Tuesday afternoon I headed back up to Saratoga for another musical experience. Unlike the Allman Brothers or Santana, the bands on the bill were completely new to me. The event, Mayhem Fest, was essentially a Heavy Metal extravaganza, a genre I have
very little no experience with, truth be told. But there I was, me and 8000 + metal heads.
I arrived a bit late due to a fest of my own, that is little love fest between me and a fantastic sandwich from Cardona’s – the Augusto with the addition of hot peppers. Sadly enough, we missed Anthrax who were touring with a local guy on drums. Bummer. The preliminary acts apparently alternated between the main stage and a secondary stage set up behind the brick concessions building. By the time we got there, though, the action was limited to the amphitheater stage. And the audience, of course.
The crowd was very different from the folks I had felt so very comfortable with just a couple of days prior. There were more younger people, lots of piercings and a tendency for devil’s horns as an integral part of each picture that I observed being taken. Happily enough for me, males outnumbered females by at least a ratio of 4 to 1 guaranteeing speedy bathroom breaks for the ladies, while the guys were left standing in line for a change.
The bands were good – those in the know really seemed to enjoy Motörhead and Slayer and they definitely put on a great show which was well-received by the audience. I enjoyed the energy and, despite my ignorance, felt completely comfortable head banging bobbing along with the crowd. The mosh pit freaked me out. Maybe it is my cautious nature, but I don’t really understand the thrill of
throwing my body into another’s, at least not publicly. I’m just not reckless and it seems like an exceedingly reckless thing to do. Moshers – can you explain the impulse?
The headliner of the event was Slipknot, a band with which I was completely unfamiliar. I mean, other than as a soundtrack to my worst nightmare, that is. I absolutely do not get the appeal of a bunch a guys in horrific masks and orange prison jumpsuits screaming vile, angry words while stomping around the stage. If you haven’t been
assaulted by exposed to them before click here to get a sense of what I’m talking about. I don’t know what makes them so different to me from the dramatic, theatrical bands of my youth (Kiss, for instance) but they just seemed to be vomiting rage and I was incredibly disturbed by them. Please forgive me for lacking an iota of appreciation for what they do, but it just ain’t for me. I can only assume they wear those masks so they can’t be identified as the producers of such an angry excuse for music. Yuck.
Am I missing something? I certainly don’t require convincing or persuading, but if you’re inclined to share any appreciation you might have for this act, please feel free to share. I know I have no interest in ever seeing them again, even with good company and an excellent sandwich to sweeten the deal.