For the last four years I’ve attended the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. Over those four years it has become one of the highlights of my summers. Mayhem Festival is a great experience all around. From the time doors open, to the time the last band finishes concert goers get to hang out, listen to great music, and enjoy time with their favorite bands and their friends.
This year definitely featured one of the better lineups, which included: Slipknot, Slayer, Motorhead, Asking Alexandria, Anthrax, As I Lay Dying, and The Devil Wears Prada. Needless to say, I was impressed by all of them especially, Asking Alexandria whom I had never seen live before.
The first band I saw this year was The Devil Wears Prada. I was blown away by their tremendous stage presence, especially Mike Hranica who put on an amazing show. They played some great material including: “Born to Lose,” “Danger: Wildwan,” and “Mammoth.” I was also blown away at how tight all five musicians where onstage, all were playing in the pocket which in a band with very rhythmic music is very complicated.
Next up were the amazing, As I Lay Dying. Not once during their set did anyone in the audience look bored. Front-man Tim Lambesis put on a great show, as he screamed through many of the bands classics including “Nothing Left,” “Confined,” and “The Sound of Truth.” Bassist Josh Gilbert did an awesome job, providing the clean vocals throughout the set. Guitarists Nick Hipa and Phil Sgrosso were also awesome, and put on a fire work show.
One of the best things I ever heard was when Anthrax asked to headline the side stage, where there would be no seats, and their fans would be able to ‘Wardance’. They started their set off very strongly performing the classic, “Caught In a Mosh.” They followed this up with the awesome, “Got The Time.” Then they threw in one of my favorite newer songs, “Fight Em’ Till You Can’t.” Both times I’ve seen Anthrax perform this song live it brings the crowd up a notch. Next up was the Trust song, “Anti-Social,” which the band covered on 1988’s State of Euphoria. The band closed their set with the classic songs “Indians,” “Mad House,” and “I Am the Law.” The band was excellent, especially lead singer Joey Belladonna who sounds just as he did on those early records.
Opening up the main stage was, Asking Alexandria. I missed most of their set, but caught the last couple songs and snapped a couple of pictures. The band seemed to know how to work the crowd, especially their female fans who kept screaming throughout their set.
Next up was Motorhead who always put on a great show. Lemmy came on stage, and immediately said “We’re Motorhead, and we play Rock and Roll.” After that awesome mission statement the English three-piece was off to a fast paced start launching into the classic tracks “Bomber” and “Damage Case.” After those two songs guitarist, Phil Campbell asked the crowd if they wanted it louder. The unanimous answer was, yes. The band then closed their ten song set with the classic track, “Ace of Spades.” Sadly the band didn’t play one of my favorite tracks, “Overkill.”
As night and darkness approached, hell awaited behind a white curtain. When this white curtain dropped Slayer blasted into their song, “Disciple.” The whole amphitheater went absolutely crazy, and the people in the pit started moshing. The band’s stage set-up was great, it featured two inverted crosses made of Marshall cabinets and Slayer’s symbol in the middle. The band also had full pyro which added to their ominous stage presence. The band led by lead singer/bassist Tom Araya charged through a set of classics including; “Angel of Death,” “South of Heaven,” and “Raining Blood.”
Headlining the night where the eight men of Slipknot, who put on a set packed full of energy. Corey Taylor led the band like a ringmaster through a set that contained 14 songs. The band started off with rhythmically intense “(Sic).” Next up was “Eyeless” a fan favorite from Slipknot’s first album. “Sulfur” was up next, and this got a tremendous response from fans. But the song that probably got the strongest response was “Wait and Bleed.” You could tell that the crowd was in the bands hand as soon as Taylor sang the song’s lyrics. “Before I Forget” was up next and the pit really started to open up.
The highlight of Slipknot’s set was eleven songs in when Taylor stopped the set and gave a speech about the late Slipknot bassist, Paul Dedrick Gray. Then Taylor asked the audience to sing the song “Duality” in memory of Paul. I don’t think anything during the rest of their set topped that.
Mayhem fest was a great time, I enjoyed all the bands I got to see, and I think that the rest of the fans felt the same way.
Check Out this Video Highlighting The Events of The Day:
Check Out This Gallery: