Inaugural day of The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival was incredible. The line up included Slipknot, Slayer, Motorhead, and The Devil Wears Prada. The day started off very early, as I decided to get to the grounds by ten in the morning. I found plenty of people in the parking lot already tail-gating with their friends. As we looked for parking, we could hear Slayer being played full blast out of people’s cars. The crowd was lively and it wasn’t even noon yet—this would only be a sign of things to come later in the evening. I was let in before gates opened to the public and picked a spot under a tree to watch the people run in, soon the once empty field turned into a loud, hell raising crowd of people who were ready to kick things off at the smaller stages.
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Upon A Burning Body’s set was amazing and full of energy for being so early in the day. The band came out dressed in formal looking attire ready to rock out in the summer heat. They commanded the crowd and the crowd went along with every second of it, giving the band enough energy to work off and then some.
Upon A Burning Body’s Set List:
Texas Blood Money
Once Upon A Time In Mexico
Whitechapel was next and they put on an amazing show. The amount of presence that they brought to the stage was insane. Not only was their set full of heavy drumming and guitar, but also the amount of passion the band put into their set was overwhelming.
I have seen Asking Alexandria before at their dates of the Vans Warped Tour and I was not impressed. Asking Alexandria did a fantastic job and their set blew me away. Asking Alexandria’s live set has grown immensely since they’ve played the Warped Tour and I’m happy to say they’re growing as a band, and their presence on stage is a reflection of that.
Later in the day the crowds moved from the field where side stages were, to the main stage to see the headlining acts. First up was The Devil Wears Prada, who put on a killer set full of energy and raw emotion that showed through the bands set-list. The band stormed into their song Born to Lose to start the set, sending the crowd into cheers. The band played their song Mammoth, which their vocalist Mike says is one of his favorites to play live.
The Devil Wears Prada’s Set List:
Born To Lose
Assistant To The Regional Manager
Next up on the main stage was Motörhead. The band put on a good show. They played their hit Ace of Spades and the crowd went into a frenzy singing along. I, however, was not so impressed with Motörhead’s set. Going on after The Devil Wears Prada, I was hoping that the band would bring a little more energy to the stage, or something special in their stage set up. I was holding Motorhead on this special pedestal going into the show, let’s face it, they’re legends—I was expecting a lot from their set, energy, mayhem, loudness, complete and utter chaos. I did not get any of that. If they would not have played “Ace of Spades” with Lemmy’s iconic voice, to the untrained ear and eye, it would have seemed like a simple cover band. I was left a tad disappointed to say the least.
Slayer had one of the craziest sets I’ve ever seen. Their stage set up was glorious. Their amps were set up to look like inverted crosses on both sides of the stage. The amps shot fire out of the middle during the set, giving Slayer an even more demonic look. It was at this point that the crowd set fire to the lawn (and whatever else they could get to burn) and started a circle pit around it. It was mystical, as if these people had some type of tribal tradition to the music of Slayer in which they would all come together and dance with the intensity of the fire in unison. When Slayer broke into Raining Blood the crowd grew louder and even more alive, screaming every lyric as loud as they possibly could. Slayer’s set was very entertaining to say the least.
Slipknot took the stage a little late, but they opened up with a boom, dropping a white curtain down to expose them in orange jumpsuits with a huge stage set up behind them. The band opened up with (Sic) from their self-titled breakout. The band used huge strobe lights, fire, and rotating drums on stage to get the pulse of the crowd higher than it already was. Although Slipknot was missing their guitarist Jim Root, out due to his appendix bursting, they easily managed to put on an amazing set. The most touching part of their set was during their tribute to the late Paul Gray.
Frontman Corey Taylor made these comments:
“Paul never left. Paul is here tonight. Paul is here in spirit! Do you feel him? He is here! He lives in the music, he never left.”
In that moment, Paul Gray was brought back to life through guitar strings, drum beats, and crowd cheers. It was by far, the most emotional moment of the entire day.
The Devil Wears Prada and Asking Alexandria Photo Credit to Barrett Bailey.
All other photos credited to Richard Rasner of Nakayama Studios.