Written by Clarissa Fraser.
The first mainstage band to appear at Rockstar’s Mayhem Fest at Molson Canadian Amphitheatre was Trivium. Although this was the time when people were trailing into the amphitheatre and trying to find their seats, Trivium had captured the attention of the crowd in the pit who were bouncing along. Unphased by the people not paying attention, Trivium played through their set with tons of energy and amping up the rest of the crowd.
Next up came Asking Alexandria, who for the first portion sounded like their old metalcore selves, with tons of heavy screams and breakdowns – even playing Final Episode from their first album. But as they moved through their set, you could hear the progression in their music, with more singing and melodies to appeal to a more mainstream metal crowd, and far from their first album. Even though vocalist Danny said, “the more drunk you get, the better we sound” – it seems that the crowd liked them no matter what.
Leading up to the end came direct support numetal band, Korn. This band had the real feel of an arena metal band, with everyone suddenly on their feet singing along. Korn had probably the most energy I’d seen all day, and it reflected right onto the crowd. By the time they played “Freak on a Leash”, everyone had their full attention on the band.
Finally, after a long day jam packed with bands, it was time for the headliner – Avenged Sevenfold. The entire atmosphere changed as soon as their A7X curtain dropped to cover the stage, and when the band came out it felt like a whole different show. Even the production value changed dramatically – suddenly the two main screens that broadcast the band’s onstage antics became higher quality and made it felt like you were watching a big budget band DVD. Beyond that, there were another three screens behind the band that showed either more closeup footage of the band or graphic images (like a super creepy bunch of skeletons behind bars or a body hanging from a noose) making the audience either feel right up close and personal to the band, or terrified – take your pick. Everything about Avenged Sevenfold’s set commanded the fans’ attention – from the crazy set up (a giant statue of the undead king rolled out behind the band at one point) to the setlist of obvious fan favourites. Everyone spent their night on their feet, singing along, eyes glued to the stage – exactly how a great concert should be. Even if you’re not huge fan of Avenged Sevenfold – their live set is enough to pull you in and keep you captivated.