For the last two months the 2012 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival has been bringing a healthy dose of metal and mayhem to stops across the U.S. After finally making its way to the East Coast, the metal extravaganza wraps up today (Aug. 5) clocking in its last show at the Comcast Centre in Hartford. Ct.

Boasting a three stage monster lineup, the 2012 class of Mayhem Fest may have been one of the best in the festival’s short tenure, certainly raising the bar for next year. The decks have to be clearly stacked when thrash icons Anthrax are closing out the second stage, drumming up as much enthusiasm from the crowd as the main stage acts. Joining Anthrax on the Jagermeister Stage were As I Lay Dying, The Devil Wears Prada, White Chapel and more.

Metalcore outfit Asking Alexandria were the youngest act on the Main Stage, setting the tone for the metal giants that followed them: Motorhead, Slayer and Slipknot. Motorhead took to the stage while the sun was still shining brightly giving the crowd exactly what they wanted – a loud, down and dirty rock ‘n’ roll show. After all, as Lemmy Kilmister has been reminding fans for decades, “We are Motorhead and we play Rock and Roll.”

The only thing louder than Motorhead that day was Slayer. The ground shook as the metal giants took to the stage, killing an hour long set. The only thing missing was Jeff Hanneman on guitar, but Exodus guitarist Gary Holt has been doing a great job in his absence. Guitarist Kerry King recently said that Holt was the first person that came to mind and has been a perfect choice as Hanneman continues his recovery from a flesh-eating condition brought on by a spider bite.

For Slipknot fans Mayhem Fest marks the first tour the band has been a part of since the passing of bassist Paul Gray. While Slipknot continue to move forward after the loss of their friend and bandmate, frontman Corey Taylor recently made it clear that he will not be replaced, saying “There will never be another mask. There will never be another #2.” Slipknot were also down a second man when Mayhem kicked off with guitarist Jim Root missing some dates due to a burst appendix, but on this night, he was back on stage in his rightful place, sporting his signature mask.

Slipknot’s set induced sensory overload as the masked men took to the stage in a frenzy and slayed the audience for over an hour. Their theatrical set was the perfect complement to the musical mayhem that ensued, providing the perfect ending to a long, impressive day of metal.


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