For those of you lucky enough to get Tuesday, July 8th off to make it to the Mayhem Festival, you will forever remember the blur of loud, aggressive music on a hot summer day. For all those that couldn't make this annual event, here's a recap what you missed:
The White River Amphitheatre in Auburn, Washington hosted the 2014 Rockstar Mayhem Festival, and the headliners for the day were Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, Asking Alexandria and Trivium, but all of the bands present played exceptional acts that left no fans disappointed.
During the daylight hours, each of the bands played on one of the three secondary stages, taking turns playing while the next was setting up for their gear on another.
All of the bands executed flawless performances to the roaring crowds while dirt bikes could be seen jumping ramps on the outer boundary. While most of the audiences cheered and screamed, others moshed in circle pits, ebbing and flowing again like a crashing tide — as much from their own enthusiasm as from the boost of free energy drinks given away at the Rockstar tents.
For the fans that took advantage of it between each show, it was a welcomed break to reach the comfort of the shade. Free sun block was provided at the First Aid stations, and misting stations and sprinklers were set up for anyone to run through (or hang out in) to cool down with — but, it wasn't long before the majority of the crowd were wearing their sun burnt skin like a badge of honor.
By the time the sun set, it had already been a impressive, full day of metal music: every band performed with wild enactment; surges of energy and recess kept the day flowing; and the spectators were amicable and enthused throughout; and the peak had yet to come!
There was a brief break during the final set up, and when the headliners finally took to the stage the crowd was pumped back life and rocked out late into the night.
Trivium had the shortest set of the night by the headliners but they made the most of it. They did not have the luxury of stage props or time but as all small things tend to do, they packed quite a punch.
The metalcore group Asking Alexandria gave a truly solid performance throughout their set. Both guitarists and bass player ran all over the stage with a vigor that suggested the must have consumed at least ten of the complimentary Rockstar drinks.
By the time Korn took to the stage, the crowd had become antsy with anticipation. Chants of "We want Korn!" echoed from the lower levels. When they finally emerged the crowd was not left disappointed. And much to the surprise and delight of the crowd Korn played many of their popular older songs. Korn has shown very few signs of slowing down and they looked as fresh as ever.
At the dramatic opening of their performance, Avenged Sevenfold abruptly dispelled the darkness with a line of fire that shot up from behind the drums, the light of which illuminated three massive doorway arches made in an ancient-looking crumbling stone wall that spanned the back of the stage, with their logo attached to the three red doors. From behind the drums, the drummer Arin Ilejay's hand shot up like a demon claw from the depths, and began twirling a drumstick in the air above the kit. Fire balls began to shoot into the air as the intro tune to 'Sheppard of Fire' began to play, which was soon joined by the rhythm of the drums as the lights came up. The instant the full band was revealed the entire crowd roared in laudation, and that exaltation and vivacity continued throughout their entire set, by crowd and band alike.
From the bagpipes of Korn to pyrotechnics with Avenged Sevenfold, it was a glorious day for Metal! And fear not, next year's Rockstar Mayhem Festival is projected to fall on Saturday, June 27th, (dates subject to change.) But for now, it's time to rest up for KISW Pain in the Grass, on September 12th, at White River Amphitheater.
2014 Rockstar Mayhem Festival Lineup