See Also: Mayhem in the mosh pit: The best crowd surfing photos from Mayhem Charlie Benante is looking ahead rather than reflecting on Anthrax's thirtieth anniversary Joey Belladonna talks about Married...With Children and rejoining the band Scott Ian on Worship Music, comic books, Doctor Who and interviewing Ozzy
Organizers of this year's Mayhem Fest made fans work hard for their chance to see Anthrax or any other band on the second stage: Narrow doorways, closed gates and rows of tents created a human traffic jam that tested the patience of everyone making their way to the Jägermeister stage set up on the corner of Greenwood Plaza Boulevard and Fiddler's Green Circle. Anthrax's mosh pit spanned from the street onto the sidewalk, placing the curb directly in the center of the pit, threatening catastrophe for nearby ankles.
Anthrax made fans forget about the inconvenient floor plan with a show more energetic than you'd expect from a band that has been active for three decades. Frontman Joey Belladonna commanded the stage with the exuberance of a 25 year old despite being twice that age, and even though guitarist Scott Ian's famous beard has turned gray, he hasn't lost a step since 1981.
Younger fans who stayed for Anthrax after Asking Alexandria were increasingly fist pumping and headbanging, starting with "Caught in a Mosh" through "Antisocial" and "I am the Law." Belladonna asked the crowd how many of them were seeing Anthax for the first time, and half the fans raised their hands. Older fans were in disbelief that Anthrax wasn't actually opening on the main stage, an honor that went to the Devil Wears Prada instead. Anthrax did suffer a mishap in the middle of "Indians," but Ian told fans the band only stopped to compliment the audience for having so much fun.
Page down for some photos from Slayer's set.
People in Colorado prayed for rain to fight the state's wildfires, but the rain during Slayer's set was definitely not heaven sent. If it were up to Slayer, the skies would have poured blood instead of water, and that would have been perfectly fitting, as Slayer's staging was dependably Slaytanic, from the projected pentagrams that danced on the floor to the band's guitar cabinets, which were stacked in the form of two upside-down crosses and licked by flames that billowed out of every side. A fire also burned behind Slayer's iconic pentagram eagle logo which dangling over the stage.
Fans, meanwhile, moshed anywhere they could find room, including on the sloped, now slick grass. Moshing on an incline was impressive, as even climbing the wet grass seemed like an exercise unto itself. One group even formed a mosh pit slip-and-slide, diving into the waiting arms of other metalheads.
Fans cheered as one man made the slide with his preschool-aged son in the colored mohawk. One man, clearly craving some truth in advertising from the festival, shouted, "I want to see some goddamn bloodshed!" just minutes before a man was carried out of the mosh pit with a leg injury. If one deity was watching over Slayer's set it certainly wasn't Jesus. Frontman Tom Araya stared straight ahead, seemingly unblinking through the entire set, which included "Disciple," "Mandatory Suicide," "Angel of Death," and, of course, the classics "South of Heaven" and "Raining Blood."
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!