Mayhem Festival delivers musical thunder and lightning
Mayhem Festival, which celebrates metal and heavy metal rock, took place Tuesday at Auburn's White River Amphitheatre with a lineup that included Slayer, Motorhead and the intriguing Slipknot. The afternoon and evening of thunderous music and exploding flashpots was capped by a surprise appearance by Seattleitie Duff McKagan, formerly of Guns N'Roses.
Special to The Seattle Times
Concert Review |
It was a day of musical thunder and lightning — but mercifully little rain — Tuesday at Auburn's White River Amphitheatre.
The 2012 Mayhem Festival rolled into the sprawling venue for nearly 10 hours of headbanging anthems, featuring headliners Motorhead, Slayer and Slipknot and a blitzkrieg of exploding flash pots and blinding strobes. A surprise appearance by a Seattle rock star added to the fun.
Mayhem is one of the noisiest tours on the planet, with more than a dozen metal or heavy-metal bands of all subgenres playing to hordes of tattooed, face-painted fans.
Most of the action before 6 p.m. was on a large outdoor stage and a tent for emerging acts. The lineup at both — where vocalists with growling, guttural voices ruled the day — featured such bands as Dirtfedd, As I Lay Dying, Asking Alexandria and Anthrax.
Later, the action moved to the main stage, where the day's final act, Slipknot, was the most fascinating. Wearing red uniforms and horror-film masks and face paint, the Iowa-bred metal band led by vocalist Corey Taylor performed an explosive set of pyro-enhanced musical theater, mixing aggressive metal tunes with some of the band's softer (relatively speaking) music. Fake snowflakes fell during the song "Vermillion," while flash pots punctuated some of the heavier tunes, which included "Eyeless" and "Disasterpiece."
Preceding Slipknot was the formidable Slayer, whose stage production featured two flame-spewing, upside-down crosses made of stacked amplifiers. Fans greeted the band's intense, high-decibel set by pumping heads and raising fists in devil-horn salutes. The frenetic guitar work and powerhouse drumming put fans in a state of euphoria. Pumping the crowd was singer-bassist Tom Araya. (Guitarist Gary Holt subbed for Jeff Hanneman, who is recovering from flesh-eating disease.)
Taking the stage just before Slayer was old warhorse Motorhead, featuring bassist Lemmy Kilmister, guitarist Phil Campbell and amazing drummer Mikkey Dee, whose pounding precision was a constant delight.
Concertgoers got a delightful surprise when Duff McKagan, formerly of Guns N' Roses, joined the veteran English heavy-metal band for "Killed by Death." The raucous guest performance gave the day a nice Seattle spin, and fans roared their approval for the hometown star.
Gene Stout: firstname.lastname@example.org