# CCXVI…RockStar Mayhem 2014…

As many of you may recall, I have already covered the expansiveness of the RockStar Mayhem (in Post # CVII {107}), which took place yesterday at the always enchanting Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, NJ.   That having been said, the only thing that I will add before I get started, is the fact, unlike last year’s sweltering 100-degree plus weather, it was actually a day that started off reasonably well, weather-wise, but quickly turned it into more like Woodstock, as the skies opened up and rained for a good part of the mid-afternoon show.

Upon arriving at about 11:00 am, we (my brother, sister, niece and her significant other, my eldest daughter Mena, brother-in-law, nephew and two other close personal friends) were immediately welcomed into what the mainstays refer to as “The Corner”, the place in the parking area where a lot of other rocking fans participate in their own pregame rituals (beer pong, a horseshoes-like game with round metal objects that you have to throw in three “holes” in a wooden board, Frisbee, etc.) and got to meet some new friends, which I will speak about in the future, I’m sure.  Being tight-knit themselves, a couple of them were amazed that we came from Long Island and that we were all from the same cloth (most of us, anyway).

Prior to venturing into the wonderful Susquehanna Bank Center, I managed to take a look around the parking area, which was located just behind the Ben Franklin Memorial Bridge, which, in case you don’t know, leads into the city of Philadelphia, and in the shadows of Campbell’s Field, which is where the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball’s Camden Riversharks play, for purposes of taking photos and just enjoying the pregame festivities.

At about 2:00 PM, our entourage grew by four, as the lead singer of WDFA (our friend Cesartheczar) and his 12-year-old son, nephew and his girlfriend joined our little get-together for this show.  It was the second time that Cesar was there with us but the first time that he brought members of his family (last year’s show, he and WDFA lead singer Justin were there).  All four members of his crew were a beautiful addition to this year’s show and they informed us when we left that they all had a wonderful time!

As for the show itself, and being that I can’t be everywhere at the same time, I am just here to divulge most of the highlights from what I did see…like experiencing bands like Mushroomhead (who did a brilliant job at one point with a cover of the opening minute and a half from Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall, Part 1” and old favorites Ill Nino (who was very humbled and appreciated their fans’ presence), as well as groups like Darkest Hour, which is a nice addition to the screamo scene and had a large group of followers, Suicide Silence (another screamo band that, although I liked their harmonies musically, I probably won’t add to my ever-growing collection because I wasn’t fond of the singer’s high-pitched voice), perennial favorites Miss May I (very nice for my first time seeing them) and Cannibal Corpse.

The pinnacle of the three-stage opening, though, was the concert return of the classic “metal” group, Body Count…yes, the Ice-T driven metal group who, along with co-creator (and fellow southpaw Ernie C.) and his son (who was introduced as “Sean of the Dead”), won over the crowd and was just perfectly executed by a man of Ice-T’s caliber.  Performing such classics as “Cop Killer” and “There Goes the Neighborhood”, as well as new tracks, like the title track to their latest release “Manslaughter” and the ever-popular first track, “Talk Shit, Get Shot”, he even made mention of his acting (he got a young girl who was moshing in the crowd on stage and, after introducing her, told the stagehands, “Put her back in the crowd before someone calls SVU on us!”).  A clearly five-star performance from the “red-headed stepchild” of heavy metal and a beautiful segway to the main stage acts.

My tale concludes with three of the four acts on the main stage; the band Trivium, whom I had heard of before but experienced live for the first time, which had a solid fan base and performed very well (I’m not a “fan” so I didn’t really take notes on the songs as I don’t know them), Asking Alexandria, which my daughter has witnessed and really impressed me with their left-handed guitarist’s unique melodies, as well as their overall performance and interaction with their fans, and the ever-impressive Korn, who performed such classics as “Got The Life”, “Did My Time”, “Here to Stay” and “Freak on a Leash”, as well as odd songs like “Twist” and “Shoots and Ladders”.  For a band that has recently obtained a bad reputation for collaborating with dub-step artist Skrillex, though, they were clearly the highlight of the long, exasperating day that yesterday was.

The closing band for the show, Avenged Sevenfold, I will have to make apologies for…being that it was a super-long predawn excursion, a lot of us ventured out of the venue to try and unwind after hours and hours of moshing.  I have seen them perform once before (at Ozzfest 2006) and I was blown away by them.  As such, I did hear from the remaining stragglers of my group that they put on a really nice show, which I missed this time around but there will be future shows, I’m sure.

Overall (and since I’ve taken up way too much time), it was a concert experience that was way better than last year’s festival, but only because I can now cross “seeing Body Count” and “seeing Korn live” off of my bucket list…

Thanks to Jessie and her crew, new found friends Roxana and Michelle (networking opportunities), my family and friends who accompanied me, and all of the bands and fans that made this year’s Mayhem clearly one to remember!

/,,,/ ROCK ON DUDEZ \,,,\

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