LIVE REVIEW: Mayhem Festival // Atlanta, GA

by: Jessie Hays

Show Date: August 1, 2014
Location: Atlanta, GA
Venue: Lakewood Amphitheatre

American music festivals have boomed in popularity over the last 3 decades, with Mayhem Festival being one of the newest. Since its inception in 2008, the annual summer tours have swooped through North America to combine many hard rock and heavy metal sub genres. The festival provides something for everyone– from hardcore to nu metal, from mainstream to obscure. The 2014 headliners definitely did not disappoint. Mayhem Fest brought some of the biggest acts in recent music history to close out the show. Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, Asking Alexandria, and Trivium rocked the main stage, but not before a plethora of shows by the fest’s incredible openers.

Hardcore metal fans were greeted with a nice surprise when San Antonio’s Upon A Burning Body opened the Festival. Their loud and energetic performance kicked off the series of shows and was just a hint of what the crowd could expect for the rest of the day. Up next was Chicago based deathcore band, Veil of Maya, who began the show with a powerful set and kicked off the Mayhem properly. Although they are newcomers to Mayhem Fest, they have released three full albums and are currently signed with Sumerian Records.

Certainly one of the most popular openers, Mushroomhead put on a very theatrical show with atypical instruments, members switching roles, and a variety of their old and new hits. They are certainly not newcomers to the scene; these metal veterans have been wowwing crowds since 1993 and don’t show any signs of stopping. The Cleveland, Ohio nine-piece band has put out eight albums and have released their most recent album, The Riteous and the Butterfly in 2014.

Gracing the stage next were Los Angeles thrash metal legends Body Count and were one of the biggest performances of the Festival. Fronted by the very outspoken Ice-T, they’ve been hating cops and starting mosh pits since 1990 and aquired a ton of amazing fans along the way. Body Count performed their original controversial hits along with a sneak peek to some new tracks and revealed they’re currently working on a new album this year.

Death metal veterans Cannibal Corpse closed out the openers with an intense show and a very amped up crowd. They’ve been in the metal scene since 1988 and have released an incredible twelve albums, and are well known for their controversial lyrics and graphic album art. They are currently signed to Metal Blade Records and their thirteenth album will be released in September this year.

Orlando based metal act Trivium kicked off the festival finale, and as always, did not fail to amaze. Since 2000 they have released six studio albums and have managed to make their name known while also sticking to their original sound. After the first of four main acts, english metalcore sensation Asking Alexandria took the stage and took everyone by storm. Their crowd was one of the most excited at the entire festival, and AA has incredible gratitude to their audience. Since 2008 they’ve released three hit records and definitely have staying power.

Korn is one of the most recognizeable nu metal bands in the world, and was one of the most anticipated bands of Mayhem Fest. The five piece group hails from Bakersfield, California and has been active in the music industry since 1993. They’ve recieved many notable awards for their hit songs including two Grammys, MTV VMA awards for Best Rock Video, and two Karrang! Awards for Best Album and Hall of Fame. They’ve released eleven records and have experimented with many various music styles throught the last two decades.

It was no doubt that Mayhem Fest provided a ton of tough acts to follow. Avenged Sevenfold successfully took on the challenge of closing it all down and showing the crowd what Mayhem was all about. The hard rock band out of Huntington Beach, California is once of the most recognizable and well known in its genre, and put on a theatrical performance that was second to none. With dark lyrics and intricate guitar licks, they have a sound that is very unique and their fans and critics alike love them for it. They’ve put out six hit albums since 2001 and made sure to include a versitle mix of new and old favorites for everyone to enjoy.

The best part about Mayhem Fest? These weren’t even all the performers. They pack so much awesome talent into one day that it’s almost impossible to see every single one, but the options are vast and metal fans can take their pick. The tickets are worth every penny, the bands bring their all, and the crowd is so alive. This festival is here to stay.

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