By Addie Hayes, Editor/Lead Writer Regional Music Journal
Hellyeah Saturday September 24, 2016 on Longhorn Stage at Texas Mutiny 2016. Photo Courtesy Randel Hayes
The first Texas Mutiny was held at Petty Place on the grounds of the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth Texas on Saturday, September 24, 2016. The lineup for 2016 definitely appealed to fans of the various genres of heavy metal, and the bands did not disappoint. Twenty-three acts played on three stages throughout the day, beginning at 12:30. September Morning kicked off the festival on the Renegade Stage with Failure Anthem following on the Republic Stage. Mothership followed up on the Renegade Stage then Shaman’s Harvest played on the Republic Stage, warming up the fans for Starset, who opened the main Longhorn Stage during the afternoon. Following Starset, Avatar and Romeo played on the Republic and Renegade Stages, respectively.
The music was delayed briefly as the festival grounds were evacuated due to weather, but Candlebox took the Longhorn Stage after about an hour delay. Unfortunately, many fans only got to hear Candlebox, instead of seeing them live on stage. After the evacuation it took a while for festival staff to get fans back through the gates and whether due to a lack of communication, miscommunication or poor planning, the music went on without the fans. It’s not clear how many people were present inside the festival grounds for the Candlebox set, but one can only hope they weren’t playing to only a handful of people.
Once everyone had re-entered the festival, the Longhorn Stage rocked well into the night with Hellyeah, Pierce the Veil, Chevelle, Deftones and the festival headliner Avenged Sevenfold. The Republic Stage showcased Skindred, The Amity Affliction, Nothing More, Of Mice & Man and ended with Grammy winners Ghost. The Renegade stage saw performances by Islander, Smashing Satellites, Twelve Foot Ninja, Kyng and Neck Deep. Noteworthy performances for the day include Starset’s performance to open the main Longhorn Stage, as well as Hellyeah, Chevelle and Avenged Sevenfold, who always put on a great show. Other standout performances include Avatar, Texas’ own Nothing More and Ghost.
Actually, all of the bands had pretty spectacular performances, however, the scheduling, stage setups and sound led to a slew of complaints on the Texas Mutiny Facebook page. After the Longhorn Stage opened, bands on the two side stages performed simultaneously, which made it hard to hear one band over another. In fact, Twelve Foot Ninja continued playing and cut into the beginning of Chevelle’s set, this should not have happened. In addition, people who were closer to the stages complained about the bass and drums dominating and completely drowning out the vocals.
For the most part the main Longhorn Stage produced some of the best performances of the festival, but one question kept coming to mind, why was Candlebox on the main stage. Yes, the band has continued to release albums since their 1993 debut, however, they are recognized more for their hits from the 1990s and would have been better suited on one of the side stages to allow for an up and coming act to bring their show to the Longhorn Stage. Avatar and Nothing More both had standout performances and should have been considered to perform on the main stage.
Also, the crowd didn’t respond very well to the Deftones. This won’t be a popular opinion with Deftones fans, but the fact is, there were people literally lying on the ground napping during their performance. Festival attendees lacked enthusiasm and energy during the hour long set. Another factor with the Deftones was that they took the stage fifteen minutes late. No other band during the entire festival caused a delay, in fact the only other delay was due to the evacuation because of the weather. Organizers of the event did not make any kind of an announcement regarding further delays due to the weather, which doesn’t reflect well on the Deftones. The festival was already running an hour behind schedule and all the bands following the Deftones had their performances delayed an additional fifteen minutes. At this particular festival the Deftones would have fared better on one of the side stages.
Whether anyone agrees or not, Ghost most definitely should have been on the main stage, even if their set was earlier in the day. Granted, Ghost may have preferred to close out the Republic Stage, but a Grammy award winning band should be treated with more respect than a performance on a side stage with another band playing at the same time. At the very least, Ghost should have been given a set time that allowed them to perform without competing against another act, and also been given more than thirty minutes. If festival goers were not interested in seeing Ghost, they could have taken the opportunity to hit the restrooms or grab a drink before Avenged Sevenfold took the stage to close out the day.
Overall, Texas Mutiny had a great lineup and all the bands delivered stellar performances. Outside of the scheduling, stage setup and sound issues, this aspect of the festival really came through for fans. The Texas Mutiny Facebook page shows fans were happy with the lineup and performances. However, the venue, staff and VIP ticket amenities resulted in a lot of dissatisfied attendees. Look for Part 2 of our Texas Mutiny coverage for a thorough review of this portion of the festival.
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