2013 Rockstar Mayhem Festival: Austin, TX – Rob Zombie (Concert Review)

Rob-Zombie-Rockstar-3Last night I realized why I was alive.  It wasn’t because of the technology I fool myself into thinking that I love and can’t live without, the Blu-rays that overflow on my shelves or the V8 engine that roars in my dream car…it’s because of the music in my life that I didn’t know how much I missed until I saw Rob Zombie close out the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Music Festival in Austin, TX last night.  He may as he said been playing to the smallest crowd on the tour (very sad for what is said to be the live music capital of the world), but in my mind he was performing for only my girlfriend (her first Zombie show ever) and I.  For that hour and ten minutes nothing in my life mattered, not the physical/chronic pain I suffer from daily, my silly emotional scars or the professional and monetary setbacks/challenges I face in life…it was only my girlfriend and I and Rob Zombie and band (that’s a lot of and’s).  To be completely honest, none of the other bands on the Rockstar Mayhem bill truly stood a chance of ever competing with Rob Zombie or at his level.  It was kind of unfair for them.  Ha ha.  But that’s their problem.  Read on…and I’ll tell you why.

Despite the 104-degree temperature in Austin, TX yesterday heavy metal music lovers were able to have a blast soaking in the sun, consuming unGodly amounts of 8-dollar beers and seeking refuge in the head banging salvation of the metal bands who braved the heat to win over the crowds.  I went to the festival for three main attractions: Machine Head, Five Finger Death Punch and of course…Rob Zombie.  All three have been favorites of mine since I can remember, with Five Finger Death Punch obviously being the newest addition to my musical arsenal (thanks Mr. Lambert).  And yes, I have to admit, I was pissed that Machine Head got demoted to the smaller mobile stage of the festival despite being billed as a headliner.  That sucks!  And from the bands I saw that graced the main stage instead of them, they got f#$ked over in my opinion.  But you know what?  That didn’t stop Rob Flynn and boys from giving it their all in their brief 40-minute set.  You got to hand it to the guys all dressed in black.  They did not let the uncomfortable temperatures or the fact that they were playing on a small stage discourage them.  They were humbled to be there and gave it their all as they graciously cranked out some crowd pleasers.  I banged my luscious locks in the 100-degree sun as they played my favorite tune, “From This Day.”  Hell yeah!  Machine F#$king Head!

Before Five Finger Death Punch took the main stage a band named Mastodon performed.  Yawn.  Now while I can’t say I’m a fan of their music they do have a lot of respect in the metal community so I’ll cut them some slack because you can’t really judge a live band properly when you are not familiar with their songs.  However, I will say this.  Their stage show sucked!  Wait!  I should say what stage show?  They rocked out for about 40-minutes, but I never been more bored.  I found myself dwelling on all my problems instead of letting go and enjoying myself.  If I want to just see a band stand their and play their songs I’ll go to a Dave Matthews Band show or something.  This is a metal festival!  Make me bang my head dammit!

The atmosphere of the venue quickly changed once Five Finger Death Punch took control of the main stage.  The crowd erupted in cheers and the circle pit grew with anxious ferocity.  Ivan Moody knows how to take control of the audience and make them his and for the next 50-minutes or so we were all under his spell.  And man can this guy sing…and effortlessly too.  He belted out Pantera-like verses with no twitching at all (in ways speech therapists would cringe if they heard) and showcased his beautiful singing voice any chance he could get too.  He also did two things that were really different at a metal show, at least for me.  Many times he paid his respect to the US Military and any Active Serving Members and Veterans that may have been in the audience.  Now we all know…there’s nothing wrong with that.  One of his stories even gave me goosebumps.  He talked about his one military friend who died in combat and they found his body with Five Finger Death Punch still blasting on his iPod.  How awesome is that?  However, on the flip side, I was a bit weirded out when he called all the little kids and their parents out onto the stage and proclaimed to the crowd that this is the future generation that will make up the heavy metal scene and he instructed all the little 5-year olds (what is wrong with you parents?) to flick off the audience.  I’m not a parent, but I feel indifferent about this part of the show.  Nonetheless, Ivan dominated the stage, made the audience his and raised the energy through the roof at times.  While they had a modest stage show, no one really knew what to expect next from the headliner closer, Mister Zombie.

I tried counting and I believe this to be my 12th Rob Zombie show I have attended since the 90’s when he was part of White Zombie.  And I have to admit, this is the most energetic I have ever seen the man despite the 100-degree temps still rocking the Austin night at 9:50 PM.  Rob Zombie opened his set and dazzled the audience with “Teenage Nosferatu Pussy” from his latest album Venomous Rat Degeneration Vendor.  He had everyone’s attention from the moment the black curtain dropped.  I turned to my girlfriend after the first song ended and yelled “that one song was more energy than anything we saw today so far.”  She agreed and like me, was instantly under Rob Zombie’s charismatic spell.  I mean come on, the guy took his love for monsters and built a career off of it for more than 20-years.  Despite the turd that is his latest film project, The Lords of Salem, I bow down to the man in every which way in life.  If Mr. Zombie tells me to jump.  I’ll ask how high.


Rob and band blasted ferociously and seamlessly despite many set and costume changes through a catalog of recent releases such as the infectious “Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown” a patriotic version of “We’re an American Band” and greatest hits like “More Human Than Human,” “Meet The Creeper,” “Superbeast,” “Living Dead Girl,” “Sick Bubblegum” and two more I’ll talk about in greater detail below.  And the stage show?  Wow!  Chalk it up to having more money than the other bands or being the headliner, I don’t know and I don’t care.  But I do know this.  I have not seen a stage like this since Lady Gaga or Madonna’s last tour.  The guy pimped everything out.  There was pyro, fireworks, giant LED screens, confetti, huge helium filled balls floating around the audience and even giant monsters on stage.  He truly is a class act and may be the last of the metal Gods with a stage show out there ever since Korn and Nirvana came onto the scene and just didn’t give a f#$k back in the 90’s.  Last night was a celebration.  A party.  The way things should always be when one plops 65-dollars of your hard earned money down on a concert.  And I just wanted to take this moment to thank you, Mr. Zombie.  You made the day/night and all the uncomfortableness of the unbearable heat truly worth it in every which way.  Muchos gracias.

So like I was saying above.  There are two songs I wanted to talk about in greater detail, but before I do how about a round of applause for guitarist Twiggy.  Holy sh1t!  The man played the “Star Spangled Banner” on his guitar with his teeth.  All in all, between Zombie and 5FDP, it was a very patriotic night.  Now where was I?  Oh yeah…those two songs.

Before they ripped into their next song, Mr. Zombie addressed the crowd with a thought provoking comment that will forever dominate my life going forward.  He said he wanted everyone to have a good time the way we used to before the bullsh1t smartphones destroyed our lives.  Amen, brother.  I have become so dependent on mine I feel crippled at times (no pun to my aching hips…LOL).  So I knew once we got to my fourth favorite song of all time, “Thunder Kiss ’65,” things were winding down.  However what I didn’t know was that the song would last over 15-minutes as Mr. Zombie took it upon himself to make sure EVERYONE in attendance was having a good time as he walked through the entire audience section by section.  While he was doing this complete with camera crew in tow (did I mention they were filming here for a live Zombie video release?) Twiggy jammed out on stage with immersive visuals behind him on the gigantic LED screens.  If there is a heaven, I can’t imagine anything greater than this spectacle.  My girlfriend was speechless.  She never seen someone like Rob having so much fun and being so gracious with his fans that he risks it all to be part of the crowd.  I’m sure…LOL…this has to be a security guard’s worst nightmare.  But who the f#$k cares?  It’s Rob Zombie.  He has our full attention and the man as far as I’m concerned can do anything he effing wants.


And last but not least, just when everyone thought it was over I asked my girlfriend to patiently wait.  We saw another shakeup of the set on the pitch black stage and sure as sh1t, Mr. Zombie came back for one more…the crowd pleaser “Dragula.”  The place went crazy and bat-sh1t all over again.  Rob brought the house down once again with tenacious energy and charismatic stage presence like only he possesses.  And then it happened and I’m sure the ground crews were furious…confetti cannons blew the colorful black, red and white paper everywhere.  It was heaven on Earth all over again as I wished the moment would never end.  Rob Zombie effectively worked the crowd one last time as he got everyone to chant “Zombie, Zombie, Zombie” (see the horribly rendered iPhone 5 footage below) before thanking the captive audience one last time and vacating the stage.  My girlfriend turned to me and said “I can watch him over and over.”  I almost cried.  What a beautiful thing for her to say.  Mission accomplished.  Much love to you Rob.  Wherever you are, I’ll always be (even if you make another Lords of Salem).  Peace brother.

Make sure you pick up Rob Zombie’s latest musical installment, Venomous Rat Degeneration Vendor, by clicking here or the link below and check out the final minute of the Austin, TX show via the beautiful YouTube render of my iPhone 5 footage.  Enjoy!

I apologize for the lack of quality photos and video.  I tried to enjoy myself last night without the stress or use of technology.


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

1 Response to “2013 Rockstar Mayhem Festival: Austin, TX – Rob Zombie (Concert Review)”

  1. Gregg

    Sounds like it was a blast! Zombie is one hell of a showman and I wish I could’ve been there for this. I would go to a concert of his again in a second.