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Ghost Canyon

Concert Reviews
Mayhem Festival 2009
(DTE Energy Theatre, Clarkston, MI - August 2nd, 2009)

What do mosh pits, double bass, leather skirts, Rockstar energy drink, and DTE Energy Music Theater in Detroit, Mi have in common? Mayhem Fest 2009. This hardcore event of metal boasted bands like White Chapel, Jobforacowboy, God Forbid, Behemoth, Trivium, Mushroomhead, Slayer, and Marilyn Manson. There were high flying motor cycles, free Rockstar energy drinks, three stages, and the Jagermeister was flowing all day long. Metal bands came from all over the country to be there, Mayhem Fest even hosted a band from right here in Detroit.

As soon as they hit the Hot Topic stage the crowd exploded is screams of metal mayhem. Being from Detroit, The Black Dahlia Murder felt good to be home. They ravaged the crowd with their super fast double bass, extremely heavy guitar, mind numbing lyrics, and intense solos. Trevor Strnad, the lead vocalist, constantly yelled for the crowd to mosh. At one point, he had every one in the crowd stop, he said that he wanted a circle pit and wasn’t going to start until he had one. There was no waiting, as soon as he said that, the entire crowd got into it. The Black Dahlia Murder left the crowd broke down, bleeding, and wanting more.

As All That Remains takes the Jagermeister stage, the crowd immediately gets ready to mosh. When the first song begins to sound from the speakers, the crowd explodes into thousands of screaming fans bashing into each other all in the name of metal. The singer, Philip Labonte, was all over the stage, from standing on the speakers on the edges of the stage to standing on the bass drum. At one point, he takes out a camera and starts to video the crowd. He says that they are making a music video and wanted to get some footage of the crowd. Labonte admitted to the crowd that he loves vagina and even dedicated a song to it. All That Remains destroys the crowd with their heavy guitars and bass and their powerful melodies.

Cannibal Corpse hit the Hot Topic stage with an onslaught of horrocore metal music. They come at you hard and fast with a metal sounds like no other putting the crowd into a frenzy with their super fast drumming to their mind numbing solos. The entire crowd would scream along with the bands barley understandable lyrics with ease. After interviewing Alex Webber, the bassist, seeing him on stage and the kind of music that he played was sort of Dr. Jeckel Mr. Hyde. With his two years of history and his two dogs that are like toto from the wizard of oz, you would never had expected him to play the death metal that he loves.

There wasn’t much movement on the stage during the songs due to how fast and hard these guys played. Other then George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher, the lead vocalist, moving around on the stage and both Rob Barrett and Pat O'Brien, the guitarists, coming up to the front to do their solos, the band just stayed in one place, swinging their extremely long hair in circles as they played. Cannibal corpse leaves you bleeding on the side of the road gasping for air, and you love it.

Thousands of people file into the lawn and pavilion to watch this epic event of metal on the main stage. The intensity of Killswitch Engage electrifies the crowd into a trance of head banging. The band comes out one by one dawning shirts that look like tuxedos At one point this very large man wearing the same tux shirt that the band was wearing, but about five times too small and shorts that were about six times too small came running out on to the stage and started dancing, as fast as he came on he was gone. The whole crowd, along with the lead singer was confused about what just happened. Killswitch Engage rocked the fans with high energy and pyrotechnics, leaving us screaming and begging for more.

A white sheet covers the whole main stage and the sounds of guitars start. After a few minutes, the sheet drops and the crowd erupts in chants of the bands name. Slayer takes the stage and blasts you with a metal sounds that rivals none. Thousands upon thousands of screaming fans bang their head and throw their fists in the air. Mosh pits form in the lawn as pieces of sod get thrown into the mix. After all of the songs the lights would dim and the band would congregate at the drums then come right back out with another song.

With their most popular songs, Tom Araya, the lead vocalist, would say the chorus before the song to get the crowd hyped and to let them know of the song they were about to play. This epic onslaught of metal blows away your eardrums and emits onto you a feeling of shear adrenalin. You are compelled to slam your head back and forth and pound the seat in front of you until there is nothing left but a mangled piece of plastic. The show that slayer puts on is a show that no band can emulate. Their explosive energy and use of pyrotechnics and lights in the shapes of crosses spinning on the backdrop of the stage, sometimes stopping the spinning as the cross was upside down, were so amazing they will make your eyes bleed.

Behind this massive black curtain hanging from the top of the main stage lights are flashing to the beat of a bass drum. Then the curtain drops and out steps Marilyn Manson, the crowd erupts. Explosions of music come from the speakers. After every song, he tosses his microphone and a stage hang comes out with a new one. As the crowd rages on, Manson puts on a truly controversial show including, but not limited to, burning a fake bible. For some of the songs, like Sweet Dreams, he had things attached to the microphone to add to the effect of the song.

For instance, during Sweet Dreams, the entire place went dark except for a few lights on stage, and Manson comes out wearing a white cloak over his head with a light attached to his microphone so all that you could really see was his face. For the beginning of the song called Dope Show, Manson was center stage with about four stage hands around with him what looked like a life support system, and right before the song, he told the crowd to not do drugs. As the band plays longer, the crowd is drawn in by the lyrics and truly unique metal experience that only Manson creates. Manson interacts with the crowd by throwing them his jackets and hats, inviting them to scream along with him into the microphone, and even spitting beer at them.

At one point, Manson takes these devil horns that a fan has been holding up the entire show and puts them on. The stage goes red and looks truly demonic. As he finishes his show with Beautiful People, the crowd only wants more. After an incredible stage show, come truly unique music, and very powerful lyrics, the fans are left standing in their seats in awe of the spectacle that Manson just put on.

Review and Photos by: Ramon Trevino, Jr & Steve Alvarado