Jiffy Lube Live
The 3rd annual Mayhem Fest rolled through the Virginia area on August 8, 2010 & the show itself was a fun day for metal because not only were the bands in rare form, but the weather cooperated pretty well because it was a sunny August day with a nice breeze blowing as opposed to the blistering heat from last year's show at the same venue and other than Atreyu & In This Moment switching time slots the entire day went off with no problems!
I rolled up at the newly named Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Virgina when Shadows Fall were onstage & from a distance the band sounded killer!
Jiffy Lube Live is the venue formerly known as Nissan Pavillion.
I was curious as to how well the show had sold since most people I spoke to had complained that the billing for this year's Mayhem Fest was kinda weak; my question was answered when I saw the 2nd stage area PACKED!
I pushed my way over to the 2nd stage area just in time to catch the last few songs from Brian & the Shadows Fall crew and before the band ripped into a cover of "Bark at the Moon" Brian commented that, "This song is by one of the best Heavy Metal singers of all time & if you don't know it you should!" I'll admit that at first I was thinking that Shadows Fall were going to do a Ronnie James Dio cover, but alas it was "Bark at the Moon" and the cover sounded killer; their guitarists nailed the Jake E Lee riffs & solos!
Next up on the adjacent 2nd stage was 3 Inches of Blood & my first thought was, wow, these dudes look grimy!
3 Inches of Blood sounded a little muffled compared to Shadows Fall & I was diggin' the singers denim vest that was covered in patches ranging from Voivod to Judas Priest. At first I thought the bands guitarist's were playing Gibsons, but upon closer examination I realized they were playing Yamaha models that looked similar to Les Paul's!
I took a break after 3 Inches of Bloods set & went to the media area to have a chat with Wednesday 13 who was there to promote the new Murderdolls record but I will share how I first ran into Wednesday 13 this day; I was walking to the 2nd stage area & a white golf cart was driving pretty damn slow; I looked as it passed me & aboard the cart was Joey Jordison & Wednesday 13! I looked at them, they looked at me & to be honest with you, those 2 could have walked through the crowd because no one was really that concerned with those two!
Following my lengthy Wednesday 13 interview I made my way back to the 2nd stage area to catch Hatebreed headlining the Jager stage.
Jamey Jasta is sporting a full beard these days & when I looked at him I thought of Kirk from Kindgom of Sorrow/Crowbar with that beard, as well as the episode of Family Guy where Peter grew a beard that became inhabited by birds; Jamey has a baby face so the beard doesn't really look right on him in my opinion.
Frank Novinec, the Hatebreed guitarist on stage right, was the guy that caught my attention the most onstage & it had to do more with me trying to spot all the KISS stuff he had onstage. Frank was wearing a pair of Van's KISS "Rock N Roll Over" slip-on shoes, he had a different KISS guitar strap on each of his guitars, & on his shoulder he has a Paul Stanley solo face tattoo & right under it was Paul Stanley's autograph!
Towards the end of Hatebreed's set Jamey came out with a T-shirt cannon & shot out Monster shirts deep into the crowd via his shirt gun. Hands down, Hatebreed had the biggest, meanest, most brutal pit of the day & what I give Hatebreed props for is that they might play REALLY heavy, angry, mean music, BUT, the message is always a positive one, it's always about overcoming adversity. Jamey Jasta is a non-stop blur of motion, energy & aggression onstage, yet he promotes diversity, equality, and he genuinely cares for his fans and he takes the time to make sure the crowd is ok throughout the bands set at each & every show!
In This Moment headlined the Silver Stone Stage & they played a solid 30 minutes of music. Maria was dressed more like a country girl than a rocker & this was probably the first time I've seen the band where Maria didn't have to hold her top up every time she would bob her head for fear that her boobs would pop out.
In This Moment still seems like a new band to me, but they've been around for a few years now, they've done quite a few major tours at this point & they've definitely started to earn their way into the rock world via non-stop touring, yet they still come off like a new band because they sound & feel really fresh and new...that's actually a good thing because they don't come off jaded & bored onstage!
The 2nd stage was done for the day when In This Moment finished their set & walking past the merch area I spotted Dimebag's Rita at her booth, she was busy chatting it up with fans of Dime & it's nice to see her out selling Dime merch & keeping the mans legacy alive!
The main stage started off with Five Finger Death Punch around 6:30 PM & probably the highlight of their set was the bands cover of "Bad Company" originally done by Paul Rodgers & Bad Company. Jason Hook onstage with Five Finger Death Punch is funny to me because I remember him as Vince Neil's guitar player & I even have a guitar pic from him that says "Vince Neil" on it from his tenure in the Vince Neil band, not to mention that Mr. Hook used play guitar for a very famous pop singer that's NOTHING like the metal act he's in now!
Lamb of God followed F.F.D.P., but right before Lamb of God took the stage there was a comedian that entertained the crowd for a brief few minutes; he was funny, told quite a few racial jokes, but he didn't really go over that well at this show.
Randy & the Lamb of God boys took the stage in the daylight & it's always weird to see a band like L.O.G. playing in the daylight because they are so heavy, they try to act so dark & angry, yet in the daylight it's just NOT possible to be evil!
Randy's sporting some tangled dreadlocks in random parts of his hair & there was nothing really unique about the bands set other than some threw a stuffed lamb doll onstage & during the last song one of the band members let their small child come out onstage.
I know Lamb of God have been around for quite a few years, but wow, the bands bass player is all white haired with a long white beard; all I could think of as I looked at him was Uncle Jesse from Dukes of Hazzard!
Rob Zombie was next on the bill & when Lamb of God finished up their set I immediately started to think, "Wow...the shows almost over & I don't feel exhausted yet!" and what I meant by that comment is that after an all day concert, the 5+ hours of metal I had absorbed by that point, the only band that REALLY set it off was Hatebreed, but when the giant black curtain dropped & a full stage of props was set up it was clear that Rob Zombie was getting ready to rip n tear it up!
The 25 minutes of stage set up was hidden under a huge black curtain & they blared old Johnny Cash over the PA during the set up; this was the calm before the storm!
Zombie had a spooky intro then the curtain dropped & the show had started!
Zombie's set was strictly "hits" for the most part with a drum solo from Joey Jordison & a guitar solo from John 5 randomly inserted in the set so Rob could take a small break. "School's Out" by Alice Cooper was played at the end of "Thunderkiss '65" & this song was also what that led to John 5's guitar solo towards the end of the set.
Dancing robots, weird mechanical aliens that spit fire, skeletons, tv screens that played horror movies & members that ran around non stop all night...that's what the Zombie set was like in a nutshell.
"Never Gonna Stop", "Mars Need Women", "Sick Bubblegum", "Demonoid Phenomenon" & "Living Dead Girl" were all played & the closer of the night was "Dragula" which featured Rob Zombie standing atop a huge podium & shooting a fog gun towards the crowd.
Probably my favorite part of the set was "House of 1,000 Corpses" & John played a twin neck guitar for that song. At the end of the set John broke a Squire John 5 telecaster & NO, he did NOT toss the guitar into the crowd, that guitar will be sold on ebay to the highest bidder!
John 5 is a huge KISS fan so it's a no brainer that he's copying off Paul Stanley just a bit because for a rather high price you can buy the guitar Paul Stanley smashes during "Rock N Roll All Nite", so for a few dollars less you can go on ebay & buy the guitar John 5 smashed at this show!
Speaking of John 5, John was wearing a large leg brace/cast on his foot & it's because he broke his foot a few days ago; John was not as animated as he usually is onstage, but to his credit, John DID move about the stage a good amount & he played his ass off, he was just slightly limited at times with his movement & when John was walking slowly at various points it reminded me slightly of how Mick Mars staggers onstage these days.
KORN were the headliners of the night & their set up was the most intricate of the night...their stage looked like they were drilling for oil & my interpretation of the stage set up was that it was a statement towards the BP situation & it was interesting to look at, but also very Spinal Tap in that is was so over the top that it made no sense!
I remember KORN when they first came out & the band on stage this night was NOT that same band...the core line up of Munky, Fieldy & Jon Davis is intact, but they have a keyboard player, a 2nd guitarist that stands in the back all night & the band calling itself KORN these days is a shell of what the original band was.
I hung around for a few songs & the band opened up with mostly new material but by the 4th song they were digging a little further back in their catalog. Munky was wearing grey slacks with a white belt, a white hoodie & Alice Cooper styled eye make-up while Jon Davis was wearing his usual jogging suit.
I haven't really listened to KORN in quite some time so I had forgotten just how low KORN tune down their guitars...their sound was sludge & John 5 could really teach the band about guitar tone!
For what it was, KORN was ok, they had a large crowd, they sounded decent, it was just odd to hear keyboards in their music.
I was chatting with a staff member for the venue & she admitted to me that the entire concert season at Jiffy Lube Live in VA has been light compared to years past & that it was a no brainer, people were not going out to see big concerts this year like they were in years past due to the economy. Regardless, the show was packed in decent and it was a good day for metal.