Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Lazy From The Heat

Mayhem Festival 2013
Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, California
June 30, 2013

I realized the day before this show that I've attended every Mayhem Festival except one since the debut trek in 2008.  Weird.  Anyway, I'm going to keep this short since it was that kind of day.  It was hot but not unbearably so.  Unfortunately, the lower temperature was compensated by more annoyances this year.  Huntress and Battlecross were onstage and wailing in the background as I dealt with Will Call drama upon arriving at the venue.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, then here's 1,000 words about Mayhem Festival 2013:

The Wristbands to Nowhere

Anyway, the day basically went like this:

Side Stages:
  • Butcher Babies - Awful.
  • Born Of Osiris - Watched them until my mind wandered and I found myself having a profound conversation with a cold beer.
  • Job For A Cowboy -  I've seen JFAC several times but I still can't name 1 song and I still find their name annoying.
  • Machine Head - During the first 40 seconds of their opening song 4 beers and 2 different shoes were thrown in the air above the pit action.  Home cooking rules.
 [Photo courtesy of Photo Ray]
  • Children Of Bodom -Their stage backdrop showing a Finnish snowstorm scene was ironic but also made me hungry. I soon found myself having a delightful conversation with a plate of overpriced "organic" amphitheatre food.
Despite the 18 bands playing today, THE MOST METAL moment was this random Murder In The Front Row reunion:

 Ted of Death Angel!!  Rick Hunolt!

Bonded by blood 4-ever, man.  Anyway after that glimmer of awesomeness the hot day continued with..

Main Stage:
  • Amon Amarth - The Swedes brought their awesome Viking long boat drum riser to America for the first time... but I think it lost something in translation to a crowd that was primed for some Five Finger Death Punch.   I think "Amon Amarth" in Swedish means "Dethklok".  I actually like the Swedes quite a bit.. cheesiness and all.  What's the Viking word for "cheese"?
  [Photo courtesy of Photo Ray]
  • Mastodon - Maybe it was because I had just seen the band at a rare club show, but the energy level seemed low; this was my 15th time being in the same venue as Mastodon.  Their vocal mix seemed *off* but I still enjoyed their brief time in the direct sunlight.
  • Five Finger Death Punch - Since I don't own any Affliction or Tapout this was how I watched 5FDP:
If there is one band that represents everything I hate about Metal in the 21st Century it's 5FDP.  Jocks and the Jock mentality ruined the soul of Metal a long time ago.  Remember when Jocks had no clue who Lemmy was?  Me too, man.  Me too. 
  • Rob Zombie - I have to say tonight was the best Zombie performance I've seen in years.  He was engaged, funny, and the set and song choices were focused.  This probably means that an hour set might be the perfect length for Zombie to play before my attention starts to wander.  That being said, his Hippie stage clothes started making me hungry for some organic food again..
  [Photo courtesy of Photo Ray]
There was way too much merch to do a merch audit, but I have to say that Zombie, Mastodon, and Machine Head had the best looking merch; their merch company nailed it.  On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called us fags.  This was not the smoothest or the most fun Mayhem Festival for Umlaut by a long shot.   Let's just move on with this year, shall we...