MAYHEM FEST 2014
August 3, 2014
Jiffy Lube Live
The overall turn out for this show was a tad low compared to years past where the pavilion & lawn areas were filled with enthusiastic metal heads. It wasn’t until Korn took that stage that the venue seemed filled and things actually started to move....the bulk of the day the show seemed a tad dead in parts with the clear highlights for the 2nd stage area being Mushroomhead & Body Count.
I arrived just before Texas Hippie Coalition took the stage but sadly missed their set due to prescheduled interviews I booked for 2 PM. I was scheduled to interview members of Asking Alexandria & Body Count in the media area BUT Asking Alexandria’s disgracious tour manager told me I had to answer “trivia” questions before I could interview his band. I was asked to name all 5 members of Asking Alexandria and I won’t lie to you, I’m not a fan of that band so why in the hell would I be able to name all 5 members of that shitty band off the top of my head? I was offered the interview by the bands publicist and I agreed to do it because regardless of whether or not I like the band I was fine with asking them a few questions for a feature on Rock N Roll Experience for those who do like them. After telling the bands tour manager that I couldn’t name all 5 members of the band he replied, “Well, since you can’t name all the band members we’re not going to waste our time talking to you.” and he walked over to the corner of the media area where members of the band were setting by themselves and that was it.
I conducted a great interview with Body Count shortly there after and when it came time for the Asking Alexandria set I decided to toss it right back at the band and walk out on their set because I didn’t care to waste my time on a band who’s tour manager had treated me like shit.
The 2nd stage area was basically 3 side by side stages with vending tents surrounding the entire area. I found it odd that Godsmack had a tent there despite the fact that they were not even on the bill. Emmure played a solid set, Cannibal Corpse were ok, Ill Nino were average, Darkest Hour were good, Miss May I were decent, Suicide Silence were good, BUT the 2 stand out 2nd stage acts were clearly Mushroomhead & Body Count!
Mushroomhead took the stage covered in body paint and masks. Musically they sounded good and the crowd loved their set which featured among other things a giant inflatable dolphin which was turned loose in the mosh pit!
Ice T and Body Count destroyed the Sumerian stage with an intense set. I was surprised “There Goes The Neighborhood” was played in the beginning of the set because that’s the bands biggest single next to “Cop Killer”. At one point in the set Ice commented that he was sick of the “Pussifying” of men in America, he hated that men were afraid to be men in this era and I have to agree with Ice T 100% because when Ice took the stage it was almost like seeing a black Ted Nugent if the Nuge did rock/rap; there was a massive testosterone overload when Body Count took the stage....this was NOT an emo show!
Ice T’s larger than life wife Coco was on the side of the stage & Coco is all woman with a butt that’s just as large as her breasts! After the show Coco went through the crowd to sell the new Body Count cd, sign autographs and pose for photos.
Trivium opened the main stage and their set sounded a little muddy. We decided to take a dinner break when the band after Trivium took the stage and then before you knew it Korn were on!
Korn has changed quite a bit since the band’s inception. Jonathan looked healthy and the band sounded great although I wasn’t crazy with all the EDM breaks between songs. Ray is a beast on drums and he takes the band to a place they’ve never been before yet I’m on the fence with the bands keyboard player because I don’t feel like they need him onstage. When you consider how much volume KORN has with 2 tuned down guitars, the deep bass & an amazing drummer I don’t think the keys were necessary. Korn’s set closed with “Blind” which featured Jonathan & Fieldy’s children onstage dancing around.
Avenged Sevenfold were the nights headliner and they had a stage set up that was a castle with tons of pyro, a moving skeleton figure, and video screens.
Set wise A7X stuck to the same rough set list they’ve been playing for just about a year now with just a few songs trimmed out to accommodate the bands shorter set on this tour. My only complaint was the lack of “Beast and the Harlot” in the set; other than that they played all the stuff you’d expect them to play.
During “So Far Away” it began to rain and Shadow’s commented that it was appropriate considering the song was dedicated to The Rev.
Sadly the rain poured down hard for the rest of the night and the entire crowd was drenched while exiting the venue. In my opinion the definite highlight of the day was Body Count.