The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival hit Toronto’s Molson Canadian Amphitheatre on Friday afternoon under sunny hot skies. There was plenty of cold beer flowing and fists pumping as some of metal’s hardest hitters took control of the four stages set up for the event.
On the Victory Records Stage, highlight acts included Emmure, Ill Nino, and Wretched. The Headbang for the Highway/Sumerian featured Darkest Hour, Veil of Maya, and one of the festivals more unique and anticipated performers Body Count, fronted by the legendary Ice T. Body Count shut down the Sumerian stage for the day, but the level of energy they brought and demanded right back from the audience, would have been well-suited on the main stage.
The Coldrock American Herbal Whiskey Stage was another big crowd draw due to the rare appearance from the Cleveland metal act Mushroomhead as well as Miss May I, Suicide Silence and New York Death Metal headliners Cannibal Corpse. Many of the side-stage artists participated in meet-and-greets and signed shirts, albums and other paraphernalia for eager fans that lined up.
On the main stage, Trivium, Asking Alexandria, and Californians Korn and Avenged Sevenfold completed the day’s set list. Trivium delivered a solid set of heavy metal during which front man Matt Heafy challenged the Toronto crowd to step up the energy and dethrone Los Angeles and Chicago fans as the best crowds during the Mayhem Festival run.
England’s Asking Alexandria has a heavy metal style more reminiscent of bands like Motley Crue and Def Leopard and even hints of Journey. They definitely lightened the vibe of the previous harder material of the day and brought to life the party goers in front of the stage.
Next up, Korn. Front man Jonathan Davis exhibits instant magnetism when he walks out on stage and the reaction from the crowd was proof that Korn still have a massive fan base that is still growing. The set was superb touching on the best of Korn’s material to date including the biggest crowd pleasers “Freak on a Leash” and “Blind”.
The headliner of the day was Huntington Beach rockers Avenged Sevenfold. Performing for just over an hour, A7X hit fans with solid versions of “Shepard of Fire”, “Hail to the King”, “So Far Away” and “This Means War” before returning on stage for encore performances of “A Little Piece of Heaven” and “Unholy Confessions”
Overall, the festival was excellent and offered a great mix of metal styles to suit all tastes. Add to it the added attraction of artist meet-and-greets and the variety of stages to check out throughout the day, there was plenty to do and even more to see.