2010 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival
European metal and hard rock fans are a lucky lot. Every year since the late 1980s, all-day festivals like Download and Hole in the Sky have become the norm there, satisfying a continent where heavy music's popularity has never waned. Outside of the Ozzfest, the United States has lagged far behind Europe in the metal festival arms race.
But in 2008, things got a bit more interesting when Kevin Lyman and John Reese launched the inaugural edition of what they called the Rockstar Mayhem Festival. Lyman had already built a sterling reputation in the underground through his punk-leaning Warped Tour, and Reese was known as one of rock's leading artist managers, working with acts like the Used and Story of the Year. In 2005, both men founded the highly successful Taste of Chaos Tour. But where that vehicle catered more to the post-hardcore and screamo side of the spectrum, the Rockstar Mayhem Festival would prove to be a full-on heavy metal party.
The folks at Rockstar Energy Company, makers of the ubiquitous energy drink, sponsored the traveling tour. Lyman and Reese knew they had to make a statement with the fest's first lineup -- and boy, did they. The maiden voyage for the festival featured Slipknot, Disturbed, DragonForce, Mastodon, Underoath and Machine Head, plus seven other groups that included rising stars like Black Tide. Mayhem also offered other activities, such as video games, autograph signings and performances from motocross rebels, Metal Mulisha, but it was the heavyweight artist roster that made Mayhem a huge success. There would be no sophomore slump for the tour. Last year's Slayer/Marilyn Manson lead run packed arenas and amphitheaters from coast to coast, too.
Lyman and Reese show no sign of slowing down with this year's version of the 2010 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. Just this month, it was announced that hard rock behemoths Korn and Rob Zombie would be headlining the increasingly popular tour. You would think with two multi-platinum artists like that -- and Lamb of God and Five Finger Death Punch acting as the main support acts -- the organizers would have left it at that.
But there are two other stages that include must-see bands like Hatebreed, Atreyu and 3 Inches of Blood, among others. So while the U.S. and Canada still need to play a lot of catch up to Europe, tours like the Rockstar Mayhem Festival prove that North America takes its heavy metal very seriously.
Lamb of God
Five Finger Death Punch
Mayhem Festival stage
3 Inches of Blood
In This Moment
Winds of Plague
2010 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival tour dates
July 10 -- San Bernardino, CA -- San Manuel Amphitheater
July 11 -- Mountain View, CA -- Shoreline Amphitheatre
July 13 -- Auburn, WA -- White River Amphitheater Southeast
July 16 -- Phoenix, AZ -- Cricket Wireless Pavilion
July 17 -- Albuquerque, NM -- Journal Pavilion
July 18 -- Englewood, CO -- Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre
July 20 -- Maryland Heights, MO -- Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
July 21 -- Cincinnati, OH -- Riverbend Music Center
July 23 -- Camden, NJ -- Susquehanna Bank Center
July 24 -- Hartford, CT -- The Comcast Theatre
July 25 -- Montreal, QC -- Parc Jean Drapeau
July 27 -- Mansfield, MA -- Comcast Center
July 28 -- Holmdel, NJ -- P.N.C. Bank Arts Center
July 30 -- Clarkston, MI -- DTE Energy Music Theatre
July 31 -- Noblesville, IN -- Verizon Wireless Music Center
Aug. 1 -- Atlanta, GA -- Lakewood Amphitheatre
Aug. 4 -- Virginia Beach, VA -- Virginia Beach Amphitheater
Aug. 6 -- Tinley Park, IL -- First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
Aug. 7 -- Pittsburgh, PA -- Post Gazette Pavilion At Star Lake
Aug. 8 -- Bristow, VA -- Nissan Pavilion at Stone Ridge
Aug. 10 -- Tampa, FL -- Ford Amphitheatre
Aug. 11 -- West Palm Beach, FL -- Cruzan Amphitheater
Aug. 13 -- Dallas, TX -- Superpages.com Center
Aug. 14 -- Oklahoma City, OK -- Zoo Amphitheatre