Mayhem Festival Featuring Disturbed, Godsmack, Megadeth, Machine Head – Live Review

The 2010 Mayhem Festival was the first festival that provided “Zoiks! Online” our first real backstage experience. It was our first time in the photo pits and the first time on the other side of the fence. It was a lot of fun and got us hooked. Since then we’ve moved up to backstage interviews and more. Last Friday was our second time at Mayhem and this time we had planned on interviewing Megadeth and Machine Head backstage. Complications on our end prevented the Machine Head interview from ever being scheduled, but Megadeth was scheduled for 2:30. We had interviewed Megadeth before and in some ways Megadeth is largely responsible for our sites success. We were very much looking forward to this interview. Our GPS had us scheduled to arrive at the venue at 1:30, which gave us plenty of buffer time to make the interview. About twenty minutes away from Tinley Park (where the venue was located) we hit construction to the point where we weren’t even moving. Fifteen minutes had gone by and we hadn’t even moved a mile, but we came up to an exit and thought if we’re going to make this interview we need to detour. An hour later we made it back to the original interstate (Interstate 80) that we were on to find that we had only moved 10 miles. We lost the Megadeth interview ☹.

It was a bad start to the day, but for God’s sake, we were a rock n roll show with some great bands like Unearth, Kingdom of Sorrow, Hatebreed, Machine Head, Megadeth, Godsmack, and Disturbed, what’s to complain about? It was a fun filled day of metal, hardcore and radio metal as the kids call it these days. The first band we really got a chance to check out was Jamey Jasta’s Kingdom of Sorrow (his first of two performances as Hatebreed went on later). They played their thirty-minute set like they were headlining. Jasta is one of the better front men out there today. The way he commanded that stage you’d think everybody showed up to this festival just to see him…and they may have.

The side stages in general were full of energy. You’ve got two stage right next to each other, so as soon as one bands done, the next one starts up. We caught Kingdom of Sorrow, Suicide Silence, Unearth and Hatebreed, before heading to our seats to catch Machine Head. If you are a big Disturbed or Godsmack fan, you probably didn’t care too much for the side stage acts, however bands like Godsmack and Disturbed are gateway bands to bands like Slayer, Megadeth, Machine Head, Hatebreed etc. So hopefully some of you Disturbed fans came early and were turned on to some great hardcore and metal bands.

This was my first time seeing Machine Head and I was excited. They’re just one of those great all around bands that hasn’t really gotten the credit they deserve. They tore the stage apart, to the point where I felt bad for Megadeth who had to follow them. They played a track or two from their upcoming album “Unto the Locusts.” My only complaint was that they didn’t get to play longer. I love these festivals because it gives me a chance to check out a wide variety of heavy metal acts, but it always leaves me wanting more…which I guess is the point.

While I felt bad for Megadeth having to both follow Machine Head and play before Godsmack who, say what you will is an amazing live show, but Megadeth held their own. Hands down the highest talent on the bill, Megadeth delivered. If you didn’t like the Megadeth performance then you probably weren’t a Megadeth fan, either that or you thought the sound mix was under par, which it was. Me? I loved it. Chris Broderick has become one of my favorite guitar players over the last two years. The dude just makes it look effortless. Dave Mustaine is the face of Megadeth, but when they perform live, they’re a band. It’s not the Dave Mustaine show it’s a Megadeth show, his band is so tight live.

During the Megadeth set Mustaine brought up the Big Four coming to Chicago…God, and or Lars Ulrich, please let that happen. The Big Four is the best thing that has happened to heavy metal. Instead of picking Slayer, Anthrax, Megadeth or Metallica, we can just like all four. I wish they would do a festival like tour and bring out bands like Hatebreed, Machine Head, Lamb of God etc etc. I’m getting off topic here.

After the crowd was done being great and Megadeth was done being Megadeth, Godsmack hit the stage. I saw a lot of Fuck Godsmack and Disturbed, Megadeth is the real headliner signs and home made shirts…and a few people actually left before Godsmack took the stage, but it was still a pretty packed amphitheater. I take a lot of shit for liking Godsmack, but I don’t apologize for it. Those guys are as good a live band as it gets. Say what you will about their music, but if it wasn’t for their success in the late nineties odds are metal wouldn’t have made the comeback it did in the early 2000’s, like I said, they’re a gateway band.

Godsmack came out playing a bunch of songs off of their new album “Oracle.” It was funny because we were covering Motley Crue the next night and Godsmack started off with their ode to the Crue, “Cryin’ Like a Bitch.” Of the two “radio metal” bands I think Godsmack should have gone on last. They are just such an amazing live band that unless you’re Metallica or someone of that stature you really can’t successfully follow them. Sully Erna is one of the great front men out there and it really doesn’t matter whether he’s playing with Godsmack or his side project he commands the stage and puts on the best show possible.

My favorite part of any Godsmack show is the drum battle towards the end of their set. They don’t need a roller coaster to mask their lack of talent. When it comes to percussion they’ve got some of the best talent out there with Shannon Larkin and Sully Erna. They bust into Rush for Christ’s sake during their battle. Do yourself a favor; even if you hate Godsmack, go on youtube and pull up one of their drum battles, it’ll change your mind.

After Godsmack Disturbed hit the stage in their hometown. I’ve seen Disturbed four times in the last year, so I found their set a bit boring, but that’s my fault for seeing them so many times. I hate being negative, I’m not even a real critic, I’m just a fan writing about what I saw. I had other friends at the show. They agreed with me in that Godsmack probably should have gone on last, but they really enjoyed the Disturbed set. After this tour the boys in Disturbed are taking a break…maybe forever, but probably not. Every band that takes a break always seems to eventually get back together.

All in all it was a fun concert. I wish we wouldn’t have hit construction, but it was fun nonetheless. For all of you headed to Uproar or any other concerts in Tinley Park, be prepared for construction and leave extra early. You wouldn’t want to miss out on a great performance….or an interview with Megadeth (dammit).

BYLINE:

Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online. He writes pop culture commentary, does interviews with bands, and reviews music and stand-up concerts. He also administers Zoiks! Online's Facebook page. Follow Bob on twitter at bzerull. Email Bob at bob@zoiksonline.com.

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