JUNE 30th 2015
ROCKSTAR MAYHEM FESTIVAL 2015

Review by: Metal Mom
Photos by: Char Tupper

Photos: http://www.metaltitans.com/concertpics/rockstar-mayhem-festival-2015/

MAIN STAGE:
Slayer, King Diamond, Hellyeah, The Devil Wears Prada

VICTORY RECORDS STAGE:
Feed Her to the Sharks, Kissing Candice, Whitechapel, Thy Art is Murder, Jungle Rot, Sister Sin, Sworn In, Shattered Sun, and Code Orange.

This was an extremely hot day to be holding this festival outside, 30C, but you could bring your own water, or when you entered the venue and were checked over, they offered up free water, which I took full advantage of.

In between bands, I wandered the grounds, but wasn’t too impressed, there were hardly any vendors there, and maybe a couple of food choices with food prices that took your breath away, fries 6.95 USD, and they were horrible and cold. But what do you do, you have to eat when you are there for the whole day. At least with the free water at the gate, you could fill that up free at the fountain. Sad state of affairs when this venue holds 20,000 people, but only 2800 tickets sold. It was empty. My lawn ticket though was upgraded to general admission, meaning I could sit under the roof to watch Main Stage.

Gates opened (suppose to open at 1pm), but didn’t open until 1:15, but the first band up was the Coldcock band winner Witchburn was already playing as you entered. So rushed over to the Victory Stage to catch the band ending their set, not really fair for the band, they were on time, but the fans were not there because the venue didn‘t open on time.

CODE ORANGE is hardcore to the bone, but I didn’t watch them much, one song and I moved off to sit in the shade for a bit. As most of you know, I am not a hardcore fan at all. They didn’t seem to have many fans there watching. Their mosh pit was idiotic, people throwing punches, kicking….well, simply hardcore moshers, not the metal ones I have grown used to.  

SHATTERED SUN out of Alice, TX was a spruce of change compared to the last band. They seemed more along the metal side of things, and I stayed to enjoy their set, they also had a lot of people watching and moshing, the metal moshers made their appearance. They fit the vibe of this festival, compared to numerous other bands.

Next to perform was SWORN IN, part of the emotional genre, what the heck does that mean? I watched for a bit, but just wasn’t my style both visually and musically. Do you ever watch a band, and some of the members remind you of other band members from another, that was Sworn In visually. This was not my cup of tea, but they played well.

SISTER SIN of Sweden, however, captured my interest and gripped onto it tightly. I should’ve known it would, most bands from this region never fall short of hitting all the right notes. Pure metal that I did really enjoy, alongside many other fans of the band. Great set, and it had to be hard playing in this heat, but with Sister Sin, you would not have known how hot it was. Great performance.

Next is time for the death metallers, JUNGLE ROT. These guys gave 110%, amazing performance all around. It was a nice to finally watch some metal I am used to seeing in my hometown. I am never disappointed when JR plays, fantastic set of songs along with great sound. Hands down, my favourite set from the Victory Stage.

THY ART IS MURDER, well nope, not for me at all. Not a single thing about the band caught my attention, plus alongside the language between songs, well, lets simply say being an older fan, Im not a fan of constant swearing. Musically as well, it didn’t do anything for me, sounded a lot like other bands in the same category, which was very “blah” in my opinion.

Time for some WHITECHAPEL, everyone knows these guys, pure true metal. I have seen them countless times, from being a small opening band, to now one of the headliner bands on the Mayhem Festival, it has been a fun ride to watch. They played a great set, fans were enjoying it. I will be honest, it did seem like one giant “paid advertising” by MetalBlade records with banners, t-shirts, patches, you name it. If you didn’t know their label was MetalBlade, clearly you had one beer too many! Stayed for a couple of songs, then off to a cool place to hide until the next band.

Now run, because THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA starts in 5 minutes, and not a minute later. Performance, kind of dull, lacked any kind of originality or style. On the other downside, it was terrible to have the 2 stages overlap. The bands on Victory Stage lost out to playing in front of potential new fans, since once seating opened for Main Stage, everyone ran to grab their spots. Looks like I will have to do some “stage juggling” to catch them all.

KISSING CANDICE  was next on the Victory Stage. These guys were interesting to watch with unique looking masks, costumes, the whole works. The outfits did remind me of early Slipknot kind of feel to it though. Now, they put themselves into a genre called “Goremetal”, which once again, did nothing for me. I liked watching the visuals, but my ears weren’t all too impressed.

Next up is HELLYEAH on the Main Stage and damn, I always forget how good they are. Metal/Hardrock, oh boy you can’t go wrong with that. They had my attention from the start. Excellent set. Tom Maxwell even played guitar with a broken leg. Seems a lot of people are breaking legs lately, and we appreciate that you sat up on stage and played. Such a great variety of songs. Personally I also liked the fact that Chad Grey was always saying to support the music, and I totally agree. To see the low attendance was disappointing, and I am sure they felt it too. But Hellyeah, I enjoyed the performance they gave us. They gave 150%. Always so much movement too with Hellyeah, adds to the performance.

FEED HER TO THE SHARKS , a Modern Melodic Metalcore band, all wearing white t-shirts with a shark fin on it. They were the final performance on the Victory Stage. For me, most of these bands on the Victory stage should have been on Vans Warped Tour, or a more “hardcore festival” then this one. Stood and watched for a couple of songs, but couldn’t stand there any longer in that sweltering heat, besides, I had to go get a good spot for the one and only performing on the Main Stage.

The king himself, KING DIAMOND.  This is who I came for, never have I seen them perform until tonight. Classic Heavy metal, well to tell you the truth, I don’t care what you call their genre, they STOLE THE NIGHT. Holy geesh, what a stage presence, one like no other. I am speechless, never in a million years would I have expected such a phenomenal show. There were issues with something during their set, but I was so enthralled with their songs, the movement on stage, the look, I didn’t even notice. Oh, and if you have never heard King Diamond sing, you will be taking a step back and saying “Holy crap! What a voice”, trust me, I am still wondering if I saw and heard what I did. I sat and watched as little ol’ lady“Grandma” came out on stage, this performance was true showmanship. Absolutely something so out of the ordinary. Trust me, you need to see King Diamond and their performance.  Did you know that his microphone handle consists of a femur bone and a tibia bone (real or other), doesn’t matter, it adds to the performance. I for one, will never ever miss KING DIAMOND when he comes to town, or even a 6 hour drive away, because they are worth the travel time, heat or anything else that might get in the way. There are still dates to catch King Diamond, even if you go and just see them, like I did,  it’s worth it. Find a date in the dates listed below, and go, show your support.


SLAYER, now a while back, when I started going to concerts, it never failed, someone yelled out Slayer, no matter who was playing, but these days I don’t hear it anymore. So people were anxiously waiting, the curtain drops, and it begins. Now you will hate me for this, but after the first song, I left, walked around and chatted with people who also felt the same and wandered the grounds.  The reason was, it was all the same, just fast as you can be, and not much movement on stage, just added some fire. I could still hear them when I left, as I just sat outside the stage area in the cool air, but even when Reigning Blood was playing, I recognized the first part of the intro, then it didn’t sound like it anymore, and I noticed more people leaving, not impressed with them at all. I talked with people, and they didn’t like the new songs, and they wanted more of the older ones played like they should have been. So it wasn’t just me. I will respect that of course, “Angel of Death”, they did pay respect to Jeff, as always, which I will say I’m glad to see they still do.

I think what surprised me the most, Slayer and King Diamond co-headlining, and the seats were not even half filled. Last time I saw them, it was filled. I don’t think the lineup was one that had the pull, headliners were enough I thought to pull in the people. Not the Victory stage really, as a lot of  people didn’t even know most of the bands. There was only 2 stages, w normally there are 4, and normally there are a lot more vendors. This show for me was only a great one because of King Diamond, if he had not been there, I wouldn’t have been there either.  

MAYHEM RUNNING ORDER

SLAYER 9:45-11:00
KING DIAMOND 8:10-9:10
HELLYEAH 7:05 - 7:45
THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA 6:05-6:40

Feed Her To The Sharks - 7:45-8:05
Kissing Candice - 6:40 - 7:00
Whitechapel - 5:20 - 6:00
Thy Art Is Murder - 4:40 - 5:05
Jungle Rot - 4:00 - 4:25
Sister Sin - 3:20 - 3:45
Sworn In - 2:40 - 3:05
Shattered Sun - 2:00 - 2:25
Code Orange - 1:20 - 1:45

Remaining Tour Dates:
7/07 – Council Bluffs, IA @ Harrah’s Council Bluffs
7/08 – Milwaukee, WI @ Eagles Ballroom
7/10 – Noblesville, IN (Indianapolis) @ Kilpsch Amphitheater
7/11 – Clarkston, MI (Detroit) @ DTE Energy Amphitheater
7/12 – Tinley Park, IL (Chicago) @ First Midwest Bank Amphitheater
7/15 – Toronto, ON @ TD Echo Beach
7/17 – Camden, NJ (Philadelphia) @ Susquehanna Bank Arts Center
7/18 – Burgettstown, PA (Pittsburgh) @ First Niagara Pavilion
7/19 – Hartford, CT @ Xfinity Theatre
7/21 – Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center
7/22 – Erie, PA @ Erie Insurance Arena
7/24 – Bristow, VA @ Jiffy Lube Live
7/25 – Boston, MA @ Xfinity Center
7/26 – Wantagh, NY @ Nikon at Jones Beach
7/29 – Atlanta, GA @ Aaron’s Amphitheater at Lakewood
7/31 – Alamo City Music Hall in San Antonio, TX
8/01 – Houston, TX @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
8/02 – Dallas, TX @ Gexa Energy Amphitheater