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Dispatches from the Van, Show Recap

Mayhem Festival 2009: Our Trip To Camden NJ

Posted on August 11, 2009

After hours of traffic along the NJ Turnpike, we arrived at the box office booth where an ocean of arms swung back and forth in praise of Behemoth. I asked Rob, "Is that Behemoth?" By the time the words left my mouth, however, I could see the tall corpsepainted bodies. No matter how bad I had been anticipating seeing those evil motherfuckers, after holding my urine for hours while in traffic, finding a toilet become the priority at hand. And yes, the Tweeter Center actually has indoor, clean restrooms. Despite my personal matters, I still found a way to get a portrait of bassist Orion (above) for you Injection-seekers out there.

Read about the rest of the bands after the jump.


It's been a long time since I've seen Trivium, on TV, a stage or any kind of media really. So, my first reaction was, "Holy shit. Matt Heafy has long hair and looks sort of like a grown up now." The band seemed pretty happy considering the late afternoon sun was shining right on them. I left their set early so I could catch a good spot for Cannibal Corpse.

Cannibal Corpse

For a tour festival as commercial as Mayhem, the diversity was definitely there among various metal genres. One of the bands I looked most forward to is STILL one of the TRVEST death metal bands around. And they still keep pumping out solid ALBUMS. (Evisceration Plague was one of my favorite brutal albums this year.)

Bullet For My Valentine

One of the most awful things about big metal festivals like this one is the convenience of alcohol, more specifically cheap beer. The line for a frozen margarita is nonexistent while the line for a $9 Budlite is never ending. It's a total no win situation because most metal heads will opt for the latter. So while this is not an excuse for missing the first few songs to take pictures of Bullet For My Valentine, it is the reason. I'm sorry. It was a long ride and by this time in the day, I NEEDED that damn beer.

Killswitch Engage

Tuxedo shirts are never a bad thing. I mean the t-shirts with a faux-tux painted on them, not the kind you wear to prom. All Killswitch members sported one on the main stage Friday. The band opened with their breakthrough song, "My Last Serenade." With flames firing off behind drummer Justin Foley, the band's set was literally hot.


Let's keep it real: Most people who buy Mayhem Fest tickets buy them to see Slayer. All day long people were chanting "SLAAAAAYER." People drive hours to a dirty, humid parking lot where they drink beer all day just for an hour of the thrash gods. While the arena seats were mostly filled with people on their behinds, the lawn area behind them stretched with fans going mad. The Slayer army was divided into many miniature mosh pits across the lawn. The dirt was kicked up and circled into nearly blinding whirlpool. After playing a set that spawns over two decades, at the first note of "Raining Blood," the madness became chaos. And it was righteously so.

Marilyn Manson

He's the Jacko of metal, except nothing he wrote or performed will ever come close to Thriller. I haven't seen one decent review of his performances this summer. And it's really not arguable. He reads lyrics off of cue cards. Unless you really enjoy his newer industrial brand of metal, there is no point in sticking around. But, I will say, there was a surprising number of people who did stick around.

The After Party

I imagine the free Jager flows everynight as wildly as it did Friday. Unfortunately for you bored kids at home, I don't have any crazy metal-celeb stories. But, if you rolled onto the parking lot the day after, you would want to know, "What the fuck happened here?!"

Justina Villanueva

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