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Road Reports

Who: Rockstar Energy Mayhem Tour 2011
Where: Bristow, VA
When: 07.30.11
Writer: Pearce Ray

The Rockstar Mayhem tour rolled into town about 5 hours north of my home so I ran up the road to check it out. The tour line-up this year was a bit weak with headlining left to Disturbed and Godsmack. To complicate things further In Flames and Machine Head didn't even get the mainstage and was forced into a shorter setlist than years past. Regardless I was making the trek north and had plans to mosh it up on a Saturday afternoon.

Hours and hours was spent before the show avoiding terrible acts like Straight Line Stitch and Red Fang. I hung out with a Baltimore band called Silver Tongue and those guys were super cool to me. Finally after the dust settled the first of the bigger acts hit the smaller stage in California monsters Machine Head. The act teased the crowd with a new record by playing fresh single "Locust". Rob and the boys ran through "Imperium" and "Aesthetics Of Hate" as highlights of a five song setlist.

Next up is Swedish act In Flames who I had the opportunity to chat with earlier in the day. It was unknown at the time that this would be the final leg for the band due to a family emergency back home (it was). I've witnessed the In Flames experience numerous times and the group always come well prepared with tons of energy and fan interaction. "Cloud Connected" and "Alias" were as sharp as ever followed by crowd favorite "Pinball Map". Anders introduced the new album and new single "Deliver Us" and played a few new songs like "The Hive" and "Where The Dead ships Dwell". The stellar set was rounded out by "The Quiet Place" and "Take This Life". The best moment of the night was Anders asking a front row fan for his camera. The man kept saying no and Anders was practically begging to use the camera to film the crowd. Finally Anders got his wish with a resounding "Give me your FUCKING camera NOW". Hilarious and it was all in good fun.

The planning wasn't well versed in the layout of the venue. once In Flames wrapped up I had a flat out sprint across the field to hit the main stage in time for Trivium. With the amount of people, heat and lack of affordable water I completely missed the whole set. I was there in time for Megadeth and was glad to see Dave and Dave together on one stage again. This was the second post 90s show I've seen them collaborate on...the first was the Testament/Exodus tour that saw 'Deth play "Rust In Peace" in its entirety. This time the band ran through all of the classics including "Holy Wars" and "Peace Sells". Mustaine always has fun with his audience and announced the upcoming show at Yankee Stadium to a roar. The group hit on their last album with "Headcrusher" but the highlight was new single "Public Enemy No. 1" with promises of a 2011 album release. Only nine songs this go around to make room for...gasp...Godsmack and Disturbed.

I was happy to grab my keys and go before those two made it to the stage. The day went well though and Machine Head, In Flames and Megadeth were fantastic as always. Let's hope Dave's promise to return with Gigantour will amount to a better line-up.

--Pearce Ray

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