While the 2014 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival has a powerful main stage, the side stages at the tour's kickoff in San Bernardino, Calif., on Saturday (July 5) set the tone for the day. The 2014 Mayhem side stages were sponsored by Coldcock Whiskey, Sumerian Records and Victory Records.
The Coldcock Whiskey Stage was led by the crushing sounds of Cannibal Corpse, with support from Suicide Silence, Miss May I, Mushroomhead, Texas Hippie Coalition and King 810. Cannibal Corpse, ramping up to their upcoming album 'A Skeletal Domain,' delivered a pummeling set with such classics as 'Hammer Smashed Face,' 'I Cum Blood,' 'Evisceration Plague,' and 'Make Them Suffer.'
Suicide Silence, led by new vocalist Eddie Hermida, had one of the more energetic performances of the day, with their synchronized hair-flipping driving the crowd into a frenzy. Highlights included the set opener 'Unanswered,' the new song 'Cease to Exist, the Mitch Lucker-penned new track 'You Can't Stop Me' and the set closer 'You Only Live Once.' Miss May I played a high-energy set, with frontman Levi Benton bounding around the stage (and making his way into the crowd) while rocking a set that included 'Hey Mister' and 'Day By Day.'
Mushroomhead generated plenty of buzz, with the masked rockers commanding the stage with their in-your-face performance and flying water spraying off their drums. The performance included such standouts as 'Our Apologies,' the new song 'We Are the Truth' (with special guest Jackie Laponza of Unsaid Fate), a cover of Pink Floyd's 'Empty Spaces' and 'Born of Desire.' Meanwhile, Texas Hippie Coalition injected some of their "red dirt metal" into the audience with Big Dad Ritch and his band delivering a foot-stomping set featuring 'Hands Up' and the new track 'El Diablo Rojo' among others.
Over on the Victory Records Stage, Ill Nino was joined by Wretched and red hot upstarts Islander and Erimha. Ill Nino played to a packed and sweaty crowd as they rocked an explosive set featuring a mix of older favorites and new 'Till Death, La Familia' songs. Wretched, meanwhile, braved the heat for a power packed set in support of their new 'Cannibal' album.
Meanwhile, Victory Records' upstarts Islander and Erimha used Mayhem to make a lot of new fans. Islander seemed to be having a blast onstage, getting up-close and personal with the audience as frontman Mikey Carvajal took a trip into the crowd. Meanwhile, Erimha provided a thunderous opening to the day, rocking tracks from their 'Reign Through Immortality' album.
The other side stage was sponsored by Sumerian Records, who brought along Body Count, Upon a Burning Body, Veil of Maya and Darkest Hour to represent. Body Count, back after almost a decade away, generated a lot of buzz with a mass of older fans hoping to see Ice-T rock 'Cop Killer' while the younger generation embraced the recent single 'Talk S---, Get Shot.' Upon a Burning Body played just before Body Count, using their set to showcase the new tracks 'Red Razor Wrists' and 'Scars' while charismatic vocalist Danny Leal took command of the stage.
Veil of Maya used their time to primarily stick to standards such as 'Punisher' and 'Unbreakable,' though the recently released 'Subject Zero' did make its way into the set list. And Darkest Hour provided a thrashy good time for all. Check out our photos from Day One of the 2014 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival's Coldcock Whiskey, Victory Records and Sumerian Records stages below, and click the button at the bottom of this post to see our coverage of the main stage performers Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, Asking Alexandria and Trivium.