By Deistbrawler, Guest Writer | Music | July 29, 2009 |
By Deistbrawler, Guest Writer | Music | July 29, 2009 |
There is something to be said about Mayhem Festival — it’s a chance for the metalheads in life to go to a concert purely for them, and it is by far superior to the crap that Ozzfest puts out. Last year the tour was headlined by Disturbed and Slipknot — this go around it’s Slayer and Marilyn Manson.
Due to the fact that I can’t take an entire day off work, my friends and I headed out a little later then we would have liked, eventually hitting rush hour traffic in downtown Atlanta. Which, if you’ve never been in Atlanta during rush hour traffic, is ridiculous. So we didn’t end up getting there until around five.
We missed All That Remains, but from what other friends who were there told me, we didn’t miss much. So the first act we got to see was Behemoth and I was impressed. I haven’t really heard much from them but they managed a decent stage show and were able to pull the crowd in nicely.
The next band we saw was Trivium (I didn’t even know that’s who we were listening to) and I wasn’t very impressed, but the roommate jumped into the pit and said there was much fun to be had. Me, being my height, I don’t have to get that close — I can stand in the back of a crowd and see over everyone’s head. This works out nicely when you need to find someone, or when a girl sitting on a guys shoulders decides to flash the stage.
Cannibal Corpse was the next band I decided to see and I stuck around for about three songs. I wasn’t really in the mood for death metal. They sounded good, and the pit looked pretty gnarly, but when he started out saying that the next song was about “blood coming out of your cock,” I walked away.
Bullet For My Valentine was the first band of the night on the main stage. VIP baby, sorry, second year in a row I’ve gotten VIP. The only advantage being that I can sit down close to the stage without having people hump my leg. I’m not a big fan of BFMV, but they were decent. They managed to play all of their radio hits and I noticed they were more popular with the women in the audience then the men, I don’t know why, ask the women.
Killswitch Engage was next. I would have to say that if I was to choose a band that was the best of the night, it would be them. They walked through the highlights of their repertoire, going from some of their slower work, to their straight-out metal. I noticed the lead singer wasn’t really the “front man” of the band but rather their guitarist, Adam Dutkiewicz. He was funny, managing to pump the crowd up, goofing off on stage, at one point he even said that he wanted his thumb to smell like the vagina of every eighteen year old in the audience. When the singer, Howard Jones, replied back that you don’t use your thumb, he was promptly quieted by Adam. I wonder how close he came to accomplishing that. They closed with “Holy Diver.”
It was Slayer’s turn and I about fell asleep. I’m not a big fan of the late eighties / early nineties speed metal (sacrilege! - TK); in my opinion Pantera was the best band that came out of that era and I have yet to be impressed with any of the others. I noticed that the Slayer crowd were typically in their late thirties. It was obvious most of the people there weren’t really interested in them because a quick scan around the audience showed that not many were moving, most were just staring at the stage, arms crossed against their chests. I’m not a fan of Tom Araya’s voice — its kind of monotone, and the guitar solos by Kerry King were fucking annoying. Every song sounded pretty much the same, so during the entirety of their set it seemed like the first song never ended but rather blended in with one another in one large orgy of drums and shrilling guitars. I do have to hand it to them — their stage show wasn’t bad. It had plenty of fire, complete with swirling pentagrams.
Its was Manson’s turn at the end of the night and I would have to say — I wasn’t impressed at all. It was disappointing because I’ve always heard that Manson’s stage shows were supposed to be incredible. It was kind of boring. Manson was just wearing a normal outfit (I guess gone are the days of the woman suit) and he didn’t do much of anything that outrageous, except maybe burning a bible, and humping a speaker, which was just kind of odd. He did however play a good set, eventually ending with “Beautiful People,” but throwing in songs like “Dope Show” and “Sweet Dreams.” I don’t think I recalled a single song off of his last album. I didn’t even hear “If I Was Your Vampire,” like I expected. Manson did however breathe out of an oxygen tank after every song — I don’t know what was up with that, and I think at one point he walked to the side of the stage and kissed Evan Rachel Wood. I also noticed that during every song he would throw half of what he was wearing and the mic stand across the stage so there were constantly people having to run out and pick the things up. I would have hated to be the poor bastard who had to put the mic stand out at the beginning of every song just to have to pick it up off the stage two seconds into the next one. Also, during his first song a glass of water got chucked at his head, it showered all over him but he never stopped singing, he just backed up, an assistant handed him a towel, he wiped off, and went back at it…now that’s fucking professional.
As for the festival itself. Last year it was raining, this year it was 91 degrees with a cool breeze. Last year I intended to get drunk and spent eighty bucks on eight dollar beers and didn’t even manage a buzz, this go around I stuck with water. There is something about going to these types of festivals though. It gives you one day to join fellow people who like their music to be filled with anger, hate, and mischief. There’s no love except in the pit, there’s no hate except in the lyrics of the music that is playing. Metalheads in general don’t care what other people look like, we don’t care how you have your hair, we don’t care how many tattoos and piercings you have, although the one guy walking around with what looked like a railroad spike sticking through his nose was a bit odd.
Moving around a festival like this you see several different types of people — you have those that look like they’re professionals in their day to day life — clean cut, normal looking. You have the few that look like they just heard “festival” and showed up, probably planning on going to Buckhead (our rich area, I’m more of the Kennesaw/Marietta pub/dive scene) after the concert; these are the ones with the guys in polo shirts and the girls in slinky dresses that try to dodge everyone else walking around like they’re the fucking plague. You have the metalheads, blue jeans, black band t-shirts, tattoos, and goatees. Then you have the goths. The goths were probably just there for Manson. Now I don’t have a problem with goth kids. Wait, scratch that, I don’t have a problem with goth girls because there is nothing wrong with knee high boots, fishnet stockings, a tiny-ass skirt and an even tinier shirt. I do have a problem with goth guys though, mainly because there is no such thing as a goth guy now — you just look fucking emo. Oh yeah, one more, the oddities. The girls that walked around like pinups, the guy that walked around in boy shorts, fishnet stockings, and a fishnet shirt…everyone saw him. There were a few fights, my buddy out on the lawn saw some big dude punch a woman and a twelve year old in the face, but overall it was pretty tame. Last year’s festival was better, but Mayhem Festival is without a doubt the tour I look forward to.
For more info check out their website. Oh, and to the girl in VIP below me, the lady with long red hair, beautiful eyes, pale white skin, gorgeous smile, and the obvious affinity for rough sex. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for entertaining me during Slayer. I never spoke to you, but I caught your eye once or twice and I would have to say that you should leave your boyfriend and come with me. He looked like a tool.
Desitbrawler lives in Kennesaw, GA. You can read more about him on his blog, Mindless Rants Of A Mindless Person.