Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival 2015 - Jones Beach Theatre, NY

This festival has literally received the ultimate slap in the face in 2015. It's own headliners have picked it apart for being completely worthless and the turnouts in return apparently have been embarrassingly pathetic. I attended the New York stop in Jones Beach and the majority of the day was spent in a parking lot behind the amphitheater. I'll share a run down of the highlights. Code Orange at 1pm is always appreciated. These guys no matter what time or what stage always know how to take control and this gig was no different. They played just the night before at the ultimate party that is This Is Hardcore, which I plan on making the time and attending in 2016. Sworn In looked a little different. I've seen them in the darkest clubs in the past and I don't know if their schtick translated to the daylight. It was a little weak and I didn't take anything away from it. The second stage highlights were obviously Whitechapel and Thy Art Is Murder, who had a few visitors to help them out closing their set. Those two bands back to back were a real treat, with the drummer for Whitechapel being the real standout. The afternoon moved quickly into the night where we caught Hellyeah and King Diamond on the main stage. There were barely enough people to fill the pit section in front of the stage and as I looked around the entire amphitheater was empty with spotty groups of people here and there in attendance. I honestly thought security would come to us at some point and ask if we'd be interested in coming down to the orchestra section so we can be in the crowd. Then again, it wouldn't be fair to the poor souls who actually forked over the $70 to get right in front if we were just simply allowed to mingle. Slayer was a real honor. I hadn't seen them since Ozzfest 99 and I was really excited about this. Although the atrocious melodies of King Diamond were a chore to get through, Araya, King, Bostaph and the newly induced Gary Holt from Exodus covering for Hanneman's legacy never sounded better. Stunning visuals, insanely produced pyro techniques and a great set list made for an awesome closer. Overall it was a fun day, a beer or two wouldn't hurt next time, but that's the price you pay when attending the Nikon Theatre at Jones Beach, it's always a dry party. Don't let internet vibe and commentary ruin your intrigue, do what you want to do and check things out for yourself, but I honestly can't say for sure if this festival will be back in 2016.

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