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“Emer’s Mixtape Mondays”: Rockstar Mayhem Festival 2012
Posted by: Emeron August 13, 2012.Last revised on: August 14, 2012.
WARNING: If you are easily offended by obscene language, drug use, alcohol abuse, and pure mayhem; you might not want to read any further. This is the story of my experience at one of the most hardcore shows in live music history and it can get a bit out of control sometimes. Also, none of the pictures and videos shown here are mine, they are just borrowed from other people around the web that were able to make it out to this concert of epic proportion.
Once a year a select group of Metal bands (a form of extreme rock & Roll) get together to tour across the U.S., from San Bernardino, CA to Hartford, CT. Every year the band lineup changes to keep fans interested, however, every once in a while a band from a past Mayhem will show up on the lineup. This year’s lineup consisted of Slipknot, Slayer, Motorhead, Asking Alexandria, Anthrax, and many more. Every year this show rocks the nation harder than a sledgehammer to the skull.
When I woke up at 6am on the morning of August 5th 2012 my heart was already on overtime. The excitement of what the day would bring was causing my heart to start eating it’s way right out of my chest. I got up quickly, took my shower, brushed my teeth, ate my breakfast, and headed up to my friend Tory’s house. This is where the six of us (Tory, Theressa, Josh, Denise, Shady, and I) met up to carpool down to Hartford, CT. This three hour trip was full of excitement, frustration, sweat, air conditioning, and many other things that would soon cause this years trip to be one of the best yet. When we arrived at the hotel, which happened to be a Motel 8 around the corner from the show, we went in, dropped off everything we weren’t taking into the show with us and had a few drinks. When everyone was ready we headed out on foot to the show. The only things running through my head as we arrived was the buzz that was flowing through it from the long island iced tea I had had at the hotel, the distant sounds of hardcore metal echoing through the light warm breeze, and the promotional video for the show I watched the night before. It was horribly hot out by the way.
As we made our way to the front of the line, there were cops waiting for us so they can violate us like usual to check if we were stupid enough to try to sneak anything in we weren’t supposed to have at the show; such as drugs, weapons, etc. What they didn‘t know is that we did, but we were to smart about it and ended up getting in with everything on us. Many people were not as lucky as we were. In our group, there were Peppermint Schnapps nips going through the front gate in bra’s, and boots. On entry we, as a group, started to walk around to check out the many vendors selling very interesting things all over the fairgrounds outside the main stage area. For sale were many wonderful things including: Sunglasses, glass pipes, necklaces, t-shirts, beer, mixed drinks, CDs, DVDs, and so much more. There were also tents where you could get meet and greets with band members and get autographed stuff. There were many other things to do than just go see live music. One could call it a hardcore, more awesome, version of any small town fair.
At the farthest end of all the merchandise tents we could see an area that looked like some sort of vehicle stunt track. It was the Metal Mulisha showing off all of their epic, bad ass, dirt bike tricks. If you don’t know who the Metal Mulisha are you can go read their biography at http://www.metalmulisha.com/stuff/history/, explaining in the first paragraph that they were “Started sometime around 1998 or 1999 by Brian Deegan and Larry Linkogle, the Metal Mulisha has grown into the biggest, best and most bad-ass Freestyle Motocross team in the world.” Watching these crazy people do their stunts was awesome.
Somewhere around the merchandise tents our group got separated. I ended up with only Denise and we took our Peppermint Schnapps out and began to drink a bit more. Our buzz was turning into drunk and we decided it was time to go enjoy some music. Past all the merchandise tents, and the Metal Mulisha, there was a large wooden gate leading to the small side stages. On entry, the music pierced our ears and the screaming crowd in front of us was a constant circular flow of craziness. I would have been fine watching from a safe distance afar, however, Denise wanted to get up close and dragged me along for the ride. Being inside the massive crowd was like being stuffed into an oven full of sweaty people. It was gross. However, the music and the energy emanating off of all these sweaty, insane people was worth dealing with the nastiness. Denise and I made it up front for a couple of the bands; it was so crazy that I don’t even remember which bands they were. People were shoving, jumping, screaming, and running all through the crowd. Every few minutes a group of crowd surfers would float by us from above and drop off the end of the crowd in front of us. The most interesting crowd surfer was probably the man dressed as the famous “Where’s Waldo” that almost fell on my head.
This show was already insane, and we haven’t even got to the main stage for the headlining bands yet. After being thrashed around, beaten, and covered in other people’s sweat and dirt, Denise and I made our way back out to the merchandise area to find the rest of our group. It didn’t take long at all. After finding the rest of the group we met up with some other people we were looking forward to seeing at the show and tried out the new glass pipes one of us had bought at one 0f the tents. That was when things kind of turned bad. A severe thunderstorm had decided to come join in on the mayhem. The clouds rushed in quickly and the lightning was terrifying. People were told to take shelter inside for their own safety and the music had stopped to let the storm pass. However, the storm was being suborn and stuck around a bit longer than we wanted it to. The thunder was rumbling the ground under our feet and the lightning was flashing across the sky. This didn’t hold back the mayhem though. There were groups of people making watersides on the hill where the lawn seats were placed, the bands gave up waiting and Anthrax hit the stage right in the middle of the storm, and my group got much closer seats than we expected at the main stage thanks to the storm. I guess you can say the storm only accentuated the awesomeness of the show.
Sadly we weren’t able to see Anthrax live, because we didn’t know they were playing outside on one of the small stages, and we were inside at our seats waiting for bands like Slipknot and Slayer to appear on stage. We didn’t miss out on any mayhem though. There were thousands of people inside screaming, and bouncing around from seat to seat. They were just as excited, and impatient, as we were. When the lights finally went down and the crowd screamed even louder the energy in the theater burst the roof right off, metaphorically of course. The stage performances that commenced after that point were just absolutely epic. Motorhead’s stage was plain as ever, but they rocked the hell out of the place. Slayer’s stage was bursting with flame, bright lights of all different colors, and a couple fiery crucifix. Slipknot, however, was probably the most bad ass performance of the whole day. The nine members of the band, toting their famous creepy masks, were the most energetic bunch of performers. Flames bursting high into the air, drum sets rotating and raising to the heavens, glitter (or what I thought was glitter) slowly falling to the ground reflecting the many colors of an intense light show. They were a perfect ending to the show.
And now is the time you all have been waiting for. You obviously don’t want to hear about us sleeping, or about the boring ride all the way home. So I will leave you with a series of AMAZING videos from the show. Enjoy!!