Rockstar Mayhem Festival - San Manuel Amphitheater - June 29, 2013

Categories: live review

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Alex Distefano
Amon Amarth

Rockstar Mayhem Festival
San Manuel Amphitheater
June 29, 2013

The annual Rockstar Mayhem Festival began its five-week trek across the country, with the first show in San Bernardino over the weekend at San Manuel Amphitheater. With temperatures rising in the triple digits, fans hunkered down for a sweltering day in the IE, full of sunburns, moshpits, loud music, energy drinks and beer.

With the venue opening at 1 p.m., things got off early, so those with wisdom prepared in advance by hydrating and not overdoing it with alcohol in the heat, which could be dangerous. Unfortunately, many people chose to do the exact opposite and indulge in alcohol before, during and after the show in the massive parking lots/dirt fields of Glen Helen, which resulted in a busy first aid station with most suffering from heat exhaustion or dehydration.

From 8 a.m. until around midnight, there were thousands, drinking, eating and blasting metal from their cars at any given time, even during Rob Zombie, the tour's headlining artist.

For many, the heat was just too much for the early bands to attract tons of people. But despite that, at least some fans were there for every band. But, from Born of Osiris, Huntress and Battlecross, to Job For a Cowboy, Emmure, and the Butcher Babies fans dealt with the heat and moshed away, and enjoyed the short sets, which were limited to 20-25 minutes in most cases.

The best action came from Jagermeister stage headliners Machine Head, who turned the dirt field into a dust bowl, as moshers raged in the pit for five songs, in a set that lasted just over half an hour. Thrashy, yet melodic and slow and groovy at times, the musicianship seemed tight, as guitarist/vocalist Rob Flynn along with guitarist Phil Demmel, drummer Dave Mclain, and new bassist Jared MacEachern, shredded through songs such as 'Old,' 'Imperium,' and the set closer 'Halo.

Just a short time after Machine Head were finished, fans got to experience a short set from Finland's Children of Bodom who also got some good action going for the rabid fans.

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