Concert review: Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival with Korn, Rob Zombie, Lamb of God and others at Ask-Gary Amphitheatre in Tampa (with lots of photos)

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Grammy-nominated thrash metal rockers Lamb of God took the stage next, ushering in the first lightshow of the evening. [image-1][Frontman Randy Blythe pictured at right.] While Lamb of God offered a great set sonically, the stage show was a little bland and boring. Maybe I was still reeling from the high-energy set of FFDP, but when a band stands nearly stationary while thrashing their hair during each song, it tends to come off as a bit lifeless.


Horror rocker / director Rob Zombie’s highly-anticipated set invoked a lot of audience excitement, even before the curtain fell. When it did fall, all hell broke loose. Zombie's band slinked onto the stage like some sort of rockin' castoffs from Night of the Living Dead, complete with next-level makeup and costumes. For his entrance, Zombie emerged from a large metal robot complete with glaring blue eyes, and stepped up to a six-armed, skeleton-shaped microphone stand. The stage itself was covered in large video screens, flame-topped towers and more horror stage props than a bad B-horror movie. This was my first time experiencing Rob Zombie live and it was much more intense (and frankly more grotesque) than I'd expected


Closing out the day’s music, crop circle rockers Korn pushed the bar a bit higher, offering an even more elaborate stage show. Amidst an an industrial-themed wasteland featuring oil field derricks and signage, Korn offered a show and sound that was well-suited to their position as festival headliners. The only complaint I heard was that the stage pyrotechnics were making the already-unbearable heat just that much worse. Oh, well, I didn’t mind sweating a little more to see a great show.


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The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival might have rolled into town on a wet, soggy note, but it went out with a bang. I thoroughly enjoyed all 11 hours I spent at the festival and plan to return the next time it hits town.


More pics from the fest by Mike:


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I’m beginning to notice a trend. Whenever an outdoor music festival comes to the Tampa Bay area, it rains. Call me crazy or a complainer, but Tuesday’s Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival at the 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre only helped reinforce this theory by bringing a bit of nasty weather with it. I will say this, though; the dark clouds that enveloped the fairgrounds almost seemed to serve as an ominous announcement that the horror-filled antics of Rob Zombie and Korn were drawing near. [All photos by Mike Wilson.]

The festival was broken up into two sections: the main amphitheatre stage area and the outdoor stages and festival village. With the steady rain, the grassy field that hosted the outdoor section quickly turned into one big muddy mess. This didn’t seem to deter festival attendees, as they seized the opportunity to do a little mud surfing. Festival sponsors Jagermeister and Silver Star Casting Company hosted the outdoor stages, which featured support acts and a few local bands. Included in this lineup were crowd favorites Norma Jean, In This Moment, 3 Inches of Blood and Hatebreed. Of these bands, In This Moment and Hatebreed turned in the best non-main stage performances of the day. Scheduled performers Shadows Fall and Winds of Plague were a no-show because of tour bus problems in Georgia.

Five Finger Death Punch hit the main stage at approximately 6:30 p.m. with a vengeance and immediately set the bar for the remainder of the evening’s performances. Vocalist Ivan Moody [pictured below] stormed around the stage screaming, spitting and offering more than one intimidating glare. At one point, Moody asked the crowd how many people had bought one of their albums, and then asked how many had downloaded their music illegally. As the audience applauded wildly, Moody said “Fine, then, you motherfuckers owe me. I expect to hear every one of you screaming now!” The audience responded with a deafening roar.

[See the complete photo gallery after the jump.]

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