Written by: Marisa Young
Photos by: Corey Tilton
The Comcast Center in Mansfield has been home to several different types of music festivals this summer, one of them being metal-filled Rockstar’s Mayhem Fest. Created by Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman, it’s no wonder the similarities between Mayhem and Warped exist. The main differences lie in the size—Mayhem occupying much less space— and the genres involved; Where Warped Tour focuses on varieties of alternative rock ranging from electronica and poppy rock to metalcore, Mayhem focuses in on strictly metal acts. This year, headliners of Mayhem Fest included Slipknot, Slayer, Motörhead, and Anthrax. Other notable acts included The Devil Wears Prada, As I Lay Dying, and Whitechapel.
On August 3rd in Mansfield, doors to Mayhem Fest opened around 1pm. Fans were allowed to wander throughout the sectioned off parking lot and picnic area where a side stage and local stage were set up. The amphitheater didn’t open until roughly 5pm when the headliner acts were to take the stage.
Metalcore acts The Devil Wears Prada (TDWP) and As I Lay Dying (AILD) performed on the side stage back-to-back, keeping the teenaged crowd satisfied. TDWP opened with “Born To Lose”, their first single off their latest album Dead Throne. Despite the lack of enthusiasm displayed by the crowd, due to either the oppressive heat or saving their energy for later acts, TDWP plowed through oldies “Danger: Wildman” as well as tracks off their 2010 Zombie EP. As I Lay Dying took the stage directly after, blasting the crowd with one of their heaviest tunes “Condemned” right off the bat. The rest of AILD’s set was filled with fan favorites such as “Nothing Left” and “Confined”.
Tim Lambesis of As I Lay Dying
Despite the unforgiving heat stretching through the mid-90’s throughout the afternoon, $5 waters and water guns blasts were left to keep the masses cool. The fan base was definitely an interesting one creating a bizarre medley of teenaged goth and punk kids with oddly dyed hair, mixed with older, bearded heavy metal dudes who looked as if they belonged in motorcycle gangs. Nonetheless, it was evident which generation was there to see which bands.
By the time the crowd was fully gathered into the main amphitheater, everyone was anxiously awaiting the headliners. Motörhead may have been the first band of the day to not overly blast their bass amps, proving that “too loud” isn’t always synonymous with “sounds better”. Drummer, Mikkey Dee, was clearly one of the stars here, showcasing his skills with a 7-minute drum solo which fans went crazy over. By the end of Motörhead’s set the crowd was becoming antsy for the follow up band, Slayer.
Slayer greeted their fans with flashing lights and bursts of fire coming from the stage. As if the band couldn’t get any more metal, their amps were neatly stacked into gigantic upside down crosses on either side of the stage. Slayer saved the majority of fan favorites for last, ending their set with “Angel of Death” and performing “South of Heaven” and “Raining Blood” in their encore.
Although some of the crowd dispersed after Slayer’s set, the majority of fans in the amphitheater stuck around to watch final act Slipknot. When the curtains rose, the masked members were revealed in their matching orange jumpsuits as bursts of flames shot up from behind the stage. The band kicked off their set with their “742617000027” intro, straight into “(sic)”, sending the crowd into a frenzy. Slipknot failed to disappoint, engaging the audience to chant along with “If you’re a 555, then I’m 666” as well as providing all sorts of visuals and stage antics.
I’d sum up the entire day into one word: interesting.