Rockstar Mayhem - Auburn, WA 7/3/13
Review/Photos by "Iron" Mike & Stephanie Savoia
One of my favorite and longest days of the year is in the bag. For me, the Rockstar Mayhem Festival (along with my other press folks) is a 10 hour balls-to-the-wall day of running around between 4 stages, 16+ bands and trying to shoot/cover it all. That's why I tag-team each year with my wife (Stephanie) to cover the Rockstar Mayhem festival for you KISW Rockoholics because if I didn't I'd be one of the passed out casualties trying to do it all. Add that I always know band members playing there so my Batphone is always going off having to go backstage to say hi or take some cool exclusive pics for my coverage. For the 6 years the Rockstar Mayhem Festival has been coming here, this was the first one we walked out of the White River Amphitheater feeling like our 10 hour day was more like 5 hours. That's a good thing cause what we do running here and there is taxing on the body. Add all the crowd surfing bodies flying over, banging your body, while shooting photos you'll feel it the next morning. Boy did I ever! Anyways enough chit chat lets get into the Mayhem! Stephanie talks about the side stages and I cover the main stage in our review below.
Thankfully Rockstar Mayhem has continued with the side by side stages. This is an incredibly efficient way to cover a show and lessens the possibility of injury to the crowd trying to
make it from one end of a field/parking lot to another. First up on the Musicians Institute
stage was Thrown Into Exile
. The moment they took the stage I was face to face with Rob Zombie Jr. TIE’s vocalist, Evan Seidlitz, is a dead ringer for the headlining rocker on the tour. This was a fantastic band to open up the whole show. They demanded people come to the stage and the people listened. I’m used to the opening band being the unfortunate recipients of a handful of people since they start within minutes of the doors opening. This crowd was ready for the music right away and they had a couple thousand in front of the MI stage. Nice work fellas! Great cross between Killswitch Engage & Shadows Fall. Click here
to check out "Not Alone" off their new EP.
As soon as their set was done, Huntress
opened on the Jaegermeister Stage in support of their second album "Starbound Beast". The new album includes a song, “I Want to F*ck You to Death”, penned by one Mr. Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead fame. Singer Jill Janus vocal range was pretty darn impressive at 4 octaves. This is just an octave shy of both Mariah and Whitney. They have that 70’s rock visual appeal and Janus’ icy eyes are memorizing.
Returning to the MI stage we had Attika 7 who were thankfully added to the tour when Polish giants Behemoth had to cancel due their drummer Inferno’s surgery. Attika 7 was a great addition. Fronted by former Biohazard frontman Evan Seinfeld, he took the stage on a motorcycle and used it as a prop during the show. I completely enjoy this band. I love the energy that drummer, Tommy Holt, always brings to their shows. I was surprised to see that Scott Reeder wasn’t with the band this time around. Zach Broderick has moved over to handle bass duties while Ira Black (Lizzy Borden, Metal Church) has joined Rusty Coones (Sons of Anarchy) on guitar. Evan is one of my favorite front men. I look forward to seeing them again 9/6/13 at KISW’s Pain In The Grass.
are the next up and coming band on the Jager stage. These metal mid-westerners have been around for a decade but the current line up has been solid for the last 3 years. Singer Kyle Gunther could not get the grin off his face their whole set. I really like seeing musicians enjoying themselves on stage. Just because you are “Metal” doesn’t mean you can’t show the fans
that you are having as much fun as they are.
The MI stage was back in action with Born of Osiris
. This band had my FAVORITE bassist, David Darocha, of the entire day. This band had the most energy of the day as well. I am not a fan of the deathcore vocals, but it didn’t matter. They beyond entertained me. I couldn’t get the stupid grin off of my own face during the 3 songs we get in the pit.
We headed back over to the Jager stage for Butcher Babies
. High energy to say the least. I loved that there were multiple bands with female vocalists on the tour. The only distracting thing about them was the Go Pro’s attached not only to the bass and guitars, but both Carla and Heidi had them on the end of their mics. They noticeably sang to the cameras at times instead of the crowd. That said, their show was solid and I finally got to see them perform live.
Motionless in White
was next. This band sounded great. They have their appearance down. I’m a big fan of the make-up and armor. And they succeeded in pointing out to me that I have a ‘thing’ for bassists. Devin ‘Ghost’ Sola kept grabbing my attention. The band as a whole just had a very entertaining chemistry on stage. Slipknot meets Marilyn Manson on a metalcore trip is the best description.
We were starting to head into the home stretch back on the Jager stage with Job For a Cowboy
. Sadly, I just didn’t connect with this band. I tried to find something to connect with on a visual standpoint since the music was just entirely to heavy for me but I just never found it.
took to the MI stage with their distinct style of metal. I liked their combination of music stylings. You could clearly hear the deathcore mixed with rap. They had very cool music. I was really different and unexpected. If I had not seen them, I would have imagined them to appear like the Motionless In White guys. Their visual show didn’t match their sound, but it worked.
The headliner on the Jager stage was Machine Head
. I love Machine Head. It’s pretty disturbing how much my dad looks like Robb Flynn! The last couple of times I’ve seen them, they have been on the main stage at White River so they were way above my head. It was so much fun seeing them so close, but they should've been a mainstage act!
Closing out the MI stage was Children of Bodom
. Going on 20 years active, this Finnish band ended the side stage shows with style. With amazing riffs and solos, the band sent the crowd into a tizzy before they headed over to the main stage acts.
Ok it's "Iron" Mike" main stage talk time!
Amon Amarth - How can you not like a band that brings a Viking ship onstage to play on?!? Hailing from Sweden, Amon Amarth imagery and lyrics mainly focus on Vikings, their mythology and their history. In Europe they understand this, it's their heritage, here in America not much so. Will Amon Amarth become big in America? Probably not to the big masses with their killer tolerable extreme metal, but their cult following is gonna grow leaps and bounds from this tour. Billboard already showed that with their "Deceiver of the Gods" album debuting last week at #19 on the U.S. charts! Yeah that's a couple places higher than my Queensryche guys did. So maybe America is ready for Vikings, Metal and Beer!? Live, they smoked a 35min set that included: "Destroyer of the Universe", "The Pursuit of Vikings", "War of the Gods", "Deceiver of the Gods", "Death in Fire" & "Twilight of the Thunder God".
- Of the 4 bands on the main stage, Mastodon were the least visual in stage props except for their huge Mastodon backdrop, but musically they held their own to any band up there. Opening with the classic "Black Tongue" Mastodon galloped through a 45min set of their heavy and unique instrumentation of rock/metal that has built them a huge following. They have the thrashing progressive song "Island" in the new Disney "Monsters University" movie so new fans are jumping on board right and left finding out what Mastodon is all about. Would've loved to see them play this live. Expect the band to start recording their new album later this year.
Five Finger Death Punch
- This band is here to stay. They never disappoint live. Fantastic all-chrome prop stage including a drum set lifting rack! What I love about this band is the individuals are unique from each other and the fans really enjoy/relate to them. This creates career longevity. Add in their dedication "Bad Company" to the armed forces and FFDP are here to stay. Their hour set covered the FFDP catalog: "Under and Over It", "Burn It Down", "Hard to See", "Bad Company", "White Knuckles", "Drum Solo", "Lift Me Up", "Coming Down", "Never Enough", "Far from home intro" & "The Bleeding" ended the show. Pre-order the new FFDP album "The Wrong Side of Heaven & The Righteous Side of Hell Vol. 1 " out July 30th! Click Here!
Rob Zombie - What can ya say that hasn't been said. Rob Zombie puts on one of the best rock shows on the planet. This was a little bigger production than normal and his horror-inspired multi-media visual spectacle didn't disappoint! If ya missed the show no worries YouTube has ya covered. Not the same experience as being there live, but ya get the picture, view video. His hour+ set included all the favorites like "More Human Than Human", "Thunder Kiss '65", "Dragula", "Superbeast" and the Grand Funk Railroad cover of "We're An American Band." My new Zombie favorite is his new single "Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown". Great tune! Check out the video here! New album "Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor" out now!
Totally bummed I never got over to this stage to see Scorpion Child
. I recently heard their new self-titled debut and loved the classic guitar-driven rock that crossed the Led Zeppelin/Kingdom Come/Whitesnake/Rainbow essence. I did get over to the stage once to see Seattle's own Deathmocracy
! Melodic, black, death, and progressive metal for the masses! Bassist Kenny Bender is Queeensryche's bass/guitar tech so it was cool to actually see him rocking it onstage instead of behind the scenes of a show.
Overall one more awesome experience at the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival! Watch for Mayhem video footage from White River at: http://rockstarmayhemfest.com
ROCK ON! "Iron" Mike & Stephanie Savoia
For full-show photos please visit KISW.com photo gallery and KISW on Facebook at this gallery. Also our personal Facebook concert photo pages on Facebook will have even more exclusive photos of all the bands: "Iron" Mike: https://www.facebook.com/SavoiaPhotographyLive & Stephanie: https://www.facebook.com/stephaniesavoiaphotography