Mayhem Festival - Gexa Energy Pavilion - 7/10/12

Categories: Last Night

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Rachel Parker
Slayer

Mayhem Festival
Gexa Energy Pavilion
Tuesday, July 10

See also: The fans of Mayhem Festival

As I parked next to the Amsterdam and walked through Fair Park's Esplanade yesterday, I took in the neo-modernist sculptures and murals that adorn the Art Deco buildings. The closer I got to the Gexa Energy Pavilion, the more I started to question my own sanity. You see, what passes for modern metal on the radio turns me into Alex Ross. I hear the guitars - it is impossible not to - but the rest is noise. The guttural screams and angst-ridden musicianship does little but make me change the station.

However, that is reason enough to take in Rockstar Energy Drink's Mayhem Festival, Yes, I know Anthrax from their rather fantastic output, the guys in Slayer are legends, and "Lemmy is God." Nevertheless, I knew little about the other bands playing. To me, Slipknot was the band the guy with absurdly long hair and a ratty beard on the football team listened to. Devil Wears Prada is nothing more than a middling Anne Hathaway film, and bands like Asking Alexandria, Upon A Burning Body and I the Breather seem like candidates for the AV Club's annual "Worst Band Names" list.

I arrived at the gates to find hordes of sweaty, pail-skinned people clad in black waiting patiently in line, and a gentlemen in a camo hat took a second to deride my clothing as "norms" as I pass.There is actually much more camo than I would have expected. Scattered amongst the crowd are numerous tweens accompanied by out of place parents who seem desperate for a connection. These parents all seem to be wearing the same grim smile as their child takes a spot in the autograph line next to concertgoers who have decided a shirt is not needed and tribal tattoos are there for the world to see.

While making my way around the venue, I come across a young man named Jacob Smith, who is there with his grandmother, Ms. Pat Staggs. She quickly hands me a business card, which proclaims that "Jesus is Lord!," and lets me know she brought Jacob as a graduation present. The duo drove four hours to get here from the panhandle town of Paducah, and Ms. Staggs made sure to visit her brother in Ft. Worth. Her mother, all of 93, still drives. Jacob sheepishly says he's here to see Whitechapel and Slipknot and that he's starting at Vernon College in Wichita Falls soon. I smile and thank them for their time, amazed at what you can see at these gatherings.

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Rachel Parker
Look! There, in the brush, a Slipknot fan in his native habitat.
While making my way to Anthrax, I actually come across my own stepbrother, a young man I have not seen in three years. He asks me to pose for a picture and makes me promise to find him for "Slayer!" I walk away slightly stunned, wondering what's next. On stage, Anthrax front man Joey Belladonna thanks Dallas for "30 years of support," and I let that statement sink in. Guitarist Scott Ian's trademark goatee is no longer at its raccoon peak, and is now more a willowy gray. At one point Belladonna calls for all the patrons to "mosh, throw up the horns, and move." The band is performing the WARDANCE and demand that everyone move, "even the motherfuckers in the wheelchairs."

While making my way to the main stage to catch Motörhead, I'm impressed by the finely-tuned consumerism. For $7.50, you can buy a piece of lukewarm pizza; for $4.50, a water. For a domestic beer, it's $12.50, and it's even more if you want a mixed drink from one of the many "lounges" that are hidden away from the action. Each band has their own merch tent and each makes it a point to take time to sign autographs. For just $35, you can have shirt, and $30 gets you a hardback coffee table book of tour photos (this is a steal). Almost anything can be purchased here, from branded thongs to used drumheads. The bands and labels have taken to merchandising with gusto; if you want it, they have it. There is even a line of clothing for potential parents to dress their progeny in. Nothing says metal like an onesie that reads, "I drink till I pass out."


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11 comments
Chet Walters
Chet Walters

I saw that guy!!! That Bill Gates looking guy right?!?! I laughed myself to death when I saw that fellow. He looked crazier to me than anyone else at that show...and considering I saw a woman that had crazy Medusa looking hair, that's saying a lot!

Metaltildeath
Metaltildeath

I think I saw you, the douche in the green izod polo and khaki shorts with earplugs in? Pathetic......and also there were plenty of people at that show with real careers and aren't trashy as you imply everyone at the show was. I am a teacher/coach and attended with a fellow educator and an air traffic controller. You should never be allowed to comment on metal ever, the show was freakin awesome.

BARBIEMOLINA
BARBIEMOLINA

hey i got my picture taken by you guys and it was an awesome one!! where can i see it??? (: MAYHEM WAS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chet Walters
Chet Walters

This has to be one of the worst event reviews I have ever seen in my life. You spoke barely anything of the music itself. Did you know nothing about this event or the bands playing before you decided to "observe" (if you could even call it that) and report about it? All you did was speak of consumerism and the audience attending said event. Oh wait, you did mention a bit about 3 bands that you probably attended for maybe half of their set-lists. How could you attend and write a review article about a concert without even staying for the headlining band? Maybe next time you should try and be a little less biased before you write a review for anything before your credibility as a journalist becomes obsolete.

Jon Daniel
Jon Daniel

I never said you are currently affiliated with 35 Denton. You identify yourself in your twitter profile as "Formally a programmer for the 35Denton festival", and my point is still salient. You were in the business, so I expect a higher level of commitment to idea of educating and informing on this blog.  If you are not "indie rock guy", you are still NOT "corporate music guy", so again, my point remains valid. You may find Slipknot's music lame or distasteful, but the business model is important. The whole post reads like the "I'm from in town, went to the Super Wal-Mart in Garland, and OMG these people are all fat and dress poorly!" It's a tired story, man.... Find a different angle

TLS
TLS

This isn't a concert review.  This is "what I saw" at a concert and what you saw at this concert is AT EVERY CONCERT!  Same people, different clothes. So what was the point of this drivel?  

Jaime-Paul Falcon
Jaime-Paul Falcon

A few quick points: While self-editing I removed a few things that might have cleared up my statements for you. I was trying to point the consumerism finger directly at Livenation and show how the bands have taken to other income streams. The fact that that failed to come over is a failure on my part. I fail to see where I positioned myself as the "indie rock guy," and please don't compare me to Pete. I actually care about what I write. Finally, I'm no longer affiliated with 35 Denton, so find something else.

just sayin'
just sayin'

It was a pretty lame review if you want to call it that. It was a waste of time to read. I know you guys desire page views, but did this one really merit being a 2 pager? You coulda knocked this one out in one sentence. "I walked in, walked around, took some pics, and left."

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mariejeankdkdk

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