Mayhem Festival Jul 26, 2015 – Wantagh, NY. Nikon Theater at Jones Beach

A festival that started 8 years ago out of the burning ashes of Ozzfest and gained sustaining popularity through the years. It's sad to see it's gates closed. But...

King Diamond



© Dhruv Kumar

All live Photos by Dhruv Kumar


With the recent burial of Mayhem Festival as a certainty, we still like to provide with some notes on the live gig. In the past the festival had feature some pretty killer bands, but this year as some of you are aware, the banter that started between Festival co founder Kevin Lyman and Slayer, that on top of deflating sales, it has been formally announced that 2015 will be the last year of Mayhem, may it rest in peace.
A festival that started 8 years ago out of the burning ashes of Ozzfest and gained sustaining popularity through the years. It’s sad to see it’s gates closed. But that doesn’t stop us from giving you a little skinny on the bands that played the Wantagh gig in NY. Here you go…

By the time I got to the venue; Code Orange was the first band I covered. They were okay nothing amazing. The music sounded like mish mash and the drummer happened to be the singer for the band. From what I could hear it was just a bunch of noise and screaming. Not my thing but you take the good with the bad at festivals.

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Sworn In was the next band that played and they were okay. Not a lot of movement on stage except for the singer. By the end of the first song like 98% of the photogs left if that should tell you something. Music was decent but the energy from the band was not there. I guess they needed rockstar energy drinks.

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Jungle Rot hit the stage running and to my surprise, were actually pretty good. The lead singer looked super pissed and had a menace look. The band great energy for a metal band and got a few people to crowd surfing. There weren’t that many people there to begin with but it got the party going at least.

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Sister Sin was pretty interesting. Providing a mix of death metal or metal core similar to the previous lineup, but their energy was sufficient and had way better stage presence. The female lead vocals by Liv was pretty energetic and she carried her electric vocals by singing right in front of the fans numerous times. The rest of the band also had some good energy.

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Whitechapel were fucking awesome. I was rocking out in the pit with a few others and this was where the majority of the crowd surfers came from. It was just sad to see them play for a small audience. It was kind of scary. I haven’t seen a small crowd for Whitechapel ever! Whitechapel was great!

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Devil Wears Prada were awesome as well but they played for 100 people in a 15000+ theater venue. No one was there and it kinda felt weird. This was a sign that it was going downhill (previously reported throughout the year campaign of the festival, sign of things to come unfortunately.)

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Hellyeah was pretty good considering it was my first time seeing them. Lead singer Chad Gray of Mudvayne fame brought an electric performance. Another highlight was seeing legend Vinny Paul on stage, and these guys have an awesome fan base. Pretty great live performance, regulars of most of the major USA summer festivals.

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Horror Metal legends King Diamond are pure class. Regardless of the fact they have not released a studio album in 8 years, the fact they we’re on of the main bills on Mayhem, made it worthwhile for some old school heavy metal fans. They put on a great performance regardless of crowd size. King himself is a great presence live, and the rest of the band sounded tight as they blew threw some of their classic cuts. A damn shame that more Mayhem fans didn’t make it this year, they missed a great scene with King Diamond on stage.

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Slayer is Slayer. They always kick ass and shred, but there was such a small crowd for it to be a kick ass Slayer show. More than half of the venue was filled up. On this night it didn’t matter who was the headliners, without proper backing, the shockingly lack of emotion is felt throughout. An atrocity for some of the veteran bands on the bill. Mayhem should be a learning experience for future festivals in the USA, please can I suggest something? Borrow some marketing pointers from the UK people, because it seems like our friends across the pond just manage to sustain more and more amazing festivals each year. Rest in peace Mayhem. Lost but not forgotten. It was a good run. sulfur

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Photo Credit: Ange Cobham

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