MAYHEM FEST – AUGUST 4TH – GEXA ENERGY PAVILION (Dallas, TX)
– By Jerry Rutherford –
The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival is always something to look forward to for literally thousands of Hard Rock/Heavy Music fans here in the DFW area not to mention in and around North Texas each year when it rolls through town. Ever since its start back in 2008 the daylong event not only has featured prominent names like Slayer, Marilyn Manson, Slipknot, Killswitch Engage and Lamb Of God for top billing but it also has been thoroughly rounded out by a slew of other bands that are worthy of attention. So don’t just wait for Five Finger Death Punch to pound through an energetic set of sweeping Rock Radio hits or hold out to only see Rob Zombie do the same during his always entertaining live show. No, slap on the sunblock, get there early, water up and witness what else Mayhem Fest has to offer when it hits Gexa Energy Pavillion on Sunday, August 4.
Outside across the Fair Park venue’s expanse will be over a dozen other groups in action. There’s much in the way of new, fast-rising talent to catch and it just so happens that one bunch in particular is from the Lone Star State. Austin’s own Scorpion Child is making some serious waves as of late with a sound that’s fuzzed-out, hazy and holds all kinds of Seventies Rock in high regard. The quintet were quite convincing when they played Three Links in Deep Ellum not too long ago and there’s no doubt they’ll win over even more than a few people during this tour. Since it started, Mayhem Fest has always been a spotlight for bands on the verge of serious breakouts. Alongside Scorpion Child be sure to catch Michigan-based neck-breakers Battlecross (fresh off an appearance at Metallica’s Orion Music fest) who’ll get much in the way of sweat-soaked, horn throwing approval from the assembled masses during what’s going to be an explosive display of blistering firepower fueled in part by a vicious new album called War Of Will. Save some extra merch money for these guys.
Keep those eyes on Mayhem’s Musician’s Institute stage as well because that’s going to be headlined by Finland’s own Children Of Bodom who’ll immediately set the audience ablaze even before it’s go time. Chants of “Bodom, Bodom, Bodom” shall abound as soon as their backdrop in unveiled as the crowd eagerly awaits to erupt into a frenzy. COB will then proceed to provide a relentless soundtrack of fiery six-string scorch from charismatic frontman/guitarist Alexi Laiho who feeds off that energy throughout a host of fan favorites from the band’s extensive arsenal of speedy Euro Metal muscle, keyboard-laden flourish and catchy, hook-driven finesse. Speaking of chants, there’s no doubt that “Machine Fucking Head, Machine Fucking Head…” will be heard before they attack the Jagermeister Stage. Driven by the always commanding intensity of frontman Robb Flynn along with the rest of the band’s massive steamroll these Mayhem Fest vets are completely bludgeoning. Even without a new album to support or the fact that this is their new bassist’s first big road trek Machine Head will be at their turbulent best.
It hardly ends there, people. After the likes of Huntress, Butcher Babies, Job For A Cowboy and Born Of Osiris among others all have stormed the senses Mayhem’s mainstage will start to rumble with the earth-shaking one-two punch of Amon Amarth and Mastodon. The former revels in a remarkable mix of classic Metal benchmarks mixed with molten slabs of headbanging bulldoze and powerfully inspired anthems/battle hymns about Norse folklore. Plus the Swedes are going to perform partly upon a scaled-down replica of a Viking warship while they summon the surge of the Gods. Mastodon, on the other hand, is about as American sounding as it gets. Just like Machine Head, the Georgia-based quartet is back on the road again reminding everyone why they’re still impressive. Burly, thick, thundering and teeming with equal amounts of roaring menace and rhythmic boogie Mastodon is immensely brilliant. The same can be said about Mayhem Fest in its entirety as well. From start to finish Summer wouldn’t be the same without it.
ENTIRE LINEUP – http://rockstarmayhemfest.com/bands