Metal heads and head bangers alike poured into the ComcastCenter in MansfieldMA on Friday Aug 3rd for the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. Fans, mostly in black stood under the blazing sun to listen and watch to their favorite metal bands. The day started off on the Jagermeister Stage with Deadseason, followed by I The Breather. With their heavy sound and melodic guitar, it did not take long for the crowd to get rowdy. Two songs into I The Breather’s set the mosh pit had already begun. By the last song of their set, “High Rise”, the crowd surfing has also begun. Next up was Metal Blade Records artists Whitechapel. As the heavy rumble of their music came through the speakers, the crowd started getting even larger in front of the stage. Their backbeat was put down by drummer Ben Harclerode.
A crowd favorite, The Devil Wears Prada was next to take to the stage. This was the bands first Mayhem Festival. The air was filled with their guitar driven songs and melodic keyboard sounds. Vocalist, Mike Hranica stated to the crowd that “It felt good to be back in Massachusetts.” The band has recorded an album and DVD in the state. As I Lay Dying was up next. Eleven years together has proven well for this band. Their amazing guitar melodies paired well with how tight the band was. By far they were the heaviest band of the day yet and the biggest draw from the crowd. The last band to tear up the Jagermeister stage was Anthrax. Scott Ian’s thunderous guitar riffs put together with Joey Belladonna’s vocals drew the crowd in closer to see a band that has stood the test of time. Formed in 1981, Anthrax has no signs of slowing down. They gave the crowd what they came for and that was hardcore metal music.
The evening continued on the main stage of the festival with Asking Alexandria. Having formed in 2008, this band showed signs of having been together much longer. Their tight, powerful rhythms made the ground shake. Metal gods, Motorhead took to the main stage next. The band is considered to be one of the original bands of metal music. Front man Lemmy was first to take the stage as the crowd of young and old cheered. As they started right into their set, it was clear that if you did not bring earplugs, your ears would be ringing for the next few days as their piercing sound came through the PA system. For me, the last band of the night was Slayer. As the white curtain came down at the front of the stage and the flames rose along the back of the stage, you knew it was going to be an intense show. Two giant crosses made from Marshall guitar cabinets flanked the stage as they rose to the lights. From the searing sounds of Kerry King’s guitar to the heavy hitting Dave Lombardo on drums, the crowd rose to their feet to take it all in. The day was a perfect mix for all metal lovers young and old. Rockstar put together a great lineup and I’m sure that there were not many that were left disappointed.