Rockstar Mayhem Festival, Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion, 7/6/12
Motörhead, Slayer, Slipknot, and more
Melanie Mathieu Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead. See more photos in our Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival slideshow.
Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion
Friday, July 6
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See also: The full Mayhem Fest Slideshow
Lemmy Kilmister isn't supposed to exist during waking hours.
Call it a rock 'n' roll fantasy, but I've always imagined Motörhead, fronted by the 66-year-old, perma-sore-throated Kilmister, to be the sort of band that just wouldn't work with the midday sun beaming overhead.
But that's just the deal with the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival: Like it or not, someone is going to have to play during the day. For the most part, it meant that the (relatively) newer kids on the block, like Asking Alexandria, As I Lay Dying, Whitechapel, and The Devil Wears Prada (ironic that at the metal fest, the only band with "devil" in its name is, you know, a Christian band) had to play afternoon sets, but it also meant that a few legends, like Anthrax and Motörhead, took the stage fully illuminated by the sun.
Melanie Mathieu Phil Campbell of Motörhead
Once the "woah, that's Lemmy" feeling wore off, it was down to business. The power trio plowed through tunes like "I Know How to Die," from their newest record, The World Is Yours, and the recent selections felt as powerful as tracks from their classic records, like "Over the Top," "Bomber," "Stay Clean," and "Ace of Spades."
"Fuckin' warm, innit?" Kilmister declared, and the crowd cheered half-heartedly. Not because they didn't agree, but because it was kind of difficult to understand the guy.
Drummer Mikkey Dee rolled out a drum solo during "The One to Sing the Blues" and while his dexterity was certainly demonstrated (Kilmister referred to him as "the best drummer in the world"), drum solos are the sort of thing it's hard to stay excited about. I found myself wishing there were a few more songs crammed in (how about "Leaving Here," the debut Stiff single?) instead of a thunder-bucket show and tell.
The no-bullshit footing was quickly regained with "Going to Brazil," the most decidedly rock 'n' roll moment of evening, with Campbell busting out Chuck Berry-on-speed riffs and Lemmy clearly enjoying the rockabilly boogie.
The band closed out with "Overkill" just as the sun was starting to set. I'm not going to complain about getting to see Motörhead -- ever -- but I'm hoping that next time the indestructible Lemmy and Co. go on sometime around midnight, when I've had too many beers and there isn't some dude bellowing "Slipknot!" behind me.