Heaviest Mayhem Festival lineup yet rocks OKC

It turns out that changing the show date of the Oklahoma City stop for the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival from August to July did little to help fans beat the heat. Then again, this year’s lineup on it’s own was red hot.

A full house of metal heads descended upon the Oklahoma City Zoo Amphitheatre on Wednesday for a full day of heavy metal in the Oklahoma sun. High on Fire, White Chapel, Asking Alexandria and The Devil Wears Prada worked in unison with the sun to warm up the crowd for the main event. As I Lay Dying kicked off the main stage with an abbreviated set, before the night kicked off into high gear.

Anthrax tore through a short, yet heavy set that included staples “Caught in a Mosh,” “Antisocial,” “Indians,” and “Madhouse.” Singer Joey Belladona scored some extra points from the crowd when he borrowed Tulsa Today photographer Kevin Pyle’s camera and made his away across the stage, snapping shots of fans during “Fight ‘Em Till Ya Can’t.” Meanwhile, guitarist Scott Ian shredded flawlessly with his bald head covered with a generous amount of sunscreen as the sun beat down upon the stage.

English rockers Motorhead took the stage next, providing more of an old school sound while singer/bassist Lemmy Kilmister sang upward into his microphone that was tilted down from above his head. Opening with “Bomber,” and “Damage Case,” the band paused as guitarist Phil Campbell asked the crowd, “Do you want us to play louder?” After cheers erupted from the crowd, Kilmister responded with, “Yeah. Make let’s make them deaf like we are!” They then continued on through a set that included “The Chase Is Better Than the Catch,” “Overkill,” and “Ace of Spades.”

Following a brief intermission, a white curtain dropped to reveal Slayer, already full stride into “Disciple.” As the sun began to slowly set, the thrash band  powered through a loud, heavy and fast set in front of a backdrop with two inverted crosses of Marshall amplifiers that spit fire into the air. Guitarist Kerry King, clad in black, with chains hanging from his waist, was simply spectacular as his fingers moved quickly back and forth across the frets.

Singer/bassist  Tom Araya was just as hardcore, but regularly flashed a large smile in between songs, and while playing directly to a young fan positioned to the side of the stage. Drummer Dave Lombardo was impressive as well, displaying the skills that lead to him being dubbed as “the godfather of double bass.” Highlights of the set included “Mandatory Suicide,” and “Angel of Death” before they closed out with “South of Heaven,” and “Raining Blood.”

Mayhem Fest Slide Show:


Photos by: Kevin Pyle

The evening’s final act got under way when a red curtain was raised to reveal eight men wearing red jump suits and masks. From that second forward, Slipknot had the crowd eating out of their hands. Mixing a unique blend of guitars, turntables, sampling, and three drum sets, they ran through a supercharged set that included “Wait and Bleed,” “Before I Forget,” “Psychosocial,” and “Duality.”

Singer Corey Taylor wasted little time challenging the Amphitheatre’s infamous no cursing policy. In between songs he told the crowd, “Someone told me that there was no cursing allowed.” Responding to the crowds’ boos, he added, “I said bill me, I’ll say whatever the f*** I want to my friends and family.” The show then continued with Taylor roaming the stage while two drum platforms, adorned with beer kegs raised and spun in circles while being played with among other things, baseball bats.