The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Fest was on July 14 at Aaron’s Amphitheater at Lakewood. As with last year, and as you would expect in July in the Dirty South, it was insanely hot.

Mayhem Fest has three stages: The Jagermeister stage, the Sumerian stage, and the Main Stage, and the venue was packed.

As I Lay Dying

Right away, I was a little baffled at how small this years Sumerian stage was this year. Typically the Jager stage and the Sumerian are about the same size, but the Sumerian was really tiny. I couldn’t see the bands performing on the Sumerian stage – or even get close enough to photograph. It was very disappointing to see that small of a stage, given that the crowds at Mayhem are huge. I’m sure the bands that played on that stage weren’t too happy about it but they did their best with what was given to them.

Anthrax

The Jagermeister stage was the usual ‘large’ size, and It was much easier to see bands like Whitechapel, The Devil Wears Prada, and Anthrax perform. There were six bands total on this stage. I’m not going to summarize every bands performance, because there isn’t really a need to do so, but every band performed and played well despite the heat. All the bands played their hearts out, and the crowd responded well to all of them. The highlight band for this stage was Anthrax. Anthrax never disappoint, and always put on a great show, and it’s always nice to see an older band perform to a younger crowd, and gain new fans of a different generation.

Slayer

The Main Stage featured four bands; As I Lay Dying, Motörhead, Slayer, and headliner Slipknot. The standout bands for me on the main stage were As I Lay Dying and Slipknot. AILD was full of energy and performed with a vengeance. Headbanging, jumping around, crushing guitar riffs, and pounding drums kept the crowd jumping and pumping their fists. I’m not a huge Slipknot fan, but their live show is amazing. I have never seen three drummers pound away on stage. Even one of the drummers was raised up in the air, and his drum kit spun around in true 80’s style. They had pyrotechnics and explosions… It was awesome!! Slipknot has 8 band members, and they were all doing different things on stage. Their performance would make anyone a fan!!

The Devil Wears Prada

I have seen Slayer twice now, and honestly I am not impressed. I’d have to say the same for Motörhead’s performance. They were both really underwhelming with fairly weak stage shows. Yes, these bands are legends, but their performance didn’t back up their legendary status and with the exception of Anthrax, the younger (possibly hungrier?) bands seemed to eat them up.

Motörhead

By the end of the night, I was worn out from the heat, but I had a great time. I had some disappointments, but Mayhem Fest is still a great bang for the buck and a worthy ticket for the fan to buy in these lean times.

Asking Alexandria

all photos ©2012 Ann Bodan