Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Phantom Troublemaker Goes to the Mayhem Festival

I’m honestly not sure I have an article’s worth of entertainment to relay about my experience at the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Music Festival. I do, however, have forty-eight hours worth of shifts looking me in the face over the next four days, so I’m going to see what I can do.

Note: I finished writing this three days after I started. Almost six thousand words later. I suppose I did get a full article out of it.
Ever since picking up the new Zombie album – which you can find a review of here (scroll down to February 17th) – I’ve been jonesing to see him and his new band live. The last time I saw Rob Zombie (in concert, anyway) was at Ozzfest in 2002; which coincidentally was the occasion that I swore I would never return to the Lakewood/Coca-Cola/Hi-Fi Buys/Aaron’s Rent-To-Own/Sal’s Weiner Hut Amphitheater. The Superbeast kicked out the jams, but in a more subdued fashion than I had expected. I can’t honestly complain about the set, but there was certainly a lot of complaining about the heat. In between songs, all of Zombie’s trademark audience chatter involved gems like, “I can’t believe how fucking hot it is,” and “Man, it’s really fucking hot today, Atlanta!”
What can I say? He was absolutely correct. It was hotter than two mules in Aunt Mabel’s Cadillac. I was there with TB and we spent most of the day under some bushes behind a concession stand, emerging only for Zombie and System of a Down. Granted, we enjoyed some bands for a bit after arriving – I specifically remember Ill Nino, Andrew W.K., Meshuggah and Otep (this show is what got me into them) – and made it through most of Black Label Society’s set. After that, though, we had no problem skipping out on Adema (I don’t even remember who they are), Drowning Pool and P.O.D. As Zombie pointed out (repeatedly), it was really fucking hot.
But I’m not here to talk about Ozzfest. I’m here to talk about the Mayhem Festival; which is essentially the same thing, but with no geriatrics.
Late last year Zombie was on tour with The Nekromantix and Captain Clegg & The Night Creatures, which was the show I really wanted to see. Unfortunately that tour did not come to Atlanta. Neither did the one with Alice Cooper. I assume Zombie had no interest in returning here so soon after last Spring’s Halloween shoot and I don’t blame him one bit. I avoid Atlanta as much as I can, too. Once Zombie hooked up with this year’s Mayhem Festival though, he was doomed to return. No touring heavy metal festival can overlook the area’s incredibly high redneck density. They all come here.
When I saw the band lineup and the sort-of-but-not-really cheap prices on lawn tickets, I decided I had to go. It was worth thirty of my dollars to see Norma Jean, Hatebreed, Korn and Rob Zombie all in one day; not to mention the fact that there were sure to be some good bands that I had never listened to among the rest. I’m always looking for new stuff to get into – it just seems harder to do the older I get. But a live show is a sure way to get me into a band if they’re any good at all. So I was in.
Now the job was to put together a crew of metalheads up to the task of ten hours of non-stop rocking in the August sun. Sadly, I don’t know any people like that. I have always been in the odd position of being the sole metal enthusiast in almost every social group I’m in. Mrs. Troublemaker would have gone if it were indoors, but she is a lady who is smart and self-aware enough to know that if she were to spend any amount of time in that sort of heat surrounded by the sort of people who are likely to be in attendance at this sort of event she would probably end up sort of killing someone.
Angry Matt is a fan of the metal, but I guess none of the bands on the bill were angry enough for him. Speaking of which, the 2010 Mayhem Festival boasts thirteen acts. Four that I was buying the ticket for: Norma Jean, Hatebreed, Korn and Rob Zombie. Three that I figured would be worth seeing: Atreyu, Chimaira and Lamb of God. That leaves six bands that I was ambivalent about: Mobile Death Camp (they won a battle of the bands to see who got to be the least cared about act on the Atlanta bill), Winds of Plague, Shadows Fall, 3 Inches of Blood, In This Moment and Five Finger Death Punch.
Which ended up being a good enough lineup to entice John the Wrestler. It was also enough for my brother-in-law and his wife, but apparently they go to pretty much every show that comes through town. They’re kind of awesome that way. They are also smarter than me and JTW because they waited until 5:30 to show up. We arrived around 2:30.
JTW’s phone rang after we parked, Which reminded me to call Mrs. Troublemaker and let her know we had arrived. We had parked in front of a pleasant looking little pond and I told her so. She replied that they might be seeing it soon. JTW’s girlfriend had driven him to the Troublemaker Compound so that she could drive his car while he was at the show. Unfortunately, he had the keys. With him. South of downtown Atlanta. Which is why his phone rang when we parked.
After my wife told me the situation, my first instinct was to say, “Alright, we’ll be back up there in a little bit” and I fought that instinct with all of my ability and won. Which worked out for the best because Mrs. Troublemaker took JTW’s lady home and we were inconvenienced not in the least. Win!
I had a couple of good reasons for our early arrival. First, I really wanted to see Norma Jean and they were scheduled to start at 2:40. Second, all of the bands were scheduled for signings at different tents throughout the day. I’ve got a Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2 movie poster that is very special to me not only because I took part in the filming, but also because I had Malcolm McDowell sign it last year at Dragon*Con. Obviously it needed Rob Zombie’s signature, as well (I’m still debating whether I should sign it myself). I wanted to be sure we got there early enough for the Zombie signing.
I was a little uncertain about the likelihood of getting the poster into Lakewood. I know security has always been unreasonably tight there. Mrs. Troublemaker brought a poster tube home from work to pack it in because there was no way I was going to just carry it around, but I could see where the wrong security guy might just look at it and just say “no” without even giving me a chance to explain. This was too good an opportunity to pass up, though; I set my mind that it was going to happen. How many chances was I likely to get to have Zombie sign the poster? Thankfully, the security guy I talked to when we got to the gate was really cool. He opened the tube, checked it out and said it was fine. He also said I couldn’t bring my backpack in. It hadn’t even occurred to me that there might be a problem with that. I figured they’d open it up and search it, but I never thought there would be a straight-up ban.
In the time it took me to make the long, hot, dusty walk back to the car, pocket the stuff in my pack and walk back to the gate, a giant line had formed. In one of those magical universal coincidences that Douglas Adams was so fond of writing about, a Norma Jean festival set lasts exactly the same amount of time that it takes to wait through a line, have a second security guy check a poster tube, scan a ticket and walk through a gate. Dammit.
Note to evildoers: If you want to sneak things into Lakewood, carry a poster tube with you. You can fill your pockets with knives, guns, bombs, marijuana, crack cocaine, methamphetamines, illicit sex toys and troll dolls and the gate monkey will be so distracted by that poster tube he’ll never even check your pockets like he’s supposed to. Note on that note: I am kidding. Do not do any of that. You could, is all I’m saying.
Since we missed Norma Jean, JTW and I just wandered around for a while. Hatebreed wasn’t scheduled until 5:10 and they were the next band I had to see. JTW was along for the ride. He’s probably the best person I could have gone to the show with. He had no agenda other than hanging out and enjoying whatever was going on.
The very first thing we did after getting inside was buy some water. I don’t know what the exact temperature was at that point in the day, but it was too hot for humans to be outside. The money-hungry fuckwads fine businesspeople who run the Lakewood concessions charge $4.50 a bottle for water, so our plan had been to each buy a bottle of water at the outset and then just keep filing them up at water fountains over the course of the day. This would likely save around twenty bucks for each of us. Imagine the horror when the lady at the water/Jagerbomb cart poured our water out of the bottles and into two flimsy plastic cups. Dammit.
Temporarily hydrated, JTW and I made our way over to the parking lot where the secondary stages were set up. In a brilliant move that I am still super impressed by, the Mayhem Festival has two secondary stages so that there is no waiting between the bands playing there. Constant metal, all day long. There were also rows of tents where the bands were set up to sell merch, concession stands, sponsor tents and other vendors. The Metal Mulisha were in the back corner behind a fenced-in area. Also, there was this giant line of people right down the middle of the lot.
Note: It was so hot (how hot was it?) and bright out that JTW and I both got sunburn on our heads even though we covered them with our shirts after twenty minutes or so. Needless to say, I wasn’t wearing my mask.
After taking in the area and listening to whoever was playing at the time, I saw that it was already 3:45. I told JTW I probably needed to figure out where Zombie was going to be because he had been signing at 4:30 at most of the other shows. It would suck if I managed to get my precious cargo into the event and then missed the signing. I thought he had been signing at the Jagermeister tent on the other dates, so we made our way over. There was a sign posted in front with times on it, but Rob Zombie was not listed. JTW said something to me as I walked over to a guy in a yellow shirt to ask where other signing tents might be, but I couldn’t hear him over all the rocking that was going on. Yellow Shirt very curtly informed me that he was just security and didn’t know anything. As I turned around to seek other sources of information, it registered that what JTW had said was, “That guy is just security and won’t know anything.” This was the first instance of me not hearing wise words from my friend that day.
We wandered around a bit more, seeing tents for every band playing. Still there was no indication of where Rob Zombie and his band might be doing a signing.
And suddenly I realized why all those people were standing in that line running down the middle of the parking lot.
So we made our way across the blazing hot blacktop to the very back of the parking lot to get at the end of a line so long that I am hard-pressed to come up with a clever comparison for how long it was. You’d have thought Rob Zombie was Space Mountain or something. Well, I guess he kind of is. We spent the initial portion of our line time in the blissful shade of a trailer, but once we got back out into the harsh sunlight I lasted about ten minutes before I felt like I should get some more water. JTW agreed, so he held our place while I trekked back across the sweltering parking lot to a concession stand. Naturally, the first one I got to was only selling alcohol.
A brief note on alcohol – I enjoy a little drinky when I am partying. Whether it’s movie night in the Troublemaker Dungeon or a night at the Clermont, I am known to kick back a few adult beverages. Previous to arriving at Lakewood, I had entertained the idea of having a couple to multiply my fun factor. See, I have been described as a bit… uptight… when I am sober (mostly by Mrs. Troublemaker). This probably comes from my Southern Baptist upbringing. I still get nervous when I have sex standing up – people might think I’m dancing. So anyway, a little liquor in the tank tends to do me just fine. I figured I could have a couple during the day and be all sobered up by the time we left. Once I was exposed to the ludicrous heat that Sunday afternoon, all thoughts of a mixed drink or a beer or two fled immediately. I was going to have enough trouble staying hydrated without getting funky.
So I moved on and got water from the next stand. The young gentleman was nice enough to give me the bottles when I asked for them. Sometimes all it takes is a pleasant tone of voice and some manners.
Note: It was so hot and dry out that even though I drank water almost constantly for eight hours, I did not pee until after I got home that night.
I trudged back up the hill directly into the sun and stopped and looked at the line at the point where I thought JTW must have been by then. As I stood there in the blazing heat looking stupid and lost, I heard somebody calling my name. JTW was about thirty feet further back. The line had barely moved. That’s kind of okay, though, because it gave us a great view of this young lady in a pretty yellow sundress. We’ll call her Drunk Blonde #1.
Drunk Blonde #1 was following a young fellow who was talking on a cell phone. As they walked, she was yelling profanities at the back of his head and when he failed to acknowledge her mad diatribe Drunk Blonde #1 started punching him in that very same head. A member of the crack Yellow Shirt Security Brigade offered assistance and Drunk Blonde #1 ceased her disruptive activities. And fell over. Drunk Blonde #1 kind of wobbled for a second and then just hit the ground. I don’t think the guy even paused during his call. We averted our eyes at that point because it seemed somewhat rude to be staring. Also because nothing much happened after that.
After about forty-five minutes in line we got to a divider. A helpful metalhead explained that the left side was for Korn and the right side was for Rob Zombie & Co. and that we were going to need wristbands. Wait, what?
It turns out the proper procedure (posted nowhere) was to go and buy Rob Zombie’s new CD – despite the fact that most of the people there undoubtedly already own it – which would give you a wristband admitting you to the tent where he and the band were signing. At first I thought this was kind of shitty, but then I considered the fact that it is hardly unusual for celebrities to charge for autographs and at least we were getting CDs out of it this time, right? So I once again got out of line and went to buy an album I already owned (and I just found out I will be buying it for a third time when Roadrunner does its infamous double-dip with a deluxe version on September 28th). They had some sort of collector’s box set available, but the t-shirt it came with was a small and it was fifty bucks. I got back to JTW just in time for us to put our wristbands on, have them cut off, extract the poster, unroll it, open the CD and stand face-to-face with the Superbeast.
What’ve you got there – ah! Nice! And Malcom’s signed it.”
Yeah, and I was an extra on the movie.”
Cool. You guys were great.”
Awesome. Thanks, man. I’m getting Danielle Harris to sign it at Dragon*Con, too. (like Rob Zombie knows what the fuck a Dragon*Con is) The new album is killer. Thanks for everything you do.”
Thanks, man.”
ME and JTW both made a point of speaking to the other guys in the band, too. They know they’re not Rob Zombie, but it must suck at least a little to be “the other guys in the band” during an autograph session with Rob Zombie.
They were being really strict about photography, so I didn’t even try. (no pictures of the poster - I'm leaving it packed up until Dragon*Con) After we got out of that tent, I checked out my poster. That man did not fuck around with his signature. It is HUGE and that is awesome. I’m so glad it isn’t some piddly little doodle. I mean, it’s HIS movie. We stood by a trailer for a minute to get all of our stuff back together and then went to find some shade.
Note: It was so hot out that people whose bodies should clearly never see daylight were walking around as though they were Jessica Biel or some kind of sparkly vampire.
There were an awful lot of horrible things for a skilled people watcher to behold. From glistening folds of pale, dimpled fat to men in skirts to small children sitting in the midst of billowing clouds of marijuana smoke listening to famous adults yell, “Fuck” and less famous adults say disgusting and racist things about black women’s vaginas. We may not have been wallowing in the depths of humanity, but we were certainly gazing into the abyss.
About ten minutes before Hatebreed was scheduled to play I told JTW we had about ten minutes before Hatebreed was scheduled to play. We both agreed that we felt near enough to normal again to leave the shady patch we were sharing with approximately eight hundred other folks, so we headed back to the lot with the secondary stages. We got back just in time to hear Hatebreed’s intro music start:

Hatebreed kicked ass. JTW was digging them, too. We made it about halfway through the set before I suggested that we would probably be able to hear them just fine from the aforementioned shady spot. JTW agreed. As much as I wanted to get pictures and video of the last band on the secondary stages – 3 Inches of Blood – I just didn’t have it in me to venture back out onto that blacktop. Besides, like I said, we could hear just fine. We sat there and listened to the rest of Hatebreed’s set; as well as Chimaira and Atreyu, who did a cover of Bon Jovi’s Wanted: Dead Or Alive. Chimaira was pretty good and I think I really like Atreyu. I’ll need to hear an album. 3 Inches of Blood closed out the second stage parking lot and I kind of wish I’d gone back over there. They sound an awful lot like King Diamond, but not as skilled. Also, they used the theme from Conan the Barbarian as their intro. The intro was the best part of their set.
At some point during this time, an extremely drunk young lady – we’ll call her Drunk Blonde #2 - asked me who I was there to see. I told her I was there for Hatebreed, Korn and Zombie and turned back around. I’m not much for stranger chat. That’s why I write on the internet(?). Not noticing my disinterest in the conversation, Drunk Blonde #2 went on to tell me about her love of Atreyu and her friend being all into Lamb of God. Her friend made no comment, as she was entirely passed out (Super Drunk Brunette #1). This was surprising given the vast difference in their sizes, if you catch my drift. I made some comment along the lines of “Yeah, music is great!” and turned abck to JTW. I didn’t want to be rude, but I also didn’t want to converse. Clearly not picking up on my subtle hints, Drunk Blonde #2 asked if we were there with anybody. Which reminded me that we were supposed to be there with somebody. Somebody who should have arrived around fifteen minutes ago and had probably already called. I informed Drunk Blonde #2 of this and thanked her for reminding me, while pulling out my phone. Sure enough, my brother-in-law’s wife had called not ten minutes before. I am convinced this saved me from the awkwardness of repelling this drunk girl’s unwanted attention, and that is a situation I have never had to deal with. After a few minutes of being straight-up ignored, Drunk Blonde #2 wandered off; leaving her girthful friend (Super Drunk Brunette #1)passed out in the dirt.
My not-quite-relatives found us towards the end of 3 Inches of Blood’s set. After a few minutes of chat, I decided I should get my wife a shirt. Norma Jean was selling one that had their first album cover on it, which is super-creepy:
I knew Mrs. Troublemaker would like it even if she had never heard of the band. My sister-in-law held on to my treasured poster while I made my way back to the hilariously now-empty parking lot where the secondary stages were. I guess nobody else thought too much of 3 Inches of Blood, either. When I got to the Norma Jean booth, I was pleased to see that their t-shirts were only fifteen bucks as opposed to the $25 tour shirt or Zombie or Korn’s $30 shirts. I had been hoping for twenty, so $15 was great. Of course, I ended up paying $20 because the douchebag running the booth thought he was pulling a fast one on me. When I handed him my fifteen dollars, I said, “Fifteen, right?” just to make sure. In a scummy move reminiscent of a bartender in a low-end establishment, he prodded a cup on the counter marked “tips” and said, “Unless you want to tip me.”
I am a great tipper when it is deserved. Normally, a surly-looking butthole would not get a tip for performing the monumental task of handing me a fucking shirt. I was so happy to be getting it cheaper than I expected, however, that I thought it couldn’t hurt to throw the guy a couple of dollars. I pulled out a twenty and asked if he had any ones and said if he’d give me my ten and five back I’d throw something in. He took my twenty, acted all put out and started yanking ones out of the tip cup (never giving me my original bills back), watching me like I was going to say, “Okay, that’s good” with fourteen dollars left to go or something. He ended up pulling out a ten and five ones and quickly turning around and walking away. I have no idea why I didn’t just say “Fuck off” and demand my twenty back, but I picked the fifteen up and left. I was too tired to pursue it any further, and I had spent what I thought I was going to spend in the first place.
In short, the guy was clearly a scamming scumfuck. I’d seen that “making change” trick a ton of times before in my retail years but was just too beaten down by the heat and the day to deal with it. I really wish I had. Not because of the five bucks but – as they say – for the principle of the thing. And I honestly think a lot less of Norma Jean now. A tip cup at a merch table is bullshit in the first place, but knowing they let a shitbag like that run their merch booth makes me think they must not give much of a shit about their fans. I don’t know if he was in the band or anything, but he was a donkey-raping shiteater.
After that fun little adventure, me and my three fellow rockers made our way to the lawn of the amphitheater so we could watch the final four bands. We found a spot left of center and settled in to watch the first main stage act, Five Finger Death Punch.
I’ve mentioned 5FDP before. I liked their song Never Enough when I first heard it – enough to find a couple of other tracks by the band. It turned out that not only do they play good, heavy songs like that one; they also make some pussy music. I think I listened to two songs that weren’t to my satisfaction and decided that Never Enough was a fluke. Then our local rock station started playing another song that I liked that also ended up being a 5FDP song. Fine. They had some good songs, but I wasn’t buying the album. I’ll certainly watch them live, though. And they were mostly good. The greater part of their set was really heavy shit that served to make the slow, lame stuff seem worse than it was. They also had the weakest close of any band I’ve seen. I was in a severe minority for feeling this way, though. Every person in the place sang along with every word of their terrible cover of Bad Company and whatever slow, boring song they played last (something about bleeding). I had no idea how popular these guys actually are.
JTW and I both got extremely paranoid during this set, and it wasn’t because of marijuana. Well, yeah; actually it was. Not because we were smoking, but because we were surrounded by people who were. You see, we both have D.O.T.-regulated jobs that test “randomly” for drug use. I put quotes on that because I have “randomly” been tested on a regular basis for the past five years while many others in my work group have not been tested once during that time. At this point I don’t know if it is because I look the way I do or if The Man just knows that I am a good employee who isn’t going to fail. So anyway, we were both extremely nervous about being around that much pot smoke. After discussing it with my extended family members, we decided that unless we ended up in some sort of enclosed space with it and were actually breathing it in we were probably okay.
Two bad things happened during the intermission between 5FDP and Lamb of God. The first was a terrible comic named Big Oakerson or something. He was fucking awful. I didn’t laugh once. Imagine if the tragically untalented Lisa Lampinelli was more mannish, but not as funny. After that disaster left the stage it started raining. Since I am so very clever, I had brought Ziploc bags to put my camera, phone and wallet in. I even had extra for JTW. Since I am also not-so-very clever, I had nothing to protect the poster tube containing my now extremely rare and near-impossible to replace poster.
I dashed like a motherfucker for the nearest cover I could find.
There was actually a nice little pavilion beside the gate where we came in. Nice enough that I thought I should buy something if I was going to sit in there for the duration of the rainfall. I got a water from the water/Jagerbomb cart and sat at a table. I considered asking someone on staff if they had a garbage bag I could put the tube in, but I was kind of enjoying not being in the rain and could hear Lamb of God just fine so I stayed put. Until a drunk blonde (!) – we’ll call her Naughty Nellie Nipples – asked if she could have the chair next to me. I’m just kidding, of course - we’ll call her Drunk Blonde #3. And I was surprised when she sat in the chair next to me and said “Hi” and just kind of stared at me. Apparently I had misunderstood her intentions regarding that chair. I had thought she planned to take it to another table, not plop down next to me and gaze at me in a drunken stupor. When her patented Liquor Look failed to draw my attention, Drunk Blonde #3 decided to try and make a little clever small talk.
I think she meant, “Hey!”
I took it as a signal to get serious about finding something to put my poster tube in and left.
Note: I did not intend for that sentence to have any sort of dirty implication, but after reading it again I’m afraid it sort of might.
Once again using my magical “Pleasant Manners” approach, I coaxed one of the Lakewood employees into giving me a giant green recyclable bag big enough to store the poster. With my prize safe and dry, I headed back to the lawn to find my people.
Lamb of God was still going strong by the time I got back to our spot and I’ve got to say they were pretty fucking great. I want an album. I really liked their stage setup, too. It was a very basic set of long platforms with minimal lighting and lots of smoke. Not flashy at all. It fit their music pretty well. They did not play a single pussy song, which is a good start to selling me on a band.
It stopped raining by the time they finished. I decided we needed to move a little closer to the stage for Zombie, who was going on next. Here is something I can’t understand: Why did Korn go on last? In my mind, Zombie is not only the bigger star but would be more likely to put on a big, kickass, fun set appropriate to close out any festival. I’m sure there is a good reason that I’m not aware of, but it just struck me as an odd choice; kind of like when Smashing Pumpkins followed the Beastie Boys at Lollapalooza. Really? After over an hour of the most high-energy, exciting rock and hip-hop performance you might ever see I’m supposed to sit through Billy Corgan’s whining and think that’s a satisfactory finale? I think not. Granted, I actually like Korn; but I just wouldn’t choose them to send the audience home happy any more than I would Smashing Pumpkins.
It took about twenty minutes for Zombie’s stage set to get put together, which is pretty impressive given how crazy it was. We got a tantalizing little peek around the curtain while it was being assembled:
And then, just as the daylight was fading into the grayness of dusk, Toccata and Fugue in D Minor  crept out from the darkened amphitheater and across the damp lawn. When the haunting melody reached its crescendo, the menacing opening of What Lurks On Channel X?  blasted out from behind the curtain. And then the curtain dropped slowly to the ground - from stage right to stage left – and John 5, Piggy D, Joey Jordison and Rob Motherfucking Zombie spent the next hour and fifteen minutes melting our brains.

The stage set was awesome; completely blowing away the last time I saw Zombie perform live. The combination of video, pyro, smoke and sets was beyond anything I’ve ever seen. Since I’ve already gone on FAR longer than I intended to with this article, I’m going to sit back and let pictures and video from further away than I would have liked but as close as I cared to pay for do the talking for me:

And it was just fucking amazing. Zombie was a top notch entertainer the entire time, right up there with classic frontmen the likes of Roth and Simmons. He has definitely honed his “Watch out (your city here), because Rob Motherfucking Zombie is here to rock your faces off! Ooh, yeah!” shtick to perfection. The whole set was absolutely electric. It was more of a greatest hits-style set than a real one; featuring only two songs off of the new album – Sick Bubblegum and Mars Needs Women. I had been hoping to hear my new favorite song – What?!? – but sort of thought it might be a little too vocally tricky to play live anyway. The coordination between the music, video walls and pyrotechnics was the best I have ever seen. While I give Zombie a ton of credit for his on-stage charisma, he does have a habit of sort of glossing over certain aspects of the performance. Like, say, lyrics for instance. Every once in a while he just sort of skips a few. Despite this, the video monitors that were displaying key words in the songs kept up perfectly. I hope Zombie pays the guy in charge of all that very well, because it is fucking astounding.
During Zombie’s awesome set, an older gentleman in one of those pre-formed doo-rags with the drawstrings on the back danced over to JTW, firmly grasped his left bicep, leaned in to his face and asked him a question. JTW was for some reason visibly uncomfortable with this situation. I found out later that this conversation ensued:
Doo-Rag: “Are you in the military?”
JTW: “No.”
Doo-Rag: “… I don’t know what to say now.”
JTW: “I am a fireman.”
Doo-Rag: “Oh, man; well that’s just as good. You done saved me from feeling awkward.”
JTW: “That makes one of us.”
I particularly enjoyed this exchange, especially the fact that Doo-Rag never stopped dancing. He soon left JTW to go and dance with some unwilling young ladies nearby. Later on, JTW – somewhat bitterly – pointed out that I had been hit on by two young blondes (though I think that’s a bit of an overstatement) and he had only encountered one drunk old redneck dude. Don’t worry, my muscly friend; karma’s a bitch that won’t be denied.
The Superbeast and his crew gave us two mini-encores after John 5 told Eddie Van Halen to eat a dick by playing the greatest guitar solo I have ever heard live - the first was Thunderkiss ’65; for the second, everybody returned to the stage for a heavy-as-fuck cover of School’s Out For Summer followed by Dragula. For that second encore Zombie was perched atop a giant podium made of monsters, skulls and bones that shot smoke at his command. It was amazing.
So amazing, in fact, that JTW and I agreed that there was absolutely no way Korn was going to provide a satisfying follow-up and it was time to go. Admittedly, general exhaustion was playing into that decision too. But as I stated above, I just don’t feel the last two bands were arranged properly. I don’t regret the decision as I write this. We left that show happy and satisfied by what we agreed was one of the most energetic rock n’ roll shows we had ever seen. What more could you need?

Until next time, stay creepy

1 comment:

  1. I'm not a big metal head, so most of those bands mentioned above I've never even heard of, and the only act you mentioned that I'd probably care to see was your highlight, Rob Zombie, but the read was quite entertaining in spite of that. I was particularly amused by your encounters with the random drunk people.

    Also, while I am a fan of Smashing Pumpkins, I would have to agree that there's no way in hell they should be the follow-up to the Beastie Boys. The general energy level should go up from one set to the next, not down.