Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Fest turned what would have been an ordinary weekday into a 4-stage, 10-hour, 20-band celebration of insanity and metal in St. Louis.

Mayhem was a little different this year, and from the people I talked to at the show, the verdict is still out as to whether people like the changes. Some welcomed the different style of the lineup, while others preferred a more traditional take on the show. I thought the changes were decent, having the Victory Records Stage and Headband for the Highway/Sumerian Stage playing at the same time, combined without breaks between bands made my job a bit more difficult.

On the upside, I did get quite the workout and clocked nearly 15 miles on my pedometer running from one stage to another. Photographers were allowed to shoot the first three songs of each band, so when two were playing at the same time, I shot song one, used song two to get to the other stage, then shot that band’s third song.

While the main stage had well-known acts, Trivium, Asking Alexandria, Korn, and Avenged Sevenfold, I was most impressed with the lineups on the three festival stages. Texas Hippie Coalition aka THC, put on their usual fantastic show, launching into their set and seemingly not taking a breath throughout.

Kudos to Mushroomhead for not only playing their full set in their masks, but also for a few members who mingled with the crowd later, signing autographs. Ill Niño and Veil of Maya are an example of two bands that had the same set times on different stages, which was problematic for me since I was looking forward to seeing both bands full performances.

Ice-T was in with his metal band, Body Count, which drew a huge crowd. Talking to fans and amphitheater employees alike, a great majority cited Body Count and Cannibal Corpse as the main two artists they were most excited to see. I was in complete agreement.

The bands appearing on the festival stages Victory Records Stage, Headbang for the Highway/Sumerian Stage, and Coldcock American Herbal Whiskey Stage were only allotted 25-minute set-times, but they all made the most of their time on stage. In one sense, it was a treat to have so much talent packed into one show, but I wish those bands could have had longer sets, they deserved it.

Victory Records Stage:

Erimha

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Islander

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Wretched

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Ill Niño

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Emmure

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Headbang for the Highway/Sumerian Stage:

Headbang for the Highway (St. Louis) Local Winner–Carolanne

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Upon a Burning Body

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Bodycount featuring Ice-T

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Coldcock American Herbal Whiskey Stage:

King 810

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Texas Hippie Coalition

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Mushroomhead

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Miss May I

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Suicide Silence

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Cannibal Corpse

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Main Stage:

Trivium

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Asking Alexandria

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Korn

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Avenged Sevenfold

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