's a traveling gypsy mall of rock and merch and junkfood and since this is how business is conducted in the here and now, you take what you can get and let the buyer beware.

No matter what, only the most steadfast of mind and spirit can avoid the impulse, desire and instinct to consume. No one here gets out unscathed, financially. Good luck, kids; good luck parents; good luck rockers if you can refrain from spending more than ten bucks at this thing...in a turbulent economy, this kind of tour is freaking out-of-hand. There are no deals to be had, unless you love every single band. And given the staggering amount of time it takes to watch the whole show unfurl (from 2PM until 11PM), most people would call it work.

That said, there is a fair amount of good amidst the counterintuitive corporate nonsense. Because it's about the music...

Walls of Jericho know how to put on a great show. I'm not a super-fan, much less a "fan" but these guys and one female rock and stomp and act as if the world is about to end - they put on the show of their lives. Singer Candace what’s-her-name, fucking ruled, throttling the mic with her crazy growling/screaming. Her band stomps and jumps and whether or not you're a fan of theirs (I'm not), the live show is great. They were the first band of the day to really stand out (nothing to do with having a chick-singer) and the crowd reaction was strong. Don't know their music to save my live, but well worth seeing for the sheer energy alone.

Five Finger Death Punch weren't all that, at first. I was kinda looking off to the side wondering about having another $8 beer, and then they kicked in with some kickass song, kinda slow, that held the whole crowd's attention. Later on when these guys were off the stage, I saw them walking through the crowd to do some signing at the Rockstar tent. While security tried to rush them through, the singer took time to shake hands and chat with kids who obviously adored them. He could have been a dick, but he stayed on talking and taking pictures...and on his way back, did this again. Either he's an attention-whore or the nicest guy ever; but when he came out to watch/rock during Airbourne's set, he was right in front of me, happily chatting away with fans and posing for pictures. I've seen enough bands in my life to know who's cool and who isn't and this guy was downright cool. And he seemed genuinely shocked at the positive reception, shaking hands and so on. I liked that. Noticed a lot of band shirts for 5FDP and started wondering what I was missing out on. I will check them out based solely on this and nothing more.

I was off bitching about the price of beer and watching the crazy motocross guys when Black Tide was on. Liked what I heard, moved up to check 'em out, only to catch the last song. Not sure what's going on there, but, hey- if you go to a show and hear a band that gets your attention when you're not really paying attention- well, that is something. They only played a short set, but whatever they're doing sounded great live. Curious to hear more...

Totally there to see Airbourne and they did not disappoint. On a day filled with bands growling and screaming and generally being watered-down Pantera, these guys brought the old-school and some diversity to the day. Totally AC/DC ramped-up via Motorhead and it was fucking fantastic. The crowd was thin at first and then pretty soon there were mosh-pits and so many people you couldn't move; The band to watch on this tour, period. Just your basic four-piece Aussie rawk-n-rawl AC/DC ripoffs and they owned it and milked it for thirty-five straight minutes. Excellent from start to finish (though they didn't play "What's Eating You?").

Underoath was, um, okay if underwhelming. I wasn't blown away, even though I was told to check them out. More for the kids, I guess; and so be it. If that's what the kids are into, well, fine. I just can't see these guys going the distance unless they step out from the shadows of every band they're ripping off. But they drew a huge crowd...

Machine Head fucking ruled, end of story. Before they even took the stage the crowd was chanting their name....which wasn't the case for any band all afternoon. When Robb Flynn picked up his guitar it was all cheering and throwing of horns. They opened with "Clenching..." and rocked on from there. The pits were so crazy for this band...the only thing that sucked - and this is all scheduling shit - was that Mastodon was already on the main stage some fifteen minutes away. Anyone who wanted to catch DragonForce - let alone Mastodon - was going to have to cut out and start hoofing it. Machine Head deserves better and hopefully with the latest single ("Halo") out, people will get behind this band in a big way and support them on their own tour. I blew 30 bucks on a tee for them, my only merch purchase of the day...

DragonForce took the main stage (under the shed) at like 7:30 and they were fucking nuts. I interviewed Herman Li in the afternoon (coming later) and he was a complete gentleman; very charming and funny and very self-aware. They just do what they do, video-games, power-metal nonsense and speed. JP, the singer, came out into the audience at one point, singing and working his way around the first tier and back to the stage, garnering fist-bumps and cheers. Mostly they played old/recent shit ("Operation Ground and Pound") despite the fact that the new cd "Ultra Beatdown" comes out in three weeks. Though they played the new song, "Starchaser" (or whatever) and that ruled. But they were nuts. Oddly, the last time they played here was OZZfest, on the very same stage... and today, more so than then, they owned it. And naturally they closed with "Through The Fire and The Flames" and the whole place went fucking mental.

By the time they finished, so was I. I'd been up all day running around and mostly just wanted to have a nice dinner and maybe a nice glass of wine...I have no love for Disturbed and have seen SlipKnot destroy audiences many times. But when Dave Draiman came out, wheeled out, a la Hannibal Lecter in "The Silence of the Lambs" (complete with straight jacket and stupid face mask), I had had enough. All day long, bands I liked and bands I didn't gave everything and more and jumped and thrashed and beat themselves up trying to win over the audience and make a good impression; and after all that (AND DragonForce jumping around like Mario Brothers), Draiman sashayed around like Paul Stanley on a Xanax bender and I felt insulted. It's like he wasn't even trying. Disturbed had a killer lighting rig and a huge-ass stage... and this fat-ass lumbered around and made animal-noises and the crowd ate it up. Hey- if that's your cup of tea, well drink up, you sheep, you lambs. But I wasn't drinking anything at that point and maybe that might have made a difference. Basically, I think they're way overrated and kinda suck (compared to any band on the side-stages). The band was tight, no question: but Draiman needs to lose twenty pounds if he's going to act like a rockstar; and moreover, he needs to act like he gives a shit instead of going through the motions.

So bad, I cut out and skipped SlipKnot. Shame on me, as I'm sure they rocked... or at least, I hope they did. But hey- I beat the traffic. I'll have to try to catch them on a smaller tour, if they book one. But after a long day of bad hot-dogs and overpriced beer and corporate wanking...there's only so much anyone can take. I drove home, ordered a pizza and had a killer bottle of chianti. No fava beans and no Dave Stupid Draiman. And as I ate my pizza and drank my wine and looked over the pix from the show, my ears stopped ringing and I could finally appreciate the silence of the lambs.

To recap:

Machine Head rocks; Airbourne rules. 5FDP is worth checking out and DragonForce is a must.

##

Here's something cool. Machine Head just posted a video Mayhem Tour diary on their website. Click here to view it.

##

Albuquerque

One thing is certain, you can count on Jeff Kerby to speak his mind. Here's Kerby’s Review of the Rockstar Mayhem Festival's July 20th stop in Albuquerque, New Mexico:

If one goes to the Mayhem website and checks out the posts serving as reviews for the various shows that have taken place, any reader paying any attention at all will notice the similarities. Now, imagine that I stuck about fifty of these fan reviews in a blender--this is what the composite might look like:

“I went to the show early with my niece Pookie. She loves Slipknot. We stood out in the sun. It was so hot. I got sunburn. Actually, I don’t know if Pookie did, but we didn’t care because The Hot Topic stage and the Jager stage fuckin’ rocked!! But they didn’t fuckin’ rock as hard as the main stage. Mastodon tore shit up. Then, DragonForce came on--but they’re gay. Disturbed kicked so much ass. My boyfriend, Bill, who plays LOTS of tackle football, loves them. Even as good as they were though, Slipknot was even better. Horns up, bitches!!”

Sure, the language may be simple, and I might not want to hang with the person who would have posted this for more than three minutes unless she had really HUGE knockers, but there is some truth here.

1) It is hot. Then again, it is always going to be hot at 2 P.M. in July. Factor in the humidity (it was moister than Sebastian Bach’s leather bound ass crack at the show in Albuquerque.)

2) Fans are saying that they liked “most of the bands” on both the Hot Topic and Jagermeister stages, yet they seem to be having trouble delineating between them. There are a few exceptions though. Black Tide--the band comprised of teenagers from Florida definitely made an impression. Before people criticize them for what they might not be at this moment, maybe they should consider what they have the potential to be--a great band that could carry the torch of traditional metal. Besides, how cool would you have felt playing to audiences all over the country on a national tour when you were 16?

Other bands who appeared to have a substantial following--or at least stood out--were Five Finger Death Punch, Airbourne, Underoath and WWalls Of Jericho who all seemed to get the best reception in what basically seemed a prelude to the act most fans wanted to see--Machine Head.

3) The main stage is where the money is. Mastodon opens the festivities in workmanlike, if not spectacular fashion before DragonForce begins their set. Whether one appreciates what this group has to offer or not, it is a fact that this festival needs them. After hearing band after band each trying to sound “harder” than the next, it was invigorating to hear the musicianship and old school vocals DragonForce brings to the table--I don’t care if they licensed “Through The Fire and Flames” to Guitar Hero 3. As for the last two bands, if someone loves Disturbed and Slipknot on record, they will love them live. Each group is chock full of seasoned professionals who are going to put on a consistently impressive show night after night.

That being said, here is my review of the Albuquerque show as filtered through the sensibilities of the average person posting on the Mayhem website:

“Yep, it was fucking hotter than a pair of sweaty bull’s balls out there in the desert on the day of the Mayhem Festival. There was always music playing. In Albuquerque though, it rained like a bitch. Underoath and Machine Head’s performances each got moved back as did the set times for the main stage acts. As soon as it started coming down, people acted like dicks trying to find shelter. My friend Chipps tried to help the poor beer cart lady who was getting trampled. Hey, she is just trying to make a living. Fuck. It’s too bad Disturbed pulls so many frat boy/jock/latent homosexuals to their shows as they tend to be the biggest assholes of the group. DragonForce was the highlight of the night, as I enjoyed both their hair and guitar virtuosity. Disturbed then kicked much ass as many jarhead looking guys hugged each other and masturbated. In between Disturbed and Slipknot, Chipp’s cousin Robbie was bumped by a drunk Indian. They almost fought. The only thing that kept them from throwing down was their mutual love for Slipknot. It was beautiful. I would have taken photos of the last two bands, but security banned me from behind the barriers due to my inebriated status and “erratic” behavior. Fuck them. I had a good time anyway.”

Check out Kerby's handful of DragonForce photos. Click here.

Phoenix

July 18 at Cricket Wireless Pavilion, KNAC.COM personality and co-founder, Long Paul and contributor/photographer David Svendsen aka "CrpnDeth" braved the 300 degree heat to take in the show.

Here's Crpn's review:

The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival rolled in to Arizona in July to a sold out crowd (18,000+) at the Cricket Pavilion amid 113-degree temperatures. To say it was hot would be the year’s worst understatement.

THE SHOW STEALERS

Owners of the Jager stage seemed to be a tie between Five Finger Death Punch and Airbourne. While the two bands couldn’t be any more different in their respective genres, the crowd size and reaction to both sets solidify the title. FFDP brought a brutal set at one of the hottest parts of the day, and it didn’t faze them a bit. Their setlist included ”Ashes”, “Way of the Fist”, and “Salvation” and the 5,000+ crowd ate up every minute of their short set. At times, the crowd was louder than vocalist Ivan Moody.

Airbourne hit the stage an hour later and took advantage of the frenzy that FFDP had whipped up. Hitting the stage with ”Stand Up for Rock and Roll”, “Running Wild” and “Too Much Too Young Too Fast”, the band has been called an AC/DC knockoff, but unlike the scream-o genre, there is always room for one more in the gritty/bluesy hard rock category. I, for one, was glad to see this band on the bill. A solid, catchy debut was sure to come across live very well and secure the band a whole new world of fans. By the end of their set, you could see that they had done just that.

Machine Head put in a solid performance as well, but maybe it was just that the fans had been in the sun/heat for roughly five hours before MH came on, the crowd seemed to diminish after half their set. Blame it on the heat. Or maybe it was the mass migration to the main stage for shade and Dragonforce.

Black Tide hit the Hot Topic stage to very heavy anticipation from the crowd. The crowd size seemed to be slightly less than that of FFDP, but the band hit their mark regardless. Their nod to the old school guitar riffs had the crowd raising fists at almost every turn, the climax hitting during “Shockwave”. The kids have their shit together, and put on a solid performance.

On the main stage, the crowd gathered early to catch Dragonforce. The band has become Arizona favorites, and with Ultra Beatdown being released Aug. 25th, the crowd was waiting to hear a new tune. Their wait was rewarded when the band played “Heroes of Our Time” (if you dug Inhuman Rampage then you will dig Ultra Beatdown, as it sounds like it could have been disc 2 of IR). The rest of the set contained the Dragonforce staples such as “Through the Fire and the Flames” and “Operation Ground and Pound”, among others. The sheer energy the band displayed was enough to tire out the crowd! Herman Li and Sam Totman switched stage sides faster and more often than Pamela Anderson changes ex’s.

The crowd was evenly divided between Disturbed and Slipknot. Disturbed, having just released their third straight number one album Indestructible, ate up the crowd attention and began with “Perfect Insanity” (perfect opening song as David Draiman was wheeled in a la Hannibal Lector) followed by “Liberate” and “Just Stop”. The band played tunes that spanned across all their releases, including the cover of “Land of Confusion” (guess which current President that was meant for?).

Slipknot, by comparison, came out with full theatrics and masks. I have to admit, this was the first show I photographed of Slipknot, so when Corey Taylor or one of the other members would stop and look directly at me, shit was creepy. Especially with the newer masks. Yes, I’ve seen one too many horror movies.

The band was solid and had just as huge a crowd response asDisturbed. DJ Sid Wilson was the first to be wheeled across the stage in a wheelchair, as he broke both heels in the opening date of the tour. The band then opened with “Surfacing”, “Before I Forget” and their new single “Psychosocial”.

Drummer Joey Jordison owes Tommy Lee some cash. While maybe not all that imaginative, Jordison did surprise the crowd by having his drum riser tilt straight up (much like Lee’s did during the Theater of Pain tour), but then it spun around in a circular motion (clockwise). Not sure who was having more fun, Jordison or the crowd.

COULD HAVE DONE WITHOUT

While I personally like Mastodon, I think they may have been the odd choice on this bill. Their set was powerful, but lackluster. It also could have been the time of the day they came on, as most people were seeking shade when they hit the main stage and unfortunately less interested in their performance.

Boys will be boys – Black Tide came out in nothing but boxer shorts and socks/sneakers. While this may have seemed like a good idea considering the Arizona heat, the baby ass white of their prepubescent skin was worse than looking at direct sunlight. Not to mention, when the band hit the stage, bassist Zakk Sandler came running out, grabbing his junk. The crowd looked back at him as if to ask “Dude, have they even dropped yet?”

The most annoying factor of the day, other than idiots who drink all day in the heat and then pass out or don’t know where they are, was the fact that security couldn’t count to three. I know they are there to protect the bands on stage, help out concertgoers and whatnot. But how safe do you feel knowing these people can’t count to three?? The reason I bitch here is mainly due to the fact that these stupid bastards can’t count to three! Photographers are usually allowed the first three songs to photograph the band. Occasionally, a prima dona artist (most notably in the pop or country genres) will come up with obscene restrictions. But for rock/hard rock/metal – it’s usually three. When I was shooting Dragonforce, I was told – after two songs – that the previous song was the last song. I explained it was only the second song, security said it was the third song. Now, being a fan of Dragonforce, I know their songs. I rattled off the song titles and asked security to name the third song. They couldn’t. All they could do was repeat “That was the third song”. I now have more respect for people who flip burgers for a living because it was then that I realized they are higher up on the food chain.

Overall, this was a fantastic inaugural run for the Mayhem tour. I sincerely hope they continue to be a force to be reckoned with, as the “other” summer tour (the one that was reduced to a one day show this year in Texas) seemed to care less about the fans as each year moved on.

Here, the fans were the clear winners.

Click here to see Crpn's killer photo gallery.

A review of this show is on the way as well as Jeff Kerby's reflections on the July 19 stop at Journal Pavilion in Albuquerque.

Stay tuned!

Glen Helen

July 13 at Glen Helen Pavilion in Southern California, KNAC.COM personalities, Eveready Ed and DJ Will were in attendance. Ed in the pit with a camera, Will backstage with a digital recorder (and a drink). Will's impressions of the backstage action, and an interview with 5 Finger Death Punch are ont he way.

Well another year and other series of concerts and another in what I hope to be a continuing event; the Rockstar Mayhem fest…put together by good friend Kevin Lyman; a long veteran of tour promoting.

Well, I had my show to do which I quickly wrapped up an tailed it out to San Berdo. Upon arrival a typical scene…a lot of young headbangers decked out in black at the peak of the afternoon heat. (Advice: Always best to pace yourself ‘cause it’s going to be a long day!)

After getting all the credentials sorted out, I ran into a lot of old friends who I usually only see at metal shows, and hell, what a better place to meet at! I was running late meeting up with 5 Finger Death Punch. Here’s an excerpt from my conversation with guitarists Darrell Roberts and Zoltan Bathory from 5FDP:

KNAC.COM: This is a big difference from playing a club.

BATHORY: When the tour began, in Seattle, we were playing to (thousands) of people, Sacramento, the same thing. It's great.

ROBERTS: We have all the ingredients, I think. We were lucky enough to get picked up by The Firm, and wow...that don't hurt. Because of them, the first tour we did was Family Values, second tour was Korn, third tour was Disturbed, fourth tour is Mayhem....we deserve it, damn it!

KNAC.COM: The Internet has created a kind of do-it-yourself work ethic for bands. You put up your songs, play your instruments, and whether you get signed or not, may not really matter.

BATHORY: I would say that a lot of bands are stars before they get signed...it's kind of backwards, but you know what? If you are ready, labels will find you, management will find you. Before we got our current situation, we put the music on MySpace and it exploded by itself. We became number 1 on the unsigned charts right away. So by the time the Firm came around, we had a pretty buzz already.

ROBERTS: There's almost nowhere to buy records anymore. the only place you can buy records is Best Buy and WalMart, all the big box stores, but they'll only carry something that's already successful. They won't take a new band. they are very picky. We just got our record into WalMart this week, and it's been out for almost a year.

Hear the entire interview this Sunday (July 20) at 10am on The Vault, only on KNAC.COM.

Off to the Jager Stage (dust mixed in with tats, flying hair and flying body parts)

I was most looking forward to Machine head and Black Tide who I both had on my show. Ahhh I see that Wall's of Jericho are up as I arrive. I bumped into the “mates” from Airbourne who I 'm looking forward to see headline maybe with Rhino Bucket…Oh yeah!

I watched most of the Distrubed set; love the new songs and a wonderful tribute during the set to the family of fallen solder and they were in attendance, so singer David Draiman took the time to point that out and asked for a “U-S-A” and the 50,000 strong happily obliged. Dan Donegan was a cool guy to talk with…he along with his wife were hanging outside their bus. Before I head back to my car, I ran in to the Dragonforce guys who I met the first time at their first ever U.S. show at the Whisky. But how times have changed. This show was packed, and when I saw not one but four fires out in the lawn area, it may seem odd, but that sometimes is a barometer to judge how big the turn out is. Granted, I would never encourage that kind of behavior, but after all, the tour is called “Mayhem”. And there was plenty of it.

Spotted back stage: Dino Cazares (Divine Heresy/Asesino), Producers Ross Robinson & Bill Metoyer, a few of the MySpace guys/gals, Blasko (RobZobie/Ozzy) and Ernie C (Body Count).

Check out Eveready Ed's photo gallery: Click here.

##

The tour kicked off in Seattle and our Pacific Northwest contributor, Krishta Abruzzini was there:

Seattle

White River Amphitheater
Auburn, WA
July 9, 2008

It’s the kick-off day for the RockStar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival tour; Mayhem an appropriate moniker. With the promise of a lot of sonic aggression, twenty-thousand-something people all wanting to be the one that pushes their way to the front of a pit, 100 degree weather, and for a little more fun, throw a little beer on that equation, then watch the mayhem unfurl.

The tour offers fourteen bands and three stages. The bands all play back to back timeslots on the different stages, so preplanning is pretty essential if there are several bands you want to see.

HOT TOPIC STAGE

  • Black Tide
  • The Red Chord
  • 36 Crazyfists
  • Suicide Silence
  • Underoath
JAGERMEISTER STAGE
  • Jager Band
  • Airbourne
  • Walls of Jericho
  • Five Finger Death Punch
  • Machine Head
MAIN STAGE
  • Mastodon
  • Dragonforce
  • Disturbed
  • Slipknot
The tour also features the Metal Mulisha Riders, which is an insane display of extreme moto-cross. It’s not listed in the program, but around 4-5pm, second stage area, you’ll see the incredible acrobatics these guys exhibit across the late afternoon sky.

It’s always amazing to me to see a tour of such magnitude pulled off with little issue, tore down only to start over the next day in another city. I arrived in time to see the set-up of Mayhem; stages being set, the seamstress hemming curtains and someone’s torn pants. The bevy of yellow shirted pubescent security guys being militantly drilled and given more power than they’ll ever have in real life and the freedom to exercise it. The young and vibrant Black Tide boys riding their skateboards around all-things-business without care.

I headed backstage, to the press area to prepare for the day. A young girl with ridiculously big sunglasses with more power granted to her than even the security guys possessed was fettering about, explaining to a yellow shirt the significance of passes, and if one didn’t have the appropriate pass, they would have to stand five feet from the invisible barrier. No exceptions. The press would absolutely have to stand in the direct sun and only be able to observe those with better passes be fed and given cold beverages under a well shaded and covered deck. What some call backstage, I like to think of as a glorified cafeteria with cooler kids. But hey, it was only $15 for a plate of synthetic nachos and a drink on the outside.

I have to give a big thank you shout out to press coordinator, Amanda Moore, who procured a small, but at least momentary blister saving tent for the press to share between interviews. She rocks! I will confess, out of pure journalistic venture, I did step one foot within that imaginary barrier. I’m really disappointed to report that nothing happened. I was hoping for bells and whistles, or to at least be thrown to the ground by a yellow-shirt with lots of screaming and “cops” style action; but alas, nothing.

I headed back into the venue to check out the show. I was amazed at how a nearly empty amphitheater less than an hour prior had multiplied into literally thousands of people. It was awesome to see so many people come out to support this music. The second stage was packed like koi fish on a feeding frenzy. The Red Chord had just taken stage and commanded the audience’s attention. I was bummed, as I had just missed Black Tide’s set, the heavy rockers all under the age of 20, and one of the bands I really wanted to see that day. With only 30-minute sets and back-to-back lineups, it’s tough to see it all.

I headed back to the press area where I was escorted back to meet David Draiman (singer Disturbed) and John Moyer (bass). Not only the singer of one of the most successful bands in the industry, David is also one hell of a savvy businessman and possesses an extreme level of hyper-intelligence. We sat down briefly, as most of the interviews that day were limited to two to three questions. It was refreshing to find that both David and John were articulate and very gracious individuals.

KNAC.COM: What made you decide to release three different versions of Indestructible? (Indestructible is Disturbed's third consecutive #1 debut on the Billboard 200)

MOYER: It wasn’t our idea.

DRAIMAN: It was the record label (Reprise/Warner Music Group). The whole idea is trying to add value to the product. (David at this time goes off the record to protect his interest with the label). There were film crews filming the entire process of the recording. We thought it was all for one release.

KNAC.COM: How many more albums are you contracted with Warner?

DRAIMAN: This one and one more.

MOYER: But with a year between records and recording time, it could take anywhere from four to six years. It’s a good problem to have though (laughs).

KNAC.COM: With the debut of your new album in June, you have become one of only six rock bands ever to release three consecutive #1 albums. What a great accomplishment.

DRAIMAN: It feels great! It’s nice to be able to beat the odds and buck the trends. Just to have our debut number increase by 15% versus the last record debut, and the whole industry has seen a 30% reduction, so we’re not only beating the odds by meeting it, but we’re increasing it by 15%. That’s kind of an anomaly.

KNAC.COM: Especially in the industry as of late and the invention of mp3s, downloads and pirating.

DRAIMAN: Well, it never really has been very easy, unless you were one of the hair bands out of the 80’s. The only way to get a hold of the music then was to buy the product. We’re fortunate in that we were able to put together a product of material that our fans feel like getting the whole thing. They’re dedicated. 90% of the feedback I get from our fans is that they download music to see what it’s like, and then they go buy the record. They want the lyrics; they want to know how it got made. There’s something to be said about having a physical piece of the band itself.

KNAC.COM: I get that, but so much of the younger generation today downloads this overly compressed music into a little box and thinks it should be free. They’re not even hearing the music the way it was recorded, or intended to be heard.

DRAIMAN: Truth be told, that no matter what happens over the course of the next few years, the fans are still there. People are hungrier for music than they ever have been. Look at Nine Inch Nails, look at Radiohead and how they market their records. There are a limitless number of options. The question is what you feel most comfortable with and how much faith you have with your record deal. I personally would have no problem, once this deal is done, going independent, getting a distribution deal, getting in with indie promoters and then adios! Let’s sell this fuckin’ thing online. Let’s do it completely digital. I don’t give a fuck. Download the artwork, download everything. Go for it. The digital age is a beautiful thing. The only reason it’s become this skeleton in the closet is because the labels didn’t spend the last ten years preparing. They could have been ahead of the game. They could have had the next version of the mp3; something that is not as compressed with sounds of DVD quality Audio, that doesn’t take up as much file space. They could have been ahead of the curve. (David at this time goes off the record to explain how he could viably come up with a process that not only encourages unlimited downloading of hi-def music for the fans, but doesn’t hurt the artist or label financially either) I was actually supposed to go on Nightline, to talk about it but I got a call from Warner Bros that strongly encouraged me not to do it.

(At this point, David goes off the record again and our interview time ran out soon thereafter. Out of deserved respect for him, I will not publish what he asked to keep private).

On the way out of my interview, I ran into Zakk and Gabriel from Black Tide. While it’s completely unconventional and I’m sure mortifying to these guys, I’ve got to say it, they’re absolutely adorable. Zakk tells me he loves KNAC.COM and his favorite DJ is Will.

While the age factor for these guys (they range from 20 down to 15) has only been a problem once; they got kicked off the Jägermeister stage at Ozzfest because it was alcohol sponsored. The fans were so outraged; they eventually brought them back onto the tour on the main stage.

When I asked Zakk how it all started for them, he began telling me about the birds and bees. Reality is, they played a few gigs and house parties, and ultimately talked their way into a main showcase at the 2006 Florida Music Festival. This landed them multiple calls from major labels and an opening slot for Ozzy Osbourne and Lamb of God. That simple. It may seem that it’s the novelty of age that landed them a deal, but the truth is, these boys back it up. A definite not-to-miss on this tour, you can see them at the Hot Topic Stage (times vary, show up early!)

Trying to get out of the hot sun, I ended up sitting in the cooler main stage venue, watching the sound check for Dragonforce. Here’s where I’m just not qualified to give an opinion, but it’s never stopped me previously, nor will it now. Honestly, I’m not sure how to even categorize this band. With so many sub-genres within the metal world; Grindcore, death metal, hardcore, groove metal, nu-metal, metalcore, scenecore, power metal, brutal metal, prog rock…I’m just not sure where these guys fall. Is there a genre called Dungeons and Dragons metal?

I know people are going to hate me for this. I will say, on a positive note, watching the drummer was pretty incredible. He pulled off flawless quads and fills seemingly without effort. While I’m sure there’s a lot of talent in this band, and technical ability aside, I’m just not getting much emotion from any other instrument. It was kind of like watching dueling Yngwie Malmsteen’s masturbating their guitars.

What I will give to these guys is the acknowledgment of “most challenging track” on Guitar Hero III with ‘Through the Fire and Flames’. While I’m not sure if it’s harder to play it on the game or with a real guitar, the award of most challenging with its technicality is well deserved.

Backstage again I ran into Corey Taylor, singer for Stone Sour and Slipknot. I asked him to do a little video piece for KNAC.COM, which he was happy to do. Sadly, with me being the complete video dork, I clicked the wrong button and only caught a snippet of him saying some unintelligible word. I do remember him saying something about needing to listen to KNAC.COM or there would be a terrible outbreak of the herpes virus with no salves to cure it. I’m pretty sure his management reprimanded him for it, as I heard word they were out watching him. I later caught up with him and he couldn’t repeat the piece. I think he got grounded for playing with me.

I got to talk to Five Finger Death Punch’s Zoltan Bathery and Darrell Roberts. Another of my favorite bands out for this tour, the charming Hungarian born Zoltan explains that it is he who has hired all of the players for FFDP, and while he claims it’s somewhat of a democracy, I believe he is ultimately the boss in that camp. Why not? He just makes it easier on the rest of the band to not have to make major decisions.

Another band to see is the Australian AC/DCesque Airbourne. These guys are incarnations of old AC/DC Bon Scott era rock. Dubbed by many as “pub rock,” these guys love the moniker and have opened for The Rolling Stones, Motley Crue and their favorite, Motorhead.

I stopped by to say hello to band mates, Walls of Jericho. With such a cute little redheaded singer, Candace Kucsulain certainly is one pissed-off broad sonically. Meeting her, she just seems so submissive and sweet. Hearing her perform you’d swear the bowels of hell were spewing its contents. I love to see a girl penetrating the very male dominated metal world and kicking their asses nonetheless. The band has recently worked with Corey Taylor on their new release of ‘Redemption’. Showing a softer side of the band, they do a cover of The Animals’ “House of the Rising Sun”. Definitely another band to check out.

As the day wrapped, the time came for Disturbed to take the stage. Being wheeled out with a straight jacket and mask, looking like Dr. Lecter he peels away the costume and simply states to the audience, “We are…Disturbed”, both creepy and oh so rock and roll. Standing to the side, I could see that the audience singing nearly every lyric and collectively as if in unison moving with a groove.

As Slipknot was just about to go on, I noted a distinctive difference in the fan base of the two headlining acts. Respectfully, many of the Disturbed fans moved to make room for the seemingly more aggressive, S&M mask wearing fans of Slipknot. I made my way into the pit to take pictures just as the smoke machine unleashed its thick white veil over everyone within the first few rows’ heads. It was an eerie few moments to not be able to see anything or anyone with an almost unnatural silence for what was taking place. It was soon replaced with a loud explosion of pyro and guitar/bass/drum playing monsters replacing the thick smoke. It was such a nightmarish, surreal experience. Where was Beowulf to help kill my monstahs? Maybe I should have been a little nicer to Dragonforce. Dammit.

Considering the length and heat of the day, the pure aggressive man-heat driven music and all varying substances being ingested, it was pretty amazing to see how peaceful and respectful most people were at the show. I only saw one broken nose, and a guy who attacked a medic that was trying to help him get his head bashed into the pavement by a bunch of yellow shirts. Two casualties out of twenty-thousand is not too bad.

Check out Krishta's photo gallery. Click here

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NIGHTWISH Confirm Re-Issue End Of An Era Live Album
ASHES OF ARES Unleash "Let All Despair" Video
MARTY FRIEDMAN Reveals 2019 U.S Tour Dates
ACCEPT Reveal Live Video For "Symphony No. 40"
VOLBEAT To Release Live Album, Concert Film Let's Boogie! Live From Telia Parken
KISS Announces First "End Of The Road" Tour Dates
GIN ANNIE Set To Release Debut Album 100% Proof
SURF CITY BLITZ Reveals Band Performance Times, Motorcycle Event Times, Onsite Activities & More
JETBOY Are "Beating The Odds" With New Track Streaming
LORD OF THE LOST Reveal Confession (Live at Christuskirche) CD/DVD
WARKINGS Release Second Glorious Single "Hephaistos"
OPETH Announce LA Garden Of The Titans Film Screening
METAL ALLEGIANCE Confirm Their Annual Los Angeles January Metal Assault
Music Industry Veterans Look To Reward Fans, Sites, And Musicians With Revolutionary CNOTE
Canadian Rockers ONE Go All Or Nothing With New Album
STEVE VAI Unveils "Dark Matter" Video
CENTURY MEDIA RECORDS Streams Documentary Of WARREL DANE Recording Shadow Work
TED POLEY's Modern Art Album Gets Splatter Vinyl Issue
POWERWOLF Premiere Video For Title Track "The Sacrament Of Sin"
REPENTANCE Stream New Single, "Enter The Gallows"
ICE NINE KILLS Drop "Stabbing In The Dark" Video
STATIC-X Returns with Original Band Lineup, Announces New Album, World Tour For 20th Anniversary Of Debut Album, Wisconsin Death Trip
SIRENIA Launch Official Video For "Into The Night"
Artist VINCENT CASTIGLIA Documentary Bloodlines: The Art And Life Of Vincent Castiglia Out In November
STRIKER Go "Head First" With New Video
2019 ROCKSTOK Festival Announced
JINJER Releases New Single And Video For "Ape"
OZZFEST To Celebrate New Year's Eve In Los Angeles
LIKE A STORM Announce December Headline Tour
MAC SABBATH Debuts Meaty Marionette Music Video For "Sweet Beef"
JORN To Release 50 Years On Earth - The Anniversary Box Set
MYLES KENNEDY Releases The Great Beyond Video
STARBREAKER, Featuring TONY HARNELL And MAGNUS KARLSSON, Readies New Album Dysphoria
AFTERSHOK Unleash "Forever In Metal" Video
FATE DESTROYED Caution "We Fall" In New Music Video
INGLORIOUS Announce New Album Ride To Nowhere
DIRE PERIL Unleash "Blood In The Ice" Video
ARTILLERY Releases New Single, "Crossroads To Conspiracy"
BEAST IN BLACK Reveal New Album "From Hell With Love"
FRACTAL CYPHER's New Music Video Reaches "From The Above And To The Stars"
TENGGER CAVALRY Announce North American Tour
GHOST Reaches Into The Past For "Dance Macabre" Video
REVERENCE Announce Vengeance Is...Live Live Album
KATAKLYSM Release New Animated Video For “...And Then I Saw Blood”
ALL THAT REMAINS Guitarist OLI HERBERT Passes Away At 44
GWAR Set To Release New Graphic Novel GWAR: The Enormogantic Fail
BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE Are "Not Dead Yet" With New Video
ENSIFERUM Announces 2019 North American Headlining Trek, "Two Paths Of Glory Tour"
ARIA Stream Lyric Video Ahead Of New Album Curse Of The Sea
ACE FREHLEY Is "Rockin' With The Boys" In New Video
KILLCODE Drop First Video In Trilogy For "The Answer"
ROCKFEST 80’s Music Festival Returns For Year Three
GODSMACK's 2018 European Tour Postponed
GOATWHORE Announces Additional Headlining Shows
WAR OF THRONES Unleash "Say What" Video
Inaugural ROCKLANTA Festival Announced For 2019
JIZZY PEARL'S LOVE/HATE Returns To The UK For Four Special Shows





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