Rock it: Mayhem brings metal legends together at Klipsch Music Center

Posted on November 11, 2013

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Rock it: Mayhem brings metal legends together at Klipsch Music Center

By Rachael Mattice

rmattice@jconline.com

“This is the hottest tour of the summer, we really felt like the Jager stage fit our rowdy style,” said Anthrax lead guitarist Rob Caggiano in regard to why thrash metal band Anthrax wanted to be on the Rockstar Energy Drink’s Mayhem Festival tour.

Standing out from other annual tours, Mayhem has a uniqueness and popularity that sets it apart from any other music festival in this time period. It continually brings big name bands of recognizable caliber to headline the summer outdoor one-day festival for metal. Other than Ozzfest, which is no longer in existence, Mayhem has brought together tens of thousands of metal heads one day each year for a gathering of Hellions and musical ruckus.

This year at Klipsch Music Center in Noblesville, Ind., the venue specifically had a rather legendary lineup that spanned across different eras of metal dominancy.

Bands targeted at a younger demographic such as Whitechapel, Asking Alexandria, The Devil Wears Prada, As I Lay Dying and headliners Slipknot stoked the energy for hard mosh pits at both the Jagermeister Stage and the Main Stage.

Then there were groups that have produced numerous albums with a few more decades of disturbing the peace under their belt including iconic Motorhead, Slayer and Anthrax.

Whitechapel and Anthrax were the main attractions on the Jager stage, riling up a dust storm of chaos for the ‘war dance’ among fans.

A death metal sextet from Knoxville, Tenn., Whitechapel’s recently released self-titled album gave them new ammunition for intensity for the half hour afternoon set. Featuring new and old singles such as “Darkest Day of Man” and “I, Dementia,” Whitechapel killed their performance, only bringing in new fans if there were audience members unfamiliar with the band.

Longevity extraordinaires, Anthrax still carry around the rowdy, punch-kick mentality of 80s thrash metal and were as insane as they were 30 years ago.  Tearing out classics like “Antisocial,” which brought out a resonant crowd chant, “Indians” and “I Am the Law,” new songs from “Worship Music” were met with just as much loyalty.

Later on when the barricades were let down, crowds maneuvered into the pavilion preparing for Motorhead, Slayer, and finally, Slipknot.

Surprisingly somber for the predecessor and one of the founding father bands of metal, Motorhead’s fan reaction seemed out of the ordinary. Headbanging like no other and getting star struck in the photo pit staring uncomfortably at Lemmy, I was not happy with the non-exuberant motionless bodies of the audience.  My time with Motorhead was cut short to go and interview Rob Caggiano of Anthrax, which was pleasantly interrupted by Anthrax vocalist Joey Belladonna. I will never forget hearing “Ace of Spades” and “Killed by Death” in the background while I was conversing with metal stars.

Slayer was also incredible, piercing eardrums with their legendary chaotic ferocity.  Standing arm’s length away from Kerry King and Tom Araya made Araya’s screams a pleasurable epileptic mind explosion that is still lingering in my dreams.

Slipknot was a fan favorite, adding stunning theatrics that included flames and military bomb explosion assimilations. Nostalgia for “Wait and Bleed” and “Before I forget” did not peak my interest, but seemed to attract the masses.

For a more thorough review on Sunday, July 15th’s Mayhem event at Klipsch, see my blog that will also feature in-person interview’s with Whitechapel guitarist Alex Wade and Anthrax guitarist Rob Caggiano.

Not only heavy metal eccentric, Rock it will be taken under my wing every week, highlighting music coverage from all walks and guitar picks of life.

Mattice is a producer and music journalist at the Journal & Courier. She can be reached on Twitter @RachaelM_JC.

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Posted in: 2012