Mayhem Festival 2012 Kicks Off in Cali, Anthrax’s Benante & Slipknot’s Root Sidelined
The 2012 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival kicked off f its fifth year yesterday at San Manuel Amphitheater in San Bernardino, California. The festival shattered it’s previous attendance record with 26,105 coming out to get caught in a mosh. Slipknot made their Mayhem return to headline the mainstage, along with a monster line-up of Slayer, Motörhead, Anthrax, As I Lay Dying, The Devil Wears Prada, Asking Alexandria, Whitechapel, and more.
Unfortunately, even with all those fans in attendance, two key people were still missing. Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante missed last night’s performance, and will be forced to miss a few more weeks due to minor hand surgery. Shadows Fall drummer Jason Bittner will be filling in for Benante until he returns to form. Bittner is no stranger to sharing a stage with Anthrax. Bittner filled in on drums for Benante for two shows in January 2006 after Charlie was forced to leave the tour early to attend to his wife Sandra, who gave birth to the couple’s first child, Mia Charley Benante. On November 8, 2011, Bittner joined Anthrax on stage for “Madhouse” at Northern Lights in Clifton Park, NY. Most recently, he filled in for Benante at two Anthrax shows in Argentina in February 2012.
The other not in attendance was Slipknot guitarist Jim Root. Root had been very ill the past two weeks, and culminating with a burst appendix. It appears as though Root will miss the entire Mayhem Festival, as well as Slipknot’s own festival, Knotfest, set to take place August 17 in Council Bluffs, Iowa and August 18 in Somerset, Wisconsin. There is no word yet on whether or not the band will temporarily replace Root for this tour. The band has released this statement in light of the news:
“We’re sorry to announce that our brother Jim Root [guitar] will not be performing with us at [Rockstar Energy Drink] Mayhem [Festival] in San Bernardino [Saturday, June 30] due to serious health issues. Jim has been seriously sick for the past two weeks and went to the hospital last week where he was advised that his appendix burst a couple weeks before and that it could have been life-threatening. Jim is at home recovering and is awaiting surgery to have pieces of his appendix removed and hopes to join the tour as soon as he is able. Slipknot will continue to headline the Mayhem festival and all other shows. We refuse to let our fans down and will not miss a single date. We will miss Jim greatly and our thoughts are with him. Jim sends his love to each and every one of our fans.”
Anthrax are fresh off a win at the 2012 Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards for the Metal As Fuck Award. Their latest album, Worship Music, debuted at #12 on the Billboard Top 200 back in 2011. Slipknot are set to enter the studio sometime in early 2013 to begin recording their fifth album. First, their greatest hits collection, Antennas To Hell, drops on July 24. – by Matt Bishop