Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival 2012 – The People of the Lots
After running into Anthrax backstage at Mayhem Fest, I needed to run out to the parking lot to meet up with King B and ingest another beverage of choice. The gates had just opened, and Mayhem Madness was in full effect. A sea of black poured through the festival grounds at an overwhelmingly high rate of speed and spread throughout the parking lot strewn with stages and tents.
Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival has always been an interesting festival to cover. The interest does not exist solely within its lineup, but within its people. Metalheads have always been pigeonholed as falling with a very common stereotype. However, as I pulled into the parking lot, you’d think that you wandered into a Dave Matthews tailgate. Sure, the target demographics may be a bit different, but people were still out jamming to their favorite tunes, cooking up some serious BBQ, sharing their favorite beverages, joking and laughing. Sure, metal may be raucous, angry and hardcore, but the bottom line is… People are out just to have fun (besides the meatheads that hit the moshpits just to throw fists at faces or the backs of their heads.)
While King B was on his way over on the train (not The Train) from Philly, I met some lot neighbors who were there, rockin out with their kids. And these kids were pure rockers! One never knows who or what they’ll experience at a fest, and this year presented me with a sneak preview of music’s future. Our nice lot neighbors fired up their BBQ while we were serenaded by the soothing sounds of Slayer. As we shared a cold beverage or 3, I noticed that the guy’s 10 year old son looked like a mini rocker, so I called him over to discuss music.
“Hey big guy… Who did you come to see today?”
“(Cue devil horns) SLAYERRRRRRR!!!! Man, they’re the best. I’ve seen them about 10 times!”
“Ten times? Sounds like you’re a huge fan! You look like a serious rocker! Do you play?”
His dad (rocking a fresh tattoo and who was previously in a band) said, “He’s a drummer in a metal band that formed through The School Of Rock. You should really hear him play. These kids, though young, are incredible. His double bass skills are badass!” It was awesome to see how proud his dad was of his son. Too often you see these boisterous parents who brag about their kid’s prowess in sports or in school, but this kid found his niche early in death metal, and his dad couldn’t be more proud.
We chatted for quite a long time while we snacked on killer cheeseburger, and all went for a walk along the side of the festival talking about the bands of the day. He stopped dead in his
“Can you get me to meet Slayer? I’ve always wanted to meet them!”
“Keep your eyes peeled. One thing about Mayhem Fest is that I’ve seen most bands just wandering through the crowd at any given point in the day. I can’t get you backstage to meet them, but maybe they’ll be doing a signing at their tent today!”
It turned out that they were doing a signing later that day, and hopefully the little rocker got to meet his musical idols. Seeing today’s youth interested in subjects other than video games and sports is an awesome thing, and adults as a whole need to foster and embrace a child’s interest in the arts, no matter if it may be of your own personal interest or not.
Beverages and downtime finished… Time to return to the festival site and shoot The Devil Wears Prada! More to come…