Mayhem? Yes. Music? I’m not sure.

You’ve been warned

Tuesday afternoon I headed back up to Saratoga for another musical experience.  Unlike the Allman Brothers or Santana, the bands on the bill were completely new to me.  The event, Mayhem Fest, was essentially a Heavy Metal extravaganza, a genre I have very little no experience with, truth be told.  But there I was, me and 8000 + metal heads.

I arrived a bit late due to a fest of my own, that is little love fest between me and a fantastic sandwich from Cardona’s – the Augusto with the addition of hot peppers.  Sadly enough, we missed Anthrax who were touring with a local guy on drums.  Bummer.  The preliminary acts apparently alternated between the main stage and a secondary stage set up behind the brick concessions building.  By the time we got there, though, the action was limited to the amphitheater stage.  And the audience, of course.

The crowd was very different from the folks I had felt so very comfortable with just a couple of days prior.  There were more younger people, lots of piercings and a tendency for devil’s horns as an integral part of each picture that I observed being taken.  Happily enough for me, males outnumbered females by at least a ratio of 4 to 1 guaranteeing speedy bathroom breaks for the ladies, while the guys were left standing in line for a change.

A view of the moshing from the amphitheater ramp.

The bands were good – those in the know really seemed to enjoy Motörhead and Slayer and they definitely put on a great show which was well-received by the audience.  I enjoyed the energy and, despite my ignorance, felt completely comfortable head banging bobbing along with the crowd.  The mosh pit freaked me out.  Maybe it is my cautious nature, but I don’t really understand the thrill of



throwing my body into another’s, at least not publicly.  I’m just not reckless and it seems like an exceedingly reckless thing to do.  Moshers – can you explain the impulse?

The headliner of the event was Slipknot, a band with which I was completely unfamiliar.  I mean, other than as a soundtrack to my worst nightmare, that is.  I absolutely do not get the appeal of a bunch a guys in horrific masks and orange prison jumpsuits screaming vile, angry words while stomping around the stage.  If you haven’t been assaulted by exposed to them before click here to get a sense of what I’m talking about.  I don’t know what makes them so different to me from the dramatic, theatrical bands of my youth (Kiss, for instance) but they just seemed to be vomiting rage  and I was incredibly disturbed by them.  Please forgive me for lacking an iota of appreciation for what they do, but it just ain’t for me.  I can only assume they wear those masks so they can’t be identified as the producers of such an angry excuse for music.  Yuck.

Am I missing something?  I certainly don’t require convincing or persuading, but if you’re inclined to share any appreciation you might have for this act, please feel free to share.  I know I have no interest in ever seeing them again, even with good company and an excellent sandwich to sweeten the deal.

2 thoughts on “Mayhem? Yes. Music? I’m not sure.

  1. I love metal but I can’t stand that gimmicky crap with costumes or when a “singer” tries to sound like he’s vomiting the six cigars he smoked for breakfast. Gimme Iron Maiden or Megadeth any day. Maiden is the band that turned me onto metal. Their lead singer could perform on Broadway. Those dudes are all in their 50’s and still putting on amazing shows. They’ve also never sold out to commercial radio and make their money from tours. In fact, their lead singer, flies the jet that hauls the band, crew and gear all over the world! They don’t need make up and masks to go out there and perform, their talent does all the work.

    Obviously there are a number of subgenres of metal and Slipknot is not in a category that I care for at all. I don’t get why they’re lumped together with excellent thrash bands like Slayer or Anthrax. There are cross-over fans, but there are more that are either into one style or the other.

  2. My brother is a big Iron Maiden fan and I kind of grew up hearing them, without having nightmares. I enjoyed the energy of the bands and the appreciative audience but once Slipknot started playing, my friend saw the horror on my face and knew it was time for us to go.

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