Last Night: Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Fest at Ak-Chin Pavilion
Thousands of people showed up for the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival on Friday, from all walks of life--five-year-olds with their parents all the way to couples pushing 60, meatheads and meth-heads, respected industry figures and pierced and tattooed punks--but there was one definite commonality. All of them came out to enjoy a full day of heavy metal from some of the industry's legends and up-and-comers.
All photos by Lauren Wise
Just one problem: We were in the desert.
Granted, it only hit about 108 degrees F, and it was somewhat hazy and cloudy. It could've been a lot worse. But for those in attendance from noon to midnight, the drill was hydration, shade, sunscreen, repeat... but in the world of metal, that doesn't sound like much fun, now does it?
Throughout the day you could see enthusiasts having a grand old time spritzing each other and passers-by with fertilizer pump-action spray-jugs-turned-water-misters. Fire fighters sat atop roofs with hoses, sporadically drenching crowds of thousands all at once.
An added bonus was the addition of Ak-Chin Pavilion's $4 value beer, which is 12 ounces. The next beer up is 24 ounces and costs $10, but in Arizona we all know that it's best to get the smaller beer in the summer.
But one thing metalheads have on everyone else is that they can take the heat--they'll show up for their favorite bands no matter what the weather. The Mayhem Festival's solid line-up was distributed across four stages set atop radiating pavement, including a Metal Mulisha ramp area with several riders flying through the air, showing off tricks for a large crowd.
Stand-outs throughout the day included Attika 7, Motionless in White, Children of Bodom, City in the Sea, Huntress, Butcher Babies, Job For a Cowboy, Machine Head, Amon Amarth, Mastodon, Five Finger Death Punch, and of course, Rob Zombie.
Early in the afternoon, locally loved metallers City in the Sea and Job For a Cowboy attracted surprisingly large crowds, considering the time of day. As one of the Phoenix New Time's 13 Bands to Watch in 2013, City in the Sea has only been proving themselves again and again after being signed to Sumerian Records towards the end of last year.
Butcher Babies and Huntress proved to be must-see acts as well, bringing an element of bad-ass female energy that stirred up dust in the mosh pits due to their impressive music, but also (without a doubt) from their sexy stance.
Machine Head is a band that I've enjoyed for a long time, although I can't quite understand why they are always so low on the totem pole when it comes to festival line-ups. I feel like they should've been opening the main stage before Amon Amarth.