We got to Lakewood at 10:30 with the intention of tailgating and grilling only to find out they don't open the parking lot until noon. Luckily there is a park right across the street. We parked there and done our grilling. At noon we found our parking spot and made quick friends with the 4 guys next to us. We had an hour to drink before the concert started and we wasted no time in doing so. We caught a bat in the parking lot. That's probably the most random thing ever...
Once we went in the venue, there was close to 20 bands that played, on 4 different stages. 3 stages were set up in the usual parking area, with 4 bands playing at the actual amphitheater. In addition to the bands, there was a motocross area with bikes jumping back and forth and doing tricks.
Rockstar had a tent set up with free "energy water" and regular energy drinks. With the price of a regular bottle of water at $5 and $11 for a beer, these free drinks were a big hit. Being under their tent, with the fans running really helped with the heat for the few minutes you were in there. Kudos to Rockstar for that.
There were multiple vendors send up, some for the bands, and others for great causes like "I <3 Boobies" and "F*ck Cancer."
Of the outside stages, Machine Head was my personal favorite. All the bands actually did a good job, I can't remember hearing any of them being really bad this year. A few years ago there was a band so bad the crowd started booing them and everybody moved over to a different stage where nobody was playing yet.
The four bands on the headlining stage were, in order of appearance: Amon Amarth, Mastodon, Five Finger Death Punch, and Rob Zombie. You can tell these bands were further along in there career, as progressively more and more money was spent on their stages.
Unfortunately I don't have any good pictures of the main stage. My iPhone can't handle all the flashing lights and the staff kept making me put up the better camera I had with me.
Five Finger Death Punch was my overall favorite for the evening. They started off strong with "Under and Over It." After a few songs they invited up a group of soldiers, thanked them for their service, and told a story about the last time they were in Iraq. They played a couple more songs then invited up several kids from the audience to stand on the stage during a song. They really rocked all their songs, and had great crowd interaction.
Rob Zombie was the last to play. I'm pretty sure he was either drunk or high as hell on something. He put on a good show but couldn't seem to remember the words to the verses of the songs. I guess if you are Rob M-Fing Zombie you get to do whatever you want to. Any words he missed was made up for with the super elaborate stage. Several large screens played various scenes from his movies, cartoons, and videos. There was lots of pyro and flash going on, and Rob came out on stage on several large stage props during some of his songs. After a (staged?) spat with security the show ended. One of the bad things about the Lakewood venue is a strict 11:00 pm shut off time due to noise ordinances.
Overall it was a really long day. We had a lot of fun like always, although I do think this was the hottest concert I have went to. I love live music. Metal concerts have a way of bringing people together that wouldn't normally be friends. Young, old, white, black, skinny, fat, non of that matters here. It's all about the music, and having a good time.
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