This year’s Mayhem Festival started off the same as last year with the two smaller stages alternating with constant music from 1:30pm till about 6:00pm. Last year the outdoor stages were close in size but this year was much different. The Jagermeister stage was a good size, but the Sumerian stage was really tiny and it was under a tent. They ended up moving the barricades all the way up to the front of the stage so people could see inside. Most of the lead singers climbed out to connect with the crowd. It was a little awkward, but all the bands on the Sumerian stage made it work. Starting with the Local “Headbang for the Highway Battle of the Bands” winner, Thanatotic Desire from North Haledon, NJ. Followed by Dirtfedd, Upon a Burning Body and Betraying the Martyrs. I had never heard of Dirtfedd before but they kicked ass! Their lead singer, Dustin Travels climbed all over the barricades while screaming and pantomiming song lyrics to get the people who had never heard Dirtfedd’s songs before to sing along!
Meanwhile on the Jagermeister stage, Beyond the Scar kicked off the show, followed by I the Breather, White Chapel, The Devil Wears Prada and As I Lay Dying. The headliner of the Jagermeister stage was 30 year metal veterans Anthrax. As part of “the Big Four” I didn’t expect them to be outside. They were as incredible as expected, playing some newer songs along with some songs for the old fans like Antisocial and Indians. In between bands #0 of Slipknot was DJing. He was not received well when they said “Put your hands up if you want free stuff from #0’s clothing line!”. People just looked at each other like why would I want that. Clearly the Slipknot fans had already headed inside.
Inside the British metalcore band Asking Alexandria opened the main stage. Honestly I thought they weren’t going to be a good fit with the rest of the main stage lineup but it worked great! Leading right into fellow Brits, Motorhead. Motorhead was exactly as gritty and loud as I expected! Lemmy’s gravelly voice is amazing! They started their set with Bomber and moved through a slew of favorites including Killed by Death and of course Ace of Spades. The next band to hit the stage was Slayer! Naturally when they went on the whole festival went insane. They started their show with a large white curtain covering the stage which dropped when they hit the first note. Although not the headliners, Slayer seemed to be the stars of the whole festival. All day out of no where I would hear someone scream “SLAYER!”, everyone would cheer and then continue on with that they were doing. They ripped through their catalog of awesome material like Mandatory Suicide, Seasons in the Abyss and Hell Awaits and the encore songs were South of Heaven and Raining Blood. Last to take the stage but certainly not least were the headliners of this years Mayhem Festival, Slipknot. They kicked off their set with Sic and the crowd went nuts! This was followed by an onslaught of songs like Eyeless, Disasterpiece and Duality. With their multiple percussion players, DJs, masks and lighting effects it was an incredible show!
Mayhem is an all around awesome metal festival. It has something for everyone, old school, nu metal, metalcore, thrash, industrial, whatever you want! I saw a grandmother there in a Pantera t-shirt with her whole family and they were all having a great time. If you can only go to one festival this summer, it should be Mayhem!
Mayhem in 2011!
Mayhem in 2010!