The 2013 Mayhem Festival Hits Connecticut with Rob Zombie and More
July 25, 2013
By: Nicole McKay
The 2013 Rockstar Mayhem festival finally made its way to Connecticut last Sunday in the midst of a brutal heat wave. Thousands of fans braved the heat to spend their day moshing and head-banging along to Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch, Mastodon, and more.
Starting out early in the afternoon the two side stages brought nonstop metal. The side by side stages were packed full, keeping things moving along with the next one starting the instant the previous band stepped offstage. Motionless In White took the stage in Marilyn Manson inspired makeup to scream along with fans on tracks like “Devil’s Night” and “America.” Switching things up a bit at the male dominated festival were Los Angeles’ Butcher Babies. Gorgeous front women Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey stood out, giving fans a bit of variety and showing off their powerful vocals on songs like “Axe Wound.”
Connecticut’s own Emmure gathered a huge hometown crowd. It was awesome to see how far the controversial deathcore band have come since their days playing whatever gig they could get in my hometown of New Fairfield. Clouds of dust and dirt filled the air as huge circle pits carried on nonstop throughout the set.
Closing up the side stages for the day were Machine Head and Children Of Bodom. Machine Head Guitarist and vocalist Robb Flynn wasted no time with small talk, powering through a few of their songs, including “Halo” to finish things off. Finland’s Children Of Bodom gave fans one last chance to mosh and crowd surf along to their blend of melodic death metal and thrash. By the end of their set fans were dripping with sweat and lined up for a free Rockstar in an attempt to stay awake for the bands to come.
People poured into the pavilion when it finally opened its doors for the main stage festivities to begin. Sweden’s Amon Amarth opened up, Viking ship included. The band climbed aboard the ship throughout the set, banging their heads and jamming out relentlessly on “War of the Gods” and more.
Fans got their first much needed rest of the day while waiting for Mastodon to take the stage. The southern heavy metal band brought their diverse range of melodic vocals and screams, with each member contributing to the vocals. Intricate guitar solos made their set fly by before it was time for Five Finger Death Punch to come out.
Five Finger Death Punch teased fans with a remix of “100 Ways To Hate,” taking their time and letting anticipation build. They opted tor a simple set, with front man Ivan Moody saying he’d brought some pyro and flicking on his lighter. In typical Death Punch style, Moody brought the children out of the pit for “White Knuckles” to give them a chance to rock out on stage and “see how the big kids do it,” as they started a massive circle pit and crowd surfed their way to the barrier to high five the band. Included in their set was their latest single “Lift Me Up,” giving fans a taste of what to expect when their new album drops on July 30.
Connecticut native Rob Zombie kept the suspense high before his set, with the theatrical setup veiled by a curtain, holding off on dropping it until a few notes into “Teenage Nosferatu Pussy.” Zombie stood atop a giant platform reading ‘Zombie,’ with guitarist John 5 and bassist Piggy D to either side decked out in crazy costumes. Zombie didn’t disappoint with the intense stage show he’s known for; pyro blazed and screens in the background played horror clips throughout the set. A long day of metal came to an end with “Dragula.” Fans somehow kept on moving right up until the very last note.
Overall Mayhem Fest was an exhausting and incredible day of metal. The lively festival atmosphere and nonstop music will definitely be missed in the months to come until Mayhem 2014.