Sunday, August 4, 2013

Mayhem Fest @ Jiffy Lube Live 7/24/2013 Part II

part II  (Part I here) of the Mayhem Festival. We traveled to the main stage at this point. See the part 1 for the list of friends (and enemies...John...) that we saw this day! There was not much break between Children of Bodom and another one of the bands we explicitly came to see- Amon Amarth!

Amon Amarth's Viking ship was set up and we.... parted ways with the pit ticket holders and scrambled up that pain in the ass tall ass steep mfer of a hill to the lawn (make no mistake, though it would have been more brutal to see Zombie and Amon Amarth (both 2011 930 and Jaxx/Empire shows, respectively I think) close again, I was fine with the cheap seats).

Amon Amarth obviously played a short set, as one could tell with them 1) playing first on the main stage, and 2) looking at the set times :3  I know it is a crime for them to play a short set when there were a number of Drum solos that could have been cut. But I digress, they sounded great, even from far away. I was hoping that the viking ship would spit fire on... "Death in Fire" at least, but it just shot steam. Still cool, even though it kind of obscured the drummer. I thought it funny that 3 songs had god/gods in the title for their short set. Hell, I think they could have played anything and I would have been fine. I think that Johan actually sounded a bit clearer this time, which seems bizarre for a harsh vocalist. I do know that their line for signing was HELLA long, so I am kinda glad we got in line when we did. They certainly made more than a few new fans, from the comments made by people who I knew hadn't heard them before. I also thought it strange that the crowd was not very... mobile... apart from the pit, and a select few on the lawn. Mastodon's followers had a lawn pit on the right of the lawn, which IMO was unwarranted. But hey, to each his own...

Speaking of Mastodon, they were on next, and I wanted to hear what they sounded like. I am a casual Mastodon fan, and think they are good and have their albums,  but  the hype about them is a bit overrated. I had heard their live CD, and the vocals sounded horrid. Would they mimic that performance, or have them matured?  I thought their performance was technically fine- I could find no real flaws (tho maybe the vocals were a bit low)- they sounded very close to the albums. However, they just were not interesting. I found myself losing interest about 3 songs in. I dunno what to say, their tone and their lack of movement on stage was just... not right at that time for me I guess. I think we got a funnel cake at this time. Sorry Mastodon fans, but that's what I experienced.

Next up was Five Finger Death Punch- a band that has a lot of haters and preconceptions. I enjoy them, but its a bit different than enjoying say, Wintersun. Yes, its simple, yes it has a lot of um songs about the same things, with less than impressive lyrics, and yes the crowd it attracts usually seems to be... not the most cordial. But hey, it worked for AC/DC (tho AC/DC fans are generally better). Again, this is a broad generalization of the crowds I've noticed at the FFDP shows I've been to. With that being said, I thought they had a good set and sounded great. However, some things did irk me throughout their set. They had a bit of consistent 'break time' after each song, for no apparently reason- and that, along with the cocky stage drivel (predictable, from the jock-metalcore that they hock) from Ivan Moody, broke the flow of the songs an their set. The completely unnecessary drum solo should have been cut and given Amon Amarth or FFDP or Robert F. Zombie another song. I mean it was kinda silly that their drummer had some devil suit on, but we would be seeing plenty a devil man devil man CALLING devil man devil man during Rob's set. Their lighting choices seemed uncharacteristically unmanly for FFDP as well (yellow and a fuchsia ish I think). They also had the unsettling dichotomy of swearing and lewd gestures, and the bringing of kids on stage to participate. I can only image how the pit was, as the last time we saw them, the mass of people was smushing each other with little regard for a 'civil pit.'

Jason Hook (who used to play for Mandy Moore) handled most of the solos, and I couldn't help but notice Zoltan Bathory (one of the only Hungarian musicians in heavy music that I know of) only got a handful of leads. I also noticed that the vocals seemed to be mixed higher than the guitars, and I coulda used some less of that.

And of course there was the cheap pop for hoisting an American flag (something Rob Zombie even did), and the Ican'twon'tcomplainaboutpeoplesalutingthemilitaryok that they did last time and that Mayhem fest had some related program going on (good!). I dare not delve into the serious waters apart from saying when Lamb of God acknowledges "Now [they]'ve got Something to Die For" it's a bit different than FFDP's salute with their "Bad Company" cover. Overall, you know what you're getting into when you have that FFDP crowd. If you like it, listen to it. If you don't, turn it off. Simple as that. If you were a FFDP fan I think you'd have enjoyed their performance this night.

 And finally, they started setting up and the long wait for Rob Zombie began. You could see them dropping a big black curtain and the screens barely hidden behind it. Whatever you think about the man and his music, this guy knows how to put on a show. After about a thirty minute wait (when most breaks were about 15-20), the stage and audience came alive and we stumbled thru a fantastic looking ...not so good choice for an opening song. I thought Rob's last album ("Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor") was rather spotty, and nearly all the songs he played off it this evening were not great choices. That includes the completely unnecessary cover of Grand Funk Railroad's "We're an American Band." I dare say this version was better than Jackyl's, but worse than the Poison/Bret Michaels version. During this song, there was red, white, and blue all over the place.

Rob had a killer outback/cowboy hat and awesome coat to start, shed it for a t shirt w/ no sleeves, and then some sorta  hippie looking shirt. John 5 and ... the bassist... had some odd but fearsome looking getups.

You could really not care too much about the setlist, as he still hit the high points ("Living Dead Girl," "Dragula," etc.) and his show was one of the best of the year. His performance included costume changes, a robotic podium, fire, fireworks, smoke, robots, devil man, a robotic car that drove around on stage chasing after john 5, the More Human than Human robot guy, screens showing music video, movie, and pulp serial clips, lights, and a giant boombox. I think I might have missed something too. At one point, John 5 had a guitar solo, and Zombie took to the crowd with a handheld spotlight. He went from one end of the pit, thru the seats, all the way to the right side of the lawn, and then back. He did something similar at 930 club when I saw him last, and I recall when he sailed by me, sweaty, stinky, and surrounded  by security. That was fun. Anyways, so out of the 15 songs (including drum and guitar solo), I think 6 would have been.... better if they were other songs. Regardless, he had a great show and I certainly was entertained.

So, we ended up leaving at the end of Dragula and somehow got to our parking spot and out of the venue in about 7 minutes. A new record! 11 hours of Mayhem makes a man tired. A great show, possibly best of the year, and totally worth the 25 bones for a lawn seat.

next show: BLACK SABBATH

Amon Amarth- Versus the blurry world
Mastodon - zzzzviathan
Five Finger Death Punch
FFDP and some kinda bad pics
more FFDP, how do I have so many ?
Robert Zombie
Meet the Blurry Creeper
Rob Zombie's set ends, with a huge Boombox

Setlists ( provides. same as other dates):

Amon Amarth (6:25-7)
  • Destroyer of the Universe
  • The Pursuit of Vikings
  • War of the Gods
  • Deceiver of the Gods
  • Death in Fire
  • Twilight of the Thunder God 

Mastodon (7:15- 8)
  • Black Tongue
  • Crystal Skull
  • Dry Bone Valley
  • Megalodon
  • Stargasm
  • Blasteroid
  • All the Heavy Lifting
  • Spectrelight
  • Bedazzled Fingernails
  • The Sparrow

Five Finger Death Punch (8:20- 9:20)
  • Under And Over It
  • Burn It Down
  • Hard To See
  • Bad Company (Bad Company cover duh)
  • White Knuckles
  • Drum Solo
  • Lift Me Up (Bassist on Halford vox )
  • Coming Down
  • Never Enough
  • Far From Home
  • The Bleeding

Rob Zombie (9:50- 11)
  • Teenage Nosferatu Pussy
  • Superbeast
  • Super-Charger Heaven
  • Living Dead Girl
  • The Star-Spangled Banner
  • We're an American Band (Grand Funk Railroad cover)
  • More Human Than Human
  • Sick Bubble-Gum
  • Drum Solo
  • Meet the Creeper
  • House of 1000 Corpses
  • Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown
  • Thunder Kiss '65
  • Guitar Solo
  • Dragula
want another opinion?