The Texas heat was on the Victory stage and the stars came out at night on the Main Stage at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, in The Woodlands Texas. Mayhem Fest was about to begin and the energy levels were high.
Several members of the main acts were coming back home to wind up the Mayhem Fest tour to a stupendous smash. There were no stop signs or speed limits during this blistering force of music pouring out from the Victory Records Stage and Rock Star Energy Drink Main Stage. The Texas metal fans were in full force and ready for the Metal Mayhem to begin. Rock Star Energy Drinks were on hand for free sampling to fuel the action, and the bands were ready to meet the fanâ€™s thirst for interaction during the meet and greet times.
The frenetic pace of the concerts were more than enough to keep the crowd active and made for a wonderful day for all. Code Orange, Shattered Sun, and Sworn In opened the fest with great hooks and riffs that kept the festival rolling in the bright Texas sunshine. Even though this was the 24th day of the tour, the energy never wound down.
Sister Sin with lead singer Liv Jagrell represented well as the only female lead singer; she was a wonderful sight to see and hear.
Jungle Rot took the stage with a force of vengeance with camo-painted guitars and a sound that dropped with the force of an atom bomb. The moshpit had begun to swing in full force, it was a tsunami that would get stronger with each act.
Thy Art is Murder came up next and they made metal fun as the level of enjoyment was matched equally with their musical prowess. Lead singer Chris McMahon was menacing with his death growl all the while wearing an itsy bitsy yellow polka dot bikini. It was refreshing to see a band not take everything so seriously.
White Chapel played to an enthusiastic group of fans who were very familiar with their music. The wiry small lead singer with a big voice screamed the wild fans into a swirling moshpit, which resulted in everyone being involved including the bystanders on the side-lines.
Around 6pm the pace grew to a fever pitch of screaming guitars. Kissing Candice, Feed Her to the Sharks, The Devil Wears Prada, and Hellyeah were playing both stages, running the metal fans full speed on.
Kissing Candice hailing from Long Island, NY brought out a horror metal show complete with costumes and masks. Bone-shaking bass drops and rugged guitar work filled the air.
Feed Her to the Sharks followed. By then fans were sparse while the other bands were playing on the main stage, but they still brought the music in spite of most of the fans listening to The Devil Wears Prada and Hellyeah.
The Devil Wears Prada had great musical and vocal skills as the lead singer and the guitarist traded off lyrical styles, which blended quite well giving layers of sound to their music. Hellyeah was ready for this night. Chad Gray brought power to the stage with his presence and vocals. This was not your normal show, because behind the double kick drum was Vinny Paul of legendary Pantera. This Texas hero was welcomed to roaring applause as he returned to Texas soil for the defining moment of the evening.
King Diamond was on next and the fans were ready for the return of the King. Even a six-year-old girl was dressed like King with a full top hat and face paint. The future metal fan was greeted by many horns up as she walked around the venue with her mother. King Diamond delivered a theatrical performance that opened the gates of hell. The band was tight and professional and Kingâ€™s high falsetto voice and deep low growls painted a canvas for the ears. The special treat came up in the middle of their set where Kerry King of Slayer came out on the stage and played two Mercyful Fate songs in Diamondâ€™s set. It was brilliant.
While King Diamond open the gates of hell, Slayer brought the fire of hell with their blistering pace of guitar work and growling vocals by Tom Araya whose white beard appeared to be bathed in blood with the red stage lights and screens behind the band. The upside down cross shaped pyrotechnics could be felt all the way from the back row, giving a face melting effect. Gary Holt, former guitarist for Exodus posted on stage right opposite of Kerry King, each trading off massive solos and rhythm licks that made the band sound very cohesive in the absence of Jeff Hanneman.
Slayer played a 75-minute set that blew away the crowd, and in a feast of sound and fury the night was over. As the next date for Mayhem was in Dallas, TX the next night, this night was a special night for Texas and metal fans in general. The fans proved this night to be a success, and we look forward to more festivals like this in the future.
Invalid Displayed Gallery