by Zane Cash
– Photojournalist —
August 7th, 2014 at the Downtown OKC Airpark in Oklahoma City, OK. —
The hottest (literally) metal festival of the year was in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Aug. 7, 2014 and Hardrock Haven was there to cover the madness! The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival has a dedicated fan base, that come back year after year, despite the warm temperatures and Oklahoma showed up on this 100 degree day in large numbers. With their metal faces on, they were excited to be at a beautiful new venue in the heart of downtown OKC. The Downtown OKC Airpark welcomed Mayhem back to the city this year, after fans were disappointed last year when there was no Oklahoma City date for the tour at the Zoo Amp, which is where the show was previously held.
With music on four stages this year, it was a crazy day full of live metal, drinking lots of water and trying not to overheat, while still having the time of your life. One of the coolest things about Mayhem is that most of the bands do signings for their fans after their set, or you can almost always find them walking around the concert grounds. It makes the experience one of a kind when you can actually say a few words to the people that you admire and respect for their musical talents. Fieldy, Ray and Head from Korn were spotted randomly throughout the day, supporting fellow musicians. Head was seen on stage during Upon A Burning Body (watching the show) and then Danny Leal (singer for Upon A Burning Body) and the guys from Suicide Silence were spotted in the crowd watching Korn.
This year’s lineup had a little something for everyone and included bands such as Erimha, Islander, Wretched, Ill Nino, Emmure, Darkest Hour, Veil of Maya, Upon A Burning Body, Body Count featuring Ice-T, King 810, Texas Hippie Coalition, Mushroomhead, Miss May I, Suicide Silence and Cannibal Corpse on the side stages, while Trivium, Asking Alexandria, Korn and Avenged Sevenfold were on the main stage.
Some of the highlights of the day included epic moments such as one of the guys from Mushroomhead crowd surfing on an inflatable whale and actually walking on top of the crowd, Korn allowed their children to come on stage with them during the last song of the night and one random (crazy) fan decided to climb to the top of the main stage, which caused Avenged Sevenfold to leave the stage until the issue was resolved and the guy finally decided to come down.
Overall, the bands gave everything they had and put on an incredible show. Each band playing crowd favorites as well as songs from their newest albums; Korn and Avenged Sevenfold showed the crowd exactly why they were chosen as the headliners and ended the night perfectly. It’s hard to adequately describe the Mayhem Festival, simply because there is so much going on and lots of things to do and see, but it’s something that you truly have to experience for yourself. If you’re a fan of metal, make sure you find a date near you in 2015 and put it on your calendar. It will be well worth the drive and standing in the heat to hear the music that you love.