We survived another Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. Consider us bad asses because of it.

Above Photo Credit: Svetlana Joukova. All others: Miles Chrisinger and Brian Frederick

The mushy mass inside of our skulls feels like it’s been thrown into a Magic Bullet alongside a few browning carrots and a heap of trendy kale. We’re exhausted, beaten, bruised and the ringing has yet to subside. After more than 16 hours of heavy, hardcore, growling in your face, fear-inducing rock in two days, yours would too. Judge not, for we survived another Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. Consider us bad asses because of it.

This year the festival moved from the 2013’s Fiddlers Green Amphitheatre location and set stake at both the Fillmore Auditorium on Sunday (07/13) and the lauded Red Rocks Amphitheatre on Monday (07/14). The mixed venues on separate dates kind of negated the whole “festival” approach, but from the sounds of things they had little choice. AEG now books Fiddlers, and the Mayhem ordeal is a LiveNation soiree (it’s a complicated relationship, better not to ask). That minor detail did little to detract fans though – both days sold out.

The events brought with it plenty of black shirts and makeup that was even blacker. Our notes, however, are a ray of fucking sunshine. In case you want to relive the past or pretend like you were there, here’s our experience of the metal infused affair:

We’ve never seen so many guys on steroids in one (or two) place(s)

Seriously, stop it. PEDs are insanely dangerous and the body type that it creates only looks good to a small sect on the east coast, or in cows. It looks great on cows because cows on steroids are delicious.
But we digress.
We’re all about body modifications, healthy transformations and basically doing whatever you want with your flesh container before the thing wears out, but the strain someone puts on their inner workings isn’t worth the unnatural look. Heed our advice and consider this to be our one allotted, court ordered public service announcement for the year. Carry on.

Head banging and head injuries

When the apocalyptic explosion known as Erimha hit the stage at a half past two at The Fillmore the crowd went absolutely nutty rocking their heads back and forth in fervent unison. It was a spectacle, really, but all we could think about was the poor Motörhead fan that had suffered a serious case of dome bleeding while thrashing out late last week. It’s an extremely rare event of chronic subdural haematoma secondary to headbanging. It happens. He’s fine, and is cleared by doctors to continue on with his metal ways. Be weary out there, fellow noggin’ rockers.

The power of metal can be seen as silly from outsiders, but so can punk, and so can hip-hop and so can… etc etc

Kicking back and watching a few thousand people having a connection through music will never get old. While most of the revelers at metal shows look like they could be the ones who are targets in school by dickless bullies, or live a hard life, or see rampant abuse, or are otherwise neglected by society – who are we to judge? None of these could apply, too, for that matter. Isn’t that what everyone else says about every other genre, though? The stereotypes surrounding misunderstood music are worn out and trite. Let’s enjoy ourselves and let the haters be haters.

No straws, no lids, no caps, no cans?

What are we, fucking twelve? The Fillmore pours out their already expensive 24 oz. cans of beer into cylindrical items that aren’t even stable enough to be considered cups. It makes for a rabid-bear of a time trying to carry anything around to safety. With that, they take off the lids to all bottles of water and chuck them in the trash behind the bar. It’s said to be used as a safety measure towards artists (uncapped bottles aren’t as good of missiles), but really, let’s just let adults make up their own minds about what they can and can’t cap.

Red Rocks also uses the same backwards technology in its liquid holders, and won’t even allow for any lids or straws to be used with any form of refreshment. One would think that an entire day’s paycheck spent on a ticket would lend itself the use of a few common sundries. Freedom indeed.

Speaking of beer

When in the bloodiest battles of all historical reference did PBR become a ‘premium’ mother-loving ‘draft?’ We get it, it’s not a ‘local’ fare, but when did paying an extra dollar for swill become a thing? Gouging us at the silly-juice trough is bad enough; don’t insult us pretending that Pabst is premium anything.

Body Count at Red Rocks? We must be dreaming

We never thought in a million years that we’d ever see Ice-T’s Body Count live, and at Red Rocks Amphitheatre no less! It’s not even that the west coast hardcore outfit is our favorite act of all time, but we understand the importance of the affair, and thought it to be long gone after it lost three members, one after the other, to various causes in the late ‘90s.

Body Count’s single “Cop Killer” is arguably one of the most important songs to come out of contemporary artistry because of the dialogue it created in the nation. Being able to see that live hasn’t even been on our radar before this. We had thought the band was long gone. That moment we experienced at The Rocks is history.

On the topic of band shirts

If we had to guess what band the crowd was there to see based solely on the t-shirts being worn, it would easily have been Avenged Sevenfold first, followed closely by a late 80s Metallica as a close second. Metal heads love their band shirts and are definitely proud to support whatever band they’ve grown close to. At $35-$45 dollars a pop though? The thing better come with a free smoothie coupon attached to it at least. Merchandise is outrageously priced these days, for shame. 

Honoring veterans and active military personal at shows? More of that, please

During a set change Ice-T brought out a few guys who are serving in active military positions. He gave them a massive amount of congratulatory accolades and the crowd was the loudest then as they were all night. “These are the stars,” said Ice. “These guys are the fucking rock stars right here.” We can’t agree more, and hope that this kind of honorary tribute can become a thing at all events.

Lights, flames and visuals

We haven’t made up our mind yet on what band took home the coveted first place in our hearts when it came to visuals. Korn had such a unique setups that employed top of the line electronic toys that we were surprised there wasn’t a rush of epileptic shocks to the med-tent. The setup was in a category all its own, but Avenged Sevenfold broke out fire. Pyrotechnics always come with extra brownie points. We just answered our own question, A7F por vida!

Big ups to:

the guy napping in the farthest, deepest, darkest, mustiest corner of The Fillmore. After a few hours of head-pounding metal didn’t wake him, we had to check – but he wasn’t dead, just sleepy.

the upstanding gentleman asking where the “cocaine man” was. We wouldn’t ever know, but we hope you fulfilled your admirable conquest.

the rad-dad at Red Rocks with his teens flanking either side of him. He yelled at Asking Alexandria’s lead singer Danny Worsnop to “take off your jacket then, pussy!” after he wouldn’t stop complaining about being so hot in his leather coat.

all of the girls who don’t know how to dress for a show at Red Rocks. Wear what you want, but remember to always bring a jacket. We gift our wisdom to you because we care…


“Trivium is the shit, fuck you, I’ll kill you.”

“I’m so upset, I lost my keys, I pulled out forty bucks for more beer. [Feels around for money, finds keys] Awwww, I’m so happy, let’s still go buy that sadness beer anyways, it needs to hear about this.”

“Mom, you’re over there, we’re over here. It’s that simple. Don’t talk to me.”

“I don’t mind spending thirty-five dollars on a shirt man; I’ve had this one since 1997 and it still looks great!”

Click this colorful link to see our photos from the Fillmore on 07/13
Click this colorful link to see our photos from Red Rocks on 07/14