A motorcycle caravan of dozens of Hells Angels and other bikers rumbled up to the Whiskey A GoGo on the Sunset Strip yesterday to kick off a party for the announcement of the lineup for the sixth annual Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival. Hundreds of fans and members of the press gawked and took pictures of bands playing this year, including headliners Five Finger Death Punch and Rob Zombie and side stage bands Butcher Babies and Huntress. The traveling metal circus begins on June 29 at San Manuel Amphitheater in San Bernardino. Due to the crowd gathered outside to celebrate the actually caused a portion of Sunset Blvd. near the Whiskey to be closed down due to safety concerns.
Inside the Whiskey, the atmosphere showed no signs of the fact that it was barely 5 p.m. on a Monday afternoon. As the crowd poured in, and the booze flowed out. Half of those in attendance were fans, many of which most likely got their shirts from Hot Topic, and half were in the media. "Thanks a lot to the asshole that poured two shots of Jagermeister down my throat," said Jose Mangin from Liquid Metal on Sirius XM, the event's MC.
This year is the sixth annual for the Mayhem festival, and for the first time, the tour will have four stages. The Main Stage will feature Amon Amarth, Mastodon, Five Finger Death Punch and closing act Rob Zombie (featuring guitarist John 5, drummer Piggy D. and bass player Gingerfish).
The Jagermeister Mobile stage will include Machine Head, Job For a Cowboy, Butcher Babies, Battlecross, and Huntress. The Musicians Institute (MI) Stage will feature Children Of Bodom, Behemoth, Emmure, Born Of Osiris, Motionless In White, and Thrown Into Exile. The Sumerian/Headbang For The Highway Concourse Stage, will feature City In The Sea, and other local bands to be announced in June.
Mangin introduced the official line up, before hosting a fan Q&A session with Rob Zombie and his band, and the band Five Finger Death Punch. The vibe was that of a party, with the booze flowing and the tunes on the PA loud and rocking. Festival creators Kevin Lyman and John Reese were also acknowledged for keeping heavy metal music alive with this festival, which is going on its sixth year.
"I know a lot of you skipped work, family obligations and school to come here for the Mayhem line up announcement," Mangin said, as the crowd roared in approval. " This party's only starting, they actually closed down part of Sunset for this, all of the longhairs and metal heads, and it was amazing. Get Ready for the Mayhem!"
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Fans were treated to the official four-minute Promotional Video for the summer concert, as well as a trailer for Rob Zombies upcoming supernatural horror film the Lords of Salem. For live entertainment, Huntress, the intriguing female fronted, primal sounding band, took the stage to deliver to the Whisky a sound that was part doom metal, part late 70s/early 80s NWBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal). Fans loved the preview of what the summer months will bring from Huntress and its thundering drums, stoner metal riffs and dark sound.
The crowd also ate up the Butcher Babies, a so called 'shock rock' band featuring two semi-naked chicks covered in blood, and a guitarists bassist and drummer that were cloned to all look like they were in the Murder Dolls. Butcher Babies are hell bent on bringing back the show to a metal show, taking heavily from the theatrics of Alice Cooper, Gwar and Marilyn Manson, whom the band were on tour with recently.
This year's Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival will begin on June 29, in San Bernardino at the San Manuel Amphitheater and will end on Aug. 4, in Dallas, Texas at the Gexa Energy Pavilion. For More info on tickets and additional tour dates, visit www.rockstarmayhemfest.com.