2014’s Mayhem Festival Kicks off in San Bernardino, CA


Mayhem Festival

July 5, 2014

San Bernardino, CA

            A day after a night full of celebrating the independence of our country, us Californians got a chance to continue the party with some good ol’ heavy metal. The 2014 Mayhem Festival kicked off their 27 date, 4 stage tour festival on July 5, 2014. Fans packed in early and despite the heat, they supported the side stage bands (whose stages were conveniently side by side) throughout the day.

While the main stage line-up was sure to please any rock/metal fan, the 3 side stages had amazing talent of their own. Highlights from the Coldcock Whiskey Stage included Suicide Silence, Miss May I and Mushroomhead; highlights from the Sumerian Stage were Bodycount ft. Ice-T and Upon a Burning Body; and the must-sees on the Victory Records Stage were Erimha and Wretched.

            Each artist and each stage brought their own flare and style and fans were lucky to see such diversity. Erimha used the Mayhem Festival to gain new fans as they are a newer band and had a lot to prove. They put on actual show, wearing ripped cloth, face paint and masks. They gave their new fans a taste of their one and only album, Reign through Immortality; and judging by the mosh pits and headbanging, the fans were definitely enjoying these guys. Wretched performed a strong set in support of their newest album, Cannibal and gave the metal-heads something to headbang to.

            Mushroomhead was one of the must-see artists of Mayhem Festival. The masked rockers had an intense performance which got the crowd more and more pumped with each song. Water went flying off the drums and band members went reaching into the crowd, running alongside the barricade. Songs from their set included, Out Apologies; Born of Desire;  new song, We Are the Truth and more. Also coming from the Coldcock Whiskey Stage was ‘Warped Tour’ native bands, Suicide Silence and Miss May I both of which proved that they can please an older, metal crowd and that their music isn’t just for the “scene fan-girls”.

Both bands got the crowd moving, early in their sets. Fans moshed, crowd surfed and sang along throughout both sets. Eddie Hermida, the new lead vocalist of Suicide Silence knew there were big shoes to fill and it seemed that everyone was happy that he took on the role after former singer, Mitch Lucker passed away. They performed Cease to Exist; Unanswered; new song, You Can’t Stop Me and closed their set with You Only Live Once.

            The last side stage, The Sumerian Stage featured Bodycount with lead singer, Ice-T (yes- THAT Ice-T) and brought out a lot of the older metal-heads and was one of the band’s everyone was talking about. They delivered, with a powerful performance that left everyone wanting more. The new talk of the town, Upon a Burning Body performed just before Bodycount and despite their recent publicity stunt (where singer Danny Leal went ‘missing’), it looked as though the fans had forgotten the incident. Leal encouraged crowd surfing and their set made the security staff really work for their money. The band also showcased new songs including Red Razor Wrists and Scars.

  As the sun went down and the side stages began to finish, people started making their way into the Amphitheater to see the 4 main stage bands; Trivium, Asking Alexandria, Korn and Avenged Sevenfold.

Opening up the main stage were Florida natives, Trivium who performed a hard-hitting set for the heat worn fans. They performed Vengeance Falls; Anthem (We Are the Fire) and closed out the set with In Waves. The band came together and played as one, with their new drummer, Mat Madiro, who was officially introduced as Trivium’s new drummer on July 7, 2014. Following their set was another known ‘Warped Tour’ type band: Asking Alexandria. Many people were skeptical about them performing and being on main stage but the AA Family was there showing their support and their performance made the crowd appreciate these British metal-core guys. They performed Don’t Pray for Me; Breathless Break Down the Walls and more, and eventually had the crowd forget about the heat and get back into the rhythm of a show.

It was finally time for what many were waiting for- Korn. As the dread-locked (minus drummer Ray Luzier) band came on stage, cheers erupted in the packed amphitheater. There was so much excitement that there was a lawn fire before the band even got on stage! Although they weren’t the headlining band, they did have the longest set of the night- which is nothing to complain about. The band’s and the fans energies bounced off of one another throughout the 13 song set and proved to be one of the best performances of the night. Their set featured an array of songs ranging from their newest release to songs all the way from 20 years ago. Songs of the night included Falling Away From Me; Get Up!; Got the Life; Love & Meth; Blind and a live premier of their newest single, Hater, which the fans were already singing along to.

Ending the first day of Mayhem Festival 2014 was none other than Avenged Sevenfold and after about 9 hours of listening to music and being in the San Bernardino heat all day, everyone was excited for the band to take the stage. Their stage set up was better than all the bands prior, having fire coming out near the drum riser; pyro effects; and props, all of which made their show extra amazing. Their 12 song set kicked off with their latest single, Shepherd of Fire and was followed by Nightmare and Bat Country. For anyone who had doubted that Avenged Sevenfold could close out Mayhem Festival, you are sadly mistaken because this band commanded the crowd and had them moving and enjoying the show like no other. New drummer, Arin Iljeay showed his chops during Burn It Down and Critical Acclaim while guitar lord Synyster Gates showed what real guitar solos are like with Buried Alive; Burn It Down and Afterlife and vocalist M. Shadows captivated the crowd with his stage presence and vocal range. The band performed 10 songs, including Seize the Day which they dedicated to their former drummer, The Rev. Their encores included A Little Piece of Heaven and Unholy Confessions.

In short, although there were some minor, first day hiccups in production, Mayhem Festival 2014 was a definite success. Each stage brought something to the table and I would definitely recommend showing up early to see the lesser known bands and staying until the end for the more well known bands. All in all, Mayhem festival is truly mayhem- but the best possible type of mayhem anyone could want.

Review by: Nicole Lemberg

(Unfortunately we were unable to photograph Avenged Sevenfold)


Asking Alexnadria



Suicide Silence

Body Count ft. Ice T

Miss May I

Upon a Burning Body

Cannibal Corpse

Darkest Hour



Veil of Maya



Behind the Scenes