July 29, 2012
Jiffy Lube Live
Rockstar Energy Drink’s Mayhem Fest 2012 featured a variety o’ metal acts that covered the new breed of metal (Asking Alexandria, As I Lay Dying, White Chapel) as well as classic metal (Motorhead, Slayer, Anthrax) and the headliner of the evening was none other than Slipknot.
My review will start with the crowd because the audience was as interesting to look at as the bands were onstage. You had morbidly obese men who dared to take their shirts off and allow their man-boobs to flap in the wind, you had girls who were too fat to wear bikini tops yet still wore them anyways, you had a couple who brought a toddler in a stroller into the pit and anyone who didn’t wear sun block ended up with a sun burn due to the blistering sun which beat down on the crowd throughout the day.
The Weather was decent, it was in the upper 80’s through most of the day with an occasional breeze if you could find a shade and most bands had a few members doing signings in either the Jager tent or the band tent areas. Slipknot’s Clown signed copies of his book if you bought it & he charged an addition $10 if you wanted a pic with him while 3 members of Slipknot (Sid, Corey & ?) came out to sign their new cd for those who bought it at the Slipknot tent.
White Chapel was the first band I caught on the Jager stage and they had a horrible sound mix because where I stood their set sounded extremely noisy and I found myself annoyed with them for the most part because they sounded so bad onstage.
The Devil Wears Prada had better sound and the crowd was very receptive to what they did but I was waiting for the next band, As I Lay Dying.
As I Lay Dying are an interesting mix of new & old school metal; there’s complex guitar doodles in some spots & aggro screaming through most of the vocals...the pit was intense during their set & at this point As I Lay Dying had the best sound of the day until Anthrax took the stage.
Anthrax headlined the 2nd stage & it was quite fitting in all honesty because Anthrax never really maintained the same status as their peers that came out during the same time frame.
Slayer, Megadeth & Metallica all went further while Anthrax managed to chug along a path that kept them on the road, releasing records & still doing the “band” thing full time yet they never really attained legendary status.
Scott Ian took the stage first & he looked a bit old with the gray in his beard while the noticeable change in the band was Charlie missing on drums & Shadow’s Fall’s drummer filling in. You couldn’t really tell Charlie was gone honestly & Anthrax played a set of old school material with only one new song from their last studio record tossed in the set.
”Caught in a Mosh” kicked off their set & ”Got The Time” sounded great but “Indians” & “I Am The Law” were my personal favorites because the pit was crazy during those songs & you could see a dust storm in the pit since the stage was set in what’s essentially the venue’s parking lot & the ground where the mosh pit was consisted of stones & dirt.
Asking Alexandria kicked off the main stage and the main stage was essentially your larger acts who had established, older fans who were there to see metal icons.
No, Asking Alexandria didn’t really get a great crowd reaction and it’s because the kids in attendance loved their set BUT the core audience at the main stage were the older fans who wanted to see Motorhead, Slayer or Slipknot!
Asking Alexandria had very little stage space & did their best to warm the crowd up during their 30 minute set but it wasn’t until Lemmy & company took the stage that things started to heat up! Motorhead came out looking chill, relaxed and ready to rock with Phil sporting a casual t-shirt, Lemmy had a hat, glasses & black button up shirt on while Mr. Dee was setting atop the high drum riser & hard to see for the most part until he decided to stand up & make himself seen.
“Killed By Death” was one of my personal favorites of the Motorhead set but the last 2 songs, “Ace of Spades” & “Overkill” were the 2 that made the crowd go nuts and Lemmy closed the bands set by saying, “Don’t ever forget us, we are Motorhead and we play rock n roll!”
After Motorhead completed their set a large white curtain was dropped so the Slayer stage could be set up. Slayer’s stage consisted of 2 large upside down crosses made out of Marshall Amp bodies and the upside down crosses shot flames from several spots in the amp cabs while dead center high atop the stage a Slayer pentagram logo was hung and it too was set on fire throughout most of the show.
The thing that really brought a bit o’ new life to Slayer’s set was the addition of Gary from Exodus on guitar...Gary’s solo’s were a bit different than what Jeff plays usually & Gary adds a little more energy onstage than Jeff does and I don’t say that to take away anything from Jeff Henneman, what I am simply saying is that the Slayer set was standard...it was all dark, lotsa pyro, fire, deep red & green lighting and pretty much the standard setlist you’d expect them to play (“Reign in Blood”, “Seasons in the Abyss”, “War Ensemble”, etc.).... seeing Gary onstage with Slayer just made it a bit fresh & new.
Another random tidbit I noticed was Tom Araya from Slayer was wearing some sorta belt/brace around his waist to offer support and when you look at Tom up close he comes off a bit weathered these days yet they still pummel through their set just as intense as they used to back in the day.
Slipknot were the nights headliner and what I will say about Slipknot is this: The show they did on this night was essentially a celebration of their entire career because all the theatrics, all the gimmicks, etc., they re-created everything they did from 1999 through to the present and it’s similar to what KISS, Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, etc., all do at this point because Slipknot’s been around long enough to have a brand new “Greatest Hits” record out and the stage set up was a mix of all their previous tours while the red jump suits were a throw back to many years ago & even the bands masks were older & Clown actually changed his mask a few times throughout the show & he ended the night with the mask which had the long red hair.
You almost don’t even notice that there’s no bass player onstage when you see the current Slipknot tour because there’s so much chaos going on throughout the set that the band fills in the stage with alot o’ commotion and tons o’ pyro!
The band tossed in a few deep cuts & the 2nd half of the set was where the more popular tracks were played. “Surfacing” closed the night out perfectly with a chant of “f**k it all, f**k this world, f**k everything that you stand for!” and while some metal fans didn’t understand how Slipknot were able to play higher on the bill than say Slayer or Motorhead you have to realize that Slipknot are actually a bigger draw than those bands & this show WAS their show essentially because they had the biggest draw, the most interesting stage show and probably the largest fan base there!
If you happened to look at the left side of the stage during Slipknot’s set you may have seen drum sticks tossed at someone....if you looked closely you’d have seen it was none other than Joey Belladonna from Anthrax on the side of the stage & he watched the entire Slipknot set this night.
Another interesting sidenote is that the entire show was filmed this day & Corey Taylor wore a camera which was mounted on his body the entire show & Kerry King from Slayer had a camera mounted on his guitar for a few songs too if you looked closely.
I know alot o’ people felt like Slayer/Slipknot was not a good billing but when you actually see it in person Slipknot & Slayer work perfectly together on the same tour and all in all Mayhem Fest 2012 was a great day for metal.