Monday, August 11, 2014

Mayhem, indeed

As much as I hated to do it, I decided that I needed to engage in some employment last Saturday night, which cut my vacation at Deep Creek Lake a day short. So, when a former coworker and friend of mine gave me a buzz about headin' down to the Mayhem Festival the next day with him and his 14-year-old nephew, I figgered that'd be a good consolation prize for leavin' vacation early. My friend was scheduled to do interviews with several of the bands throughout the day, and he needed someone to kinda keep an eye on his nephew while he worked.

I gotta say, that kid has the metal bug bad, and I'm glad I got to hang with him all day. They had three smaller stages set up for the non-headlinin' bands, which is where we spent the bulk of our time. I usually wouldn't have gotten anywhere close to the stages and the pit areas, but that's where he wanted to be, so that's where we went. Turns out it was a blast up there... nothin' but crazy, fun people; the bodies are just packed all together, and everyone's just rockin' out with reckless abandon. Bein' as big as I am, I naturally caught the attention of most of the crowd surfers. I spent a helluva lotta time passin' off bodies from above, to the point that my arms and torso were purty damn sore the next day. I did steer clear of the mosh pits, as my self-preservation synapses seem to fire off a little stronger as I've gotten older. The only thing that kinda sucked about bein' up close to everythin' was that I was a little less inclined to yank the phone out to grab some pictures. Well, that and the fact that it took my right ear almost two full days to hear right after bein' that close to the speakers. Some dummy forgot his earplugs....
The kid got to meet the fellas from Suicide Silence, his favorite band.
The bands were all purty damn good, and you could tell that most of 'em couldn't have cared less about bein' on the small stages. They were havin' just as good of a time as the fans were. I particularly enjoyed the sets from Miss May I, Wretched*, and Texas Hippie Coalition**.

(*Small, but notable side note about Wretched... the lead singer has a phenomenal beard, of which I am jealous of.)

(**Side note about THC... my friend not only interviewed them, but he and the photographer were invited onto the bus to hang out for little bit. Turns out that they have one of Pantera's old tour buses. I was really damn jealous of him that he got to see that.)

It was hotter than the hinges of Hell, so after the small stages wrapped up, we headed off in search of water and shade. We eventually made our way to the pavilion for the headliners. We more or less missed the first two, which didn't bother us at all, but luckly we got there in time to see Korn perform. I've always like their music, but I like them a whole lot more now that I've seen 'em live. They're one of those bands that know how to get the best outta their audience, so the amount of energy from the crowd durin' their set was just absurd.
Panoramic of the Jiffy Lube Live Pavilion.
Spotlights durin' the Korn set.
Avenged Sevenfold played the final set, but they were almost disappointin' after the show that Korn put on. We wound up leavin' about halfway through their set, after we came to the mutual conclusion that nothin' else they played was worth sittin' in hours of traffic for.

I'm not a huge concert guy, but I'd glad that I tug along to check it out. I got to hear some great metal all day long, and the people-watchin' was first class. Definitely not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

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