Following his headlining run last fall, King Diamond brought out featured characters from various points in his career (Grandma from Them and Conspiracy), as well as blowing through longtime favorites such as ‘Sleepless Nights’ and keeping diehard fans on their feet. King himself looked and sounded powerful throughout their hour long set, as he powered through song after song, and immediately won the crowd over.
After beginning their set with a laser show with a variety of Slayer logos flying above the stage, they broke into ‘Repentless’ (the title song from their forthcoming album in September), as well as their two other previously released yet new songs (‘Implode’ and ‘When The Stillness Comes’). Much of their set list consisted of staple tunes from past set lists, which they powered through and get the eager fans on their feet. Imagery of missiles and word from various songs (the chorus of ‘God Hates Us All’ from ‘Disciple’) flashes throughout their set and amped up the crowd.
The rest of the main stage featured a mixed response to Hellyeah and Devil Wears Prada’s strong set battling set times crossed with side stage headliners Kissing Candice and Feed Her To The Sharks playing at the same time at the top of the lawn area.
The Victory Records side stage (one stage versus multiple stages on past years) featured a vast array of artists ranging from brief yet powerful sets from Jungle Rot and Thy Art Is Murder, alongside new faces such as Sworn In, Shattered Sun and Code Orange joining into the mix as some of the up and comers within the scene.
Overall, Rockstar Mayhem Festival endured a hiccup year lacking a strong enough headliner and support acts with drawing power. The long run will see how many of these acts will overcome this and be a band to look out for. As for now, time will tell whether this was a good move or not by the organizers of this festival.
WORDS BY REI NISHIMOTO
PHOTOS BY KEVIN ESTRADA PHOTOGRAPHY