The Festival continued to excite fans and draw crowds as day two brought Mayhem to San Bernardino, California.
Day two of Mayhem proved to be powerful and different from day one. Even though the lineup was the same, each band gave their all in vigorous heart and soul in the hot and humid weather. It was great to see so many people with their families; the youngsters couldn’t wait for their folks to see the new bands and the folks were excited for their kids to see classic metal that never compromises in the form of Slayer and King Diamond.
San Manuel Amphitheatre presented the second stage a bit differently than last year, but it seemed to go well for everyone. At times, there were two pits going at once, especially during Jungle Rot. One disadvantage of the second stage was that it was at the top of the lawn and the slight incline down towards the crowd made it more challenging to see the entire stage, but the musicians themselves were in view and they sounded great.
For any fans still waiting for Mayhem to hit their town, pay special attention to Shattered Sun and Jungle Rot. These gentlemen have an excellent future in metal, and their presence on this tour is definitely one of the Easter eggs we found on the first two nights of Mayhem. Take advantage of the opportunities to meet all the artists during the tour. These musicians work hard to do what they love, and they naturally rely on the fans, but sometimes the fans can forget that these are metal heads just like them. Take a moment during the shows to tell them how much you appreciate their work and the sponsors that aid their progress.
Coldcock Whiskey also gave a signed Coldcock guitar away to a veteran and the crowd took a moment to honor the soldiers. It was a nice addition to the night.
Highlights of the show included amped up performances by everyone with particular emphasis on King Diamond. The band sounded like they were finding the tour satisfying, as their timing and movements throughout the set were even more seamless. King Diamond’s song “The Eye” had a particular resonance on night two. The Devil Wears Prada had a striking set and watching Mike Hranica move around the stage in his musical contortions was intoxicating. Hellyeah had a dedicated and blood spattered set with Vinnie Paul on drums and Kyle Sanders with his majestic dreads is a show in and of itself.
Slayer took the stage and after thanking everyone for coming to the show “out in the middle of fucking no where,” proceeded to pound every inch of metal into expectant fans until they were screaming for more. There were copious fires cropping up on the lawn and immediate bottle rockets from the stage one mosh pit as soon as they began.
As a personal observation, I saw a ten year old kid wearing a Gary Holt inspired Kill the Kardashians shirt on someone’s shoulders, and I knew all was good in the world. Mayhem is off to a great start for all of the bands; do yourself a favor and check your area for shows and get tickets!