Good day all,
Well there you have it, Mayhem Fest 2012 is in the books for me and it was an awesome experience! First and foremost let me say that once again metal fans have really impressed me with their behavior and smart judgement throughout the day. I was extremely impressed with how little stupid behavior I experienced or saw throughout the day and that really amazed me. Especially because this was an all day event and people usually get more and more stupid as the day/night rolls on, but not so much here. There where a few things that I saw that I just don’t get but I will get into that in a moment.
I drove to Pittsburgh to participate in this stop of the Mayhem tour, I did this for 2 reasons, first my buddies who still live in Pittsburgh were going with me , and second my buddy Rick chartered a bus for us (about 20ish) so no one had to drive and we could all party. We are nothing if not responsible. Plus First Niagara Pavillion where the show was, in Burgettstown, PA is about an hour or so drive from anywhere in Pittsburgh so it is preferable to have some one chauffeur you to this place. So pre-show at Rick’s house consisted of everyone showing up and us waiting for the bus. We just hung around, drank a few beers, listen to some metal as primer, and waited for the bus, and waited and waited and waited, NO BUS! Seriously, the bus didn’t show, we had to make a decision, so we packed up 4 cars, and headed out to the highway.
So, at this point we are way behind schedule and we still have about and hour drive to get us to the venue, and that is if there isn’t any traffic. But luckily for us and one of the biggest surprises, there was not traffic and since we didn’t have to pay for a bus anymore we splurged on the VIP parking and the clean port-o-johns (at least for a while). Commence the tailgating! Because we where so behind schedule we decided to just hang out and wait to go in to see Anthrax, and then the rest of the main stage shows. You are not allowed to re-enter the venue(which I find silly) so you really have to make a decision on when you want to go in and stay, we where not going to do that for (As I Lay Dying, Whitechapel, The Devil Wears Prada, etc…), so the decision was made to go in for Anthrax. By the way, a pretty cool scene was Scott Ian, Rob, and Joey driving right by us on their way to and from their meet and greet, surprised to see them in the parking lot.
After a brief but significant rain shower it was time to head in and see Anthrax, Motorhead and Slayer! Anthrax was up first, they had the responsibility for closing the Jagermeister Stage. If you happen to follow Scott Ian via Twitter you know that they like to do the Jager stage because of the fact that there are not any chairs and you can achieve a significant mosh pit if you try hard enough, and trust me, Anthrax encourages the mosh!. When we first arrive at the stage my buddy Jude and I are about four rows from the from the front of the stage which at first I was really happy about, but then I remembered that I really am not a fan of the mosh pit and I was not going to be happy standing where we were. Just in case you are wondering, no I am not afraid of the mosh pit, I am too old and too big for the mosh pit. I am 6’7″ and for some reason people don’t like to stand behind me and try to watch a show so I see significantly more pushing than most, it drives me crazy, so to avoid that I move to the back, where I can still see. Anyway, Anthrax comes on stage to the Worship Music Intro, and right into Caught in a Mosh, and the crowd goes wild. Time for me to make my move to the rear, just as my favorite bass riff starts Got the Time. It is surprising how fast you can make it to the back of a crowd, don’t have to dodge too many people heading in that direction. So remember earlier when I talked about behavior I do not understand? This is when I first saw this, why would you throw a full can of beer trhough the air and into the crowd during a show? Besides the fact that the beer cost $11.00 a piece but they are big and heavy as well. You could really hurt someone with one of those, and trust me the band is not going to think it is cool when you hit one of them in the face or head with one. Regardless of a few moronic people Anthrax put on another great show. This will be the third time I have seen them this year and I think they get better with every concert. The only disappointing thing about the set was that it was way too short. Only seven songs, The previously mentioned Caught, and Time, plus Fight Em, Antisocial, Indians, Madhouse and I am the Law. Anthrax makes the $40.00 I spent on a ticket worth it in just that one set! I could have left at this point and been satisfied. Luckily I stayed!
View of Anthrax before I moved to higher ground
After Anthrax we moved up the hill to the main stage. Asking Alexandria was the opener for the main stage and I guess they are a metalcore act? They went on right after Anthrax finished and I watched one or two of their songs before walking around and checking out the vendors. Here is what I will say about Asking Alexandria, when I heard them I was immediately disappointed I bought lawn tickets. My thought was if this band sounds this bad on the lawn I am going to be disappointed with the sound for Motorhead and Slayer. But I was wrong, this was how the band was supposed to sound, sooooooo not my thing, time to move on!
After another brief intermission, MOTORHEAD! I have seen Motorhead around 10 times now and Lemmy and Co never disappoint. They may not be the most energetic group around when it comes to moving about the stage, but they always put on a great show. I was happy that this setlist was at least a little bit different from what I have seen them play in the past. They played the staples, Ace of Spades, Overkill, Killed by Death, Damage Case, but they also sprinkled in some songs I have not heard them play before like Going to Brazil, The One to Sing the Blues, The Chase is Better than the Catch, so it was a nice mix for them and for me. Like I said before, one thing you can always count on is a solid performance from Motorhead.
I have been going to metal shows since I was a wee lad and I have seen tons of different acts, I have seen the big names and the not so big names, but there are two bands the I have never seen for one reason or another: the first is King Diamond, I don’t know why but my schedule and King’s can never seem to match. The other band that I have never seen before is Slayer, and Mayhem 2012 is my opportunity. To say that I was giddy with anticipation is an understatement. I am pretty sure I looked like a 12-year-old girl waiting for a Justin Bieber concert to start. But again, after a short intermission Slayer took the stage and from the very first song, Darkness of Christ, it was obvious that Slayer was on their game and came to PA to blow my freaking mind! This set by Slayer was amazing and one of the strongest performances I have witnessed by a band in my life. One thing I know for sure after watching Slayer is that I will not miss them in concert ever again. For the next hour I was banging my head and thrashing my ass off to what Slayer brough to me and all of the lucky fans at the First Niagara Pavillion in Burgettstown, PA. If for any reason you were hesitant to go see this show, take my word for it, pay the money and go! Slayer did not disappoint with Hate Worldwide, Mandatory Suicide, Jesus Saves, Seasons in the Abyss, Hell Awaits, Dead Skin Mask, South of Heaven,and Angel of Death, with a few more songs rounding out there setlist. What an awesome show and band to end our evening on! Once again, I cannot reiterate this enough GO SEE SLAYER!
Picture of Tom my boy Rick snuck up from the lawn to take.
After Slayer was the other co-headliner Slipknot. I am not a fan of Slipknot, as I said Saturday at the show to a few of the people we were there with, I couldn’t even tell you a song that they perform. Not my deal, and looking at their audience they play to a much younger audience than me. I am not complaining just pointing out that the there really was no reason for me to stay at this point. But I will say that those that are into Slipknot seem to be really into them so good for them, I guess that is why they are the co-headliners. Still, to have any of these bands headline over Slayer seems a bit odd.
But all in all it was a great day for heavy metal music. Once again Anthrax, Motorhead and Slayer did not disappoint. As a matter of fact they once again beat my own expectations of what they were going to sound like. I also would like to give credit to the Mayhem Fest crews, I know they have this down to a science at this point but they really set these bands up fast and there was very little down time in between bands. Additionally, the sound was awesome, I was really surprised how great the sound was where we were in the lawn section. If that is how all concerts sound then it is lawn tickets from now on for those venues. Or not, standing on a hill-side for that long is really hard on the back and knees, I know, old man complaining. If they haven’t come to your town yet and you still have the opportunity, go see this event, trust me, worth it.
And one side note, what would a trip to Pittsburgh be without a trip to Danny’s and the best hoagie in the country (that’s right, I said it!)!
Danny’s Italian Hoagie!
Song of the Day: http://youtu.be/4lqx7WKnlyQ
Until later, Peace,