Mayhem Festival 2012 in Denver

If there is one metal festival you should see this year, it would be the Mayhem Festival. This year’s tour officially kicked off Saturday (June 30), and it was a first for many bands on the trek.

The insanity in Denver kicked off not long after the crack of the symbol’s from Iconocaust when we noticed that a disgraceful show-goer had already been kicked out of the show, all the while fighting with security as he was just tripping on something wild perhaps, and eventually tossed out. I knew there was more to come.

Upon a Burning Body had kicked off the official start of the show bringing their heavy riffs and kicking the crap out of the crowd. White Chapel followed, as expected from their 2009 Mayhem performance, they delivered quite well sounding nice and heavy, and the crowd dug it. Following was As I lay Dying. Knowing better than to assume the crowd would be a bit tamer, AILD brought the heavy with them and played passionately and very much full of sheer adrenaline.

Finally, Anthrax was up next right before the main stage show; very anticipated. Opening with an adrenaline filled set list, Anthrax kicked the living crap out of the crowd and took absolutely no prisoners, and their objective was simple: bodies everywhere! Destroy!

At last, the main event kicked off with The Devil Wears Prada (who are known for their wild stage antics) who demonstrated good-naturedly furious animosity in their performance, and I have never seen them play like that, ever. Bravo.

Next up: Metal veterans, Motorhead, who although are very strongly respected in the metal community (and don’t hate me for saying this) sounded great, but visually not very stimulating. But we all cannot blame Lemmy and company as they have been doing this for a very long time, but we still love them and for that, we bow to their performance.

Then, there was Slayer, a band who totally kicked ass for their previous 2009 Mayhem Fest performance, and even brought along the same package, except having Gary Holt filling in for Jeff Hanneman. I know what people were thinking: “We wanted the Heineken guitar!”

Slayer started off with their thin white curtain revealing, not the infamous wall of Marshall cabinets, but rather a slaytanic display of Marshall cabinets built into “Peter’s Cross” on each end of the stage, with flaming pyro technics. It’s Slayer, they don’t need much to demolish an audience.

The Comfort Dental Amphitheater has seats bolted into the crowd, so the fans themselves had no choice but to be well behaved while sitting in the drizzling rain, amidst the occasional shirtless meat-head screaming every word and a smattering of faithful young head-bangers.

And at last, Slipknot. They ended the festival with an eccentric highly theatrical performance. Absent was Jim root, who recently was brought to the hospital due to an appendix rupture. Then of course, in loving memory of their lost brother, Paul Gray, his Ibanez bass sat on a stand just slightly front right side of Joey’s drum set.

Considering that a mere few hours ago, I’d been getting my ass kicked in a cluster of what was mostly made of what I like to call, Fauxtographers, in the photo pit, this was a curiously sedate note to cap off the day’s barrage of mile high rockie fury. Only one thing is certain: next time I’m packing body armor, bear mace and a rape whistle!

 

 

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