Miss May I took to the Coldcock Whiskey stage next to put on the best performance I’ve ever seen from them. I hadn’t seen MMI play in quite some time, but I had been disappointed by their live vocalists’ performances in the past. Despite the sweltering heat and even though this date was rather late in the tour, frontman Levi Benton, and bassist/clean vocalist Ryan Neff both sounded flawless. Their set featured several newer songs that I wasn’t familiar with including “Refuse to Believe,” “Day by Day” and “Gone.” However, they also dug into their discography to play one of their older fan-favorites, “Relentless Chaos.” Their crowd, though still small by Mayhem Festival standards, had swollen in numbers to several hundred by that point in the day, and even complied when told to do a circle pit–though perhaps a bit over enthusiastically, as there were not enough people to occupy the circle they opened, causing it to devolve into a line of kids running laps. One of the highlights of their set was drummer Jerod Boyd–who, while technically skilled, is also probably one of the more entertaining drummers in metal–throwing and spinning his sticks, and standing on his drum set at times.
Emmure were up next on the Victory stage. This is the first time I’ve seen Emmure play live, but I wasn’t disappointed and neither was the audience, who seemed engaged throughout the set. Frontman Frankie Palmeri and his bandmates lay down a set that was heavier than a ton of bricks, featuring “Nemesis,” “Most Hated,” and “Children of Cybertron.”
I was stoked to find out what all the hype was about with the next band, Body Count, over on the Sumerian Stage. Ice-T came out, flanked by his band members and unleashed an interesting set of metal music. Ever the charismatic frontman, Ice-T got the crowd hyped early into the bands’ first song, “There Goes the Neighborhood.” They continued on with several more tracks, including “Manslaughter,” and “Cop Killer.” I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed their performance, definitely a band worth checking out on future tours!
Cannibal Corpse were the last band on the side-stages that day–which was probably for the best, since I can’t help but think it would be hard to follow a band like them. They opened their set with “Scourge of Iron,” following with “Demented Aggression,” “Make them Suffer,” “Hammer Smashed Face,” and more. During their set, frontman George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher announced to the audience that the band would be putting out a new record in the fall, but didn’t play any new tracks, which was kind of a bummer.
Due to the 104 degree heat–the last band I saw before retreating to the comfort of my car’s air conditioning was the mighty Trivium. Trivium’s set was mainly comprised of songs off of 2013’s Vengeance Falls and 2011’s In Waves, however they did play “Dying In Your Arms” off of Ascendancy and “Anthem” off of The Crusade–so there was some material off of older records to please longtime fans. Overall they put on a great show despite the heat–frontman Matt Heafy was in his usual goofy form, striking many a Miley Cyrus-esque pose with his tongue out. While the crowd didn’t seem to be too into it at the start of their set, the band seemed to win them over by the end.
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