Thursday, July 19th 2012
The 5th Annual Rockstar Mayhem Festival stopped at Oklahoma City’s Zoo Amphitheatre on Wednesday night, bringing an exhausting heat wave, stellar pyrotechnics and all of the metal you could possibly want.
For those that could deal with the 105°+ weather, Mayhem showcased solid sets from nearly every band on the bill (or at least the main stage). From Slipknot’s ridiculous sensory-overload setup to the inverted crosses and immense riffs of Slayer, the sold out show seemed to offer something for everyone in attendance.
The smaller, second stage featured performances by Whitechapel, Asking Alexandria and The Devil Wears Prada. Asking Alexandria has really succeeded at cornering the genre of awful British metalcore, while The Devil Wears Prada appealed to those scene kids who like a little Christianity thrown into the mix.
The main stage kicked off with As I Lay Dying, but the real show didn’t seem to start until Anthrax made their way out. Running through a quick 40-minute set that included I Am the Law, Madhouse and Caught In A Mosh, the band had no trouble getting the crowd excited despite the sun being a complete asshole and burning every piece of uncovered flesh it could find.
Motorhead sounded good, but offered a no-frills stage show that appeared to leave many in the crowd bored. Over the Top, Killed by Death and Ace of Spades sounded pretty much how they do on record, and Lemmy really wasted no time between songs instead opting to quickly blast through the band’s set.
Slayer spiced things up quite a bit, offering a solid music performance on top of a huge stage production. Giant inverted crosses made of guitar amps towered over the back of the stage, occasionally spewing pyro while Kerry King and Exodus’ Gary Holt (filling in for Jeff Hanneman) traded off guitar solos. Tom Araya almost ruined the band’s dark stage presence by breaking into a wide grin several times due to the crowd’s response, but the evil riffs of Angel of Death and set closer Raining Blood helped push things back into scarier territory.
Closing out the evening, Slipknot offered a nearly overwhelming stage show with an insane amount of pyro, two rising drum platforms and even snow. Mayhem Festival is the band’s first tour of the United States since late 2009, and judging from the crowd’s reaction during the show they’ve been missed.
You can check out the rest of our shots below: