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Machine Head, Godsmack and Disturbed closeout Mayhem Festival
Written by Melissa Garcia   
Monday, 11 July 2011 21:27

This year’s Mayhem Festival was set on the hilly venue known as the San Manuel Amphitheater in San Bernardino. This month long tour has only been in existence since 2008, but it’s already being known as one of the best heavy metal tours to date.The biggest names in metal have joined the tour and this year isn’t any different.

Machine Head, Godsmack, Dethklok and Disturbed were the headlining bands as Testament, Suicide Silence, and Trivium were performing on the smaller stages.

A genius move by those who set up the Mayhem Festival was how the two smaller stages sat side-by-side so when one band ended the next would immediately start on the other stage. It takes the hassle out of running from stage to stage. And without overlapping set times, it’s possible to see all of the bands perform their whole set.

The view at this festival was beastly to say the least. Yes, I know it’s a metal festival but please ladies leave those plaid mini-skirts and faded tramp stamps where they can’t be seen. As for the beer bellied men, it’s time to cut the frizzy ponytail and trim the scraggly beard.

Machine Head’s performance rocked the day into the night. They were the first main stage act and made themselves a hard one to follow.  “Imperium” and “Beautiful One,” started their set and they ended with “Halo,” “Locust,” and “Aesthetics of Hate.” By the end of their last song the crowds grew to the farthest part of the lawn area.

Godsmack played next and had the most entertaining set of the night. I appreciated the time they took to switch it up a bit. Instead of filling there set time with song after song, a drum battle was started between the drummer, Shannon Larkin and singer Sully Erna.  Both took turns bashing on drums and bongos, all while the platforms they were performing on rotated in circles. Not only that, Erna brought out Pantera’s legendary guitarist, Dimebag Darrell’s (RIP) fiancé for a quick introduction.

Their set had instrumental versions of a Black Sabbath song they also played the iconic “Voodoo.”  And what Godsmack set would be complete without “Awake”? Everytime I heard that song I want to join the army….

The next band has been rocking since 1995 with four out of the five albums hitting the number one spot on the Billboard 200 charts. Disturbed are veterans to all things metal and they certainly perform like it.

“Asylum,” had the beefiest intro I heard all night, but the pyrotechnics were the highlight of their performance. “Prayer,” was played and Disturbed definitely makes their songs there own by this particular noise, like hacking up loogies, which singer, David Draiman is known for. Their time on stage ended and the final performance of the night started.

Dethklok didn’t let the tired fans get a chance to yawn with their powerful and energetic performance. “Burn the Earth” and “Go into the Water” were mediocre compared to the ravenous guitar solo on “Duncan Hills Coffee Jingle.”

Besides all the hills to climb to get around the venue and the lack of shade, the day went on to express another great year for the Mayhem Festival.



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