Godsmack Outshine Disturbed at New Jersey Mayhem Stop
It’s that time of year again when chaos is celebrated. This year’s Mayhem Festival tour stop in New Jersey’s PNC Bank Arts Center was headlined by bands such as Disturbed, Godsmack, Megadeth and Trivium -- and that was only the main stage. The Jagermeister stage featured Red Fang, Kingdom of Sorrow, Unearth and In Flames, while the Revolver stage had acts such as All Shall Perish, Suicide Silence, Machine Head and much more.
Headlining the Revolver Stage were Machine Head, who got the crowd riled up long before they even hit the stage. They completely destroyed the Revolver stage (in a good way). Frontman Rob Flynn sounded amazing and the rest of the band had vitality onstage; fans were enthusiastic throughout their entire set. Machine Head put one of the most impressive shows of the day.
Over on the Jagermeister stage Kingdom of Sorrow rocked Jersey. Lead singer Jamey Jasta (also of Hatebreed) may just be one of the most powerful heavy metal vocalists around. He has a great mix of edge and melody in his vocal range. His interaction with fans is genuine, which is why he had them in the palm of his hands. Kingdom of Sorrow, like Machine Head, were one of the more notable bands that performed on the side stages.
Swedish metalers In Flames headlined the Jagermeister stage and they moved fans with their music as well as their charm and humor. It was clear that their bond as a band and with fans is a strong one. It was easy to see why the band has such a massive following here in the States. (Editor's note: In Flames subsequently had to cancel all their remaining tour dates because of a terminal illness in the family of one of the band members.)
Over on the main stage, Trivium gave a solid performance. Matt Heafy’s vocals were on point and the band's harmonization brought a lot of chemistry to the show. Trivium performed new single ‘Built to Fall’ and ‘Like Light to Flies,’ among many others.
Next up were thrash legends Megadeth. Dave Mustaine’s guitar playing was perfection. Guitarist Chris Broderick nailed every solo and it was a thrill to see the veteran band as they performed a 45-minute set which included classics from ‘Hangar 18’ and ‘Holy Wars ... The Punishment Due' to later hits such as ‘Trust’ and ‘Head Crusher,’ along with so many more.
Godsmack took the stage as if they were closing out the show. Frontman Sully Erna knows exactly how to invigorate the crowd and has a clever sense of humor onstage. Erna sounded and performed with such vitality that spread throughout the arena. The band belted out many of their hits such as 'Voodoo,' 'Awake,' 'Straight Out of Line' and ended with explosive delivery of 'I Stand Alone.' The performance lasted over an hour complete with an incredible drum battle between Erna and stickman Shannon Larkin.
Disturbed closed out the show but they did not quite match the intensity of Godmack. Singer Dave Draiman’s voice sounded very strained, which is not a surprise since this is their second headlining festival of the year (the first being Music as a Weapon V). The set still featured an excellent mix of songs from all of their albums. Rumor has it Disturbed will be going on an indefinite hiatus, which will serve as a deserved break for an extremely busy band.
Watch the Mayhem Fest Drum Battle Between Godsmack's Sully Erna and Shannon Larkin