Mayhem Festival brings top-notch headliners, not much else

By Paul Piazza

Judging by the visceral response of fans at last weekend’s Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, metal is alive and well.

The event’s co-headliners, dark metal legends Slayer and King Diamond, were well-supported by the presence of a variety of Slayer tees and people with their faces painted in the evil kabuki style of the King. One guy even ironically dressed as our holy father the Pope!

Both bands played iconic sets. King Diamond had an altar, gargoyles and a demonic birth onstage. Slayer had flames shooting out from all angles of their stage and impressive, artistic L.E.D. screens. Both veteran metal acts played very tight and very well. Slayer was very loud.

As fun as all of this was, the rest of the bill didn’t exactly inspire early arrivals to the all-day event. The show was split between a smaller stage and the main stage. The small stage, which started five hours earlier, featured lesser known metal bands like Feed Her to the Sharks, White Chapel and Shattered Sun. Not exactly household names yet. Of the pack, Australia’s Thy Art is Murder seemed to get the best crowd response, especially after they told a dirty koala bear joke.

Many concert goers didn’t arrive until the early evening. But maybe that was also because some beers at the venue were $16 each. Perhaps the event would have drawn a little better with the inclusion of a few more female acts? Code Orange and Sister Sin had female vocalists and King Diamond had a female back-up singer, but that was about it. Regardless, some of the most dedicated fans and boldest pit moshers were the female audience members. You go, metal grrrls!

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