Mayhem Festival -- Pittsburgh, PA -- August 1st, 2009
I went predominately for Slayer/Behemoth/Cannibal Corpse; didn't care about the other bands.
This was my first Rockstar Mayhem festival, as the Metal Masters Tour last year was a much more worthy investment of $50+ to a heavy metal-based tour/festival (a show which still stands out in my mind as my favorite show I have attended, eclipsed somewhat by maybe a couple of Opeth performances, the atmosphere of the Maryland Deathfest, and perhaps...SLAYER?!).
The first couple hours were spent taking in the scenery, until Behemoth's time to hit the stage. This was my 3rd time seeing Behemoth (after seeing them on the Radio Rebellion Tour in '07 and with Dimmu Borgir last year), and they brought it as expected. The new Nergal mask is quite Battle Metal. After what felt like a swift performance, Nergal came back out and gave the Pittsburgh crowd an encore, which I haven't seen them do in other cities, judging by the other Mayhem Fest setlists. I was favoring a performance of 'From The Pagan Vastlands' but settled for 'I Got Erection', which I've never heard until its performance. The transaction came to this:
Slaves Shall Serve
At The Left Hand Ov God
Ov Fire And The Void
Chant For Ezkaton
I Got Erection
After more time-killing, involving free Rockstar energy drink consumption, and some walking around, I got in close to the Hot Topic stage for the second time for Cannibal Corpse's performance. I've never been terribly big on Cannibal Corpse, but seeing them live might have changed my position on them.. Alex Webster is a master at his craft, and Corpsegrinder's banter in between songs was unexpectedly amusing. As for the performance, it was a good and violent close to the second stage performances. Compared to other Mayhem setlists, we got some modifications from these guys as well.. No 'I Cum Blood' or 'Sentenced To Burn' but we did get 'Fucked With A Knife' (...did I just type that?) and 'Unleashing The Bloodthirsty'. Corpsegrinder also teased 'Hammer Smashed Face' as the closing song, but gave us 'Stripped' in the end.. Here it is.
The Time To Kill Is Now
Unleashing The Bloodthirsty
Fucked With A Knife
Make Them Suffer
Priests Of Sodom
Hammer Smashed Face
Stripped, Raped And Strangled
After that, I regained my bearings and went over to sit by the main stage. The Pittsburgh date was one of the lucky dates to not get Bullet For My Valentine. They were replaced with Mushroomhead, who aren't much better in my opinion, but at least has an interesting stage demeanor to distinguish itself.
After enduring Mushroomhead and Killswitch Engage, the time came for SLAYER~! In my mind, Slayer remains one of the finest acts to emerge from the 80s, and while the majority of their post-Seasons material is iffy, they remain vital to thrash and traditional metal's family tree. And their performance did not disappoint. Their sound wasn't the best, but I was there for an epic bangover courtesy of Tom, Jeff, Kerry and Dave, not for ass-slickened audio quality. No set modifications, but here's the set nevertheless.
Darkness Of Christ/Disciple
Born Of Fire
Ghosts Of War
Dead Skin Mask
Angel Of Death
South Of Heaven
A surprisingly great day of metal, courtesy of those 3 bands, from beginning up to the 'I Only Came For Slayer' traffic.
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