Concert Review

Mayhem Festival 2010 – Auburn, Washington

Words by Jackie Canchola

Photos by Jackie Canchola

To get to White River Ampitheatre in Auburn, Washington, one must drive along a two lane highway passing abandon shacks like “Bomb City” of a formerly booming fireworks business, mega bucks casinos, and cow crossing signs. The fields of horses most likely didn’t expect the metal gods to grace their humble land. Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival 2010 rolled through with an all-star tour with main headliners: Rob Zombie, KoRn, Lamb of God, and Hatebreed.

During the day, there is never waiting time since two of the parking lot stages Jagermeister and Silver Star are set up right next to each other with one band playing on one stage at a time. Fans just shifted their a few yards right after a band ended to immediately watch bands like Norma Jean hit the neighbor stage. Surrounding the parking lot stages were merch booths for each band with the chance to get posters or shirts signed by the band. There were also lines wrapping the parking lot for the KoRn fan club to meet various members of the online club and members of the band. Rockstar provided plenty of free energy drinks to all the fans to continue to mosh, crowd surf and jump with the high energy day bands.

A majority male audience took their shirts off in the heat and exposed their chests and arms full of tattoos of skulls, classic pin up models, and favorite metal lyrics. The mosh pits were brutal enough to cause people to come out bleeding from various body parts yet still smiling and yelling. After classic metal band 3 Inches of Blood finished the headlining position of the parking lot stages, Five Finger Death Punch started up on the main ampitheater stage.

Each main stage band seemed to get their own customized microphone and props. Five Finger Death Punch had a skeleton as a mic stand, a drum set decorated with guns that lifted above ground and a brass knuckle as their logo. Lamb of God kept things simple and rather clean cut. All the members of the band had a black t-shirt and long and beautifully combed hair. Not that this isn’t metal, but it is surprising to see non-dreaded hair for a guitarist.

King of kings Rob Zombie appeared on stage through a giant robot that shot out fire. I can’t believe this can happen but he really looked like a sexy pirate zombie. He played the crowd as he ran back and forth on three different platforms covered in deathly symbols and a screen showing clips of horror films and naked girls. He did get the crowd excited by playing a few hits of his group White Zombie. I walked up to the top of the grass of the half empty venue to watch the rest of the show. From the very back, Rob Zombie didn’t scare me as much since he sounded rather tired. It sounded like he left out words from his songs or he forgot lyrics all together.

KoRn came out with very industrial stage props. Fire shot out of steel trash cans while drill like machinary surrounded the band. The fog machine flooded the stage to create a smokey look of an industrial park in a dark alley full of metal and steel. Singer Jonathan Davis in his matching Adidas track suit grabbed the microphone out of the stand in the shape of a large breasted and perky woman and began the show with “Here to Stay.” The dreads were flying while the band played on with every MTV and hard rock station hit. Jonathan Davis even had a bag pipe solo and strolled the stage trying to get the crowd to get pumped up. But to look out on the crowd must have been a sad sight. Only half the ampitheatre was filled and the place looked empty.

Let’s hope that doesn’t happen for the rest of the tour, here are the dates.

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