Wednesday, August 13 began like any other day. I woke up at 5 am, had my usual bowl of Frosted Mini Wheats (apparently a healthy dose of fiber is important when considering that diseases of the colon are just around the proverbial corner...Sorry, I digress...) and a strong cup of coffee. Then I enjoyed feeding my baby daughter her usual 10 ounces of formula, playing with her for a little while, then putting her back in her crib for her first morning nap. After that, a shower and a shave, a fresh change of clothes, and I'm on my way.
Where might I be on my way to you ask? Well, after all of that morning normalcy, it's only obvious that I'm going to hang with headbangers, earth-dogs, rivet-heads, hell-rats and all other various sorts of people whose lives are dedicated to metal and all the glory that it entails. And where might this hang of metal take place you ask? Well, in Noblesville, Indiana, right outside the city of Indianapolis, at a large outdoor amphitheater run by Verizon Wireless (can you hear me now?). And what might be taking place at this large outdoor amphitheater? Well, the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival of course!
This year, the Mayhem festival made its debut, and OH BOY what a debut! Talk about a sick line-up. More killer metal bands than you can shake a stick at. Meinl Cymbals had cymbal artists in three of the best bands on the bill for this tour - Thomas Noonan with 36 Crazyfists, Aaron Gillespie with Underoath and Brann Dailor with Mastodon.
I went to the festival with one of Meinl's trusty photographers, Rick Malkin riding shotgun. We drove 5 hours to the festival from Nashville and got straight to work getting pictures and soaking up the vibe.
All three drummers kicked some serious a**. Thomas with 36 Crazyfists is a GREAT rock and roll drummer. Lots of groove, lots of tasty chops, lots of stick twirling, stick flips and most importantly - a lot of fun to watch. Plus, a very cool guy. Aaron with Underoath is another great drummer. Lots of red hair flying amuck, lots of bottled water being spit on him by Underoath's singer Spencer, lots of insane drumming accentuated by even more insane drum fills, and generally an all around insane show. Underoath made the cool move by playing this festival since they have always straddled the line between a VANS Warped Tour crowd (which is the type that they usually play to) and a metal crowd. Well, by doing this tour they were taking the road less traveled, and they had no problem making believers out of the crowd. Brann with Mastodon was, as usual, in total control of one of the best metal bands out there today. Mastodon's sound is so thick that one can easily become happily lost in its complexity of musicality. Really, these guys rule. And so does Brann. With machine gun precision, Brann takes traditional metal drumming and turns it inside out into a breathing, writhing juggernaut of insanity. Good stuff.
Anyway, enjoy the photo montage. It was lot of fun and both Rick and I had a great time.
Hope you are all enjoying life as we know it.