by Alex Kluft

Mayhem Festival 2015 Kicked off in Chula Vista, CA at the Sleep Train Amphitheatre instead of the usual San Manuel Amphitheater in San Bernardino, CA which is where Mayhem festival next stop took place.

Although this year only has one side stage and the main stage, Slayer and King Diamond alone are worth the trip. Slayer last played Mayhem 2012, and this is the first U.S. tour for Slayer and King Diamond together in years.   The other 2 mainstage artists were Hellyeah and Devil Wears Prada.

Doors opened at 1 P.M. with the first band  going on the Victory Stage at the same time.

Usually the side stage(s) close right before the first band on the main stage, but this time the last band, Feed Her to the Sharks, ended the same time as HELLYEAH, which was the second band on the main stage.

Devil Wears Prada opened the main stage at 6:10 P.M. and played for 35 minutes.

The longest set on the Victory stage was Whitechapel, which played for 40 minutes.   Both Devil Wears Prada and and Hellyeah played at Knot Fest last October in San Bernardino.  At the time of Knot Fest, Hellyeah replaced guitarist Greg Tribbett and bassist Bob Zilla with bassist Kyle Sanders, brother of Troy Sanders (Mastodon), and guitarist Christian Brady.   Unfortunately guitarist Tom Maxwell had a leg injury just before the tour and was unable to play standing up, so he was seated with a cast on, but still rocked.   Hellyeah always puts on a great show, and seeing Chad Gray (Mudvayne) and Vinnie Paul (Pantera) together is quite an experience. Their set lasted 40 minutes and pure a** kicking metal.

 

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It was very special to see King Diamond on the same stage as Slayer.   This year marks their 30th anniversary as a band with original members King Diamond and guitarist Andy LaRocque.    The stage set for King Diamond had staircases, pillars, and a balcony which all together gave a gothic church look.   The band started at the top of the staircases and slowly walked down as Diamond was centered above the drums.   Those screeching vocals of Diamond remain unmatched.   It was easy to see how much fun the band was having up there.   If you’re a metal fan and haven’t seen King Diamond yet, they are a must-see band.

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The headliner this year is none other than metal great, Slayer.  The last time Slayer played Mayhem, Dave Lombardo was still in the band and Jeff Hanneman was still alive, but Gary Holt (Exodus) was filling in for him.   Since then, Paul Bostaph rejoined the band and Holt has more or less become a permanent member.   Slayer played a total of 16 songs and had all the heaviness and fire you would expect, as they debuted 2 new songs “Repentless,” and “When The Stillness Comes,” which you would never know are new as they sound just like classic Slayer.   For being around 34 years, Slayer still beats out new bands in stage presence and heaviness.  They Mayhem Festival will run through the summer.

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Slayer Setlist:
Repentless
Hate Worldwide
Jihad
Disciple
God Send Death
War Ensemble
When The Stillness Comes
Implode
Mandatory Suicide
Chemical Warfare
Ghosts Of War
Dead Skin Mask
Hell Awaits
South Of Heaven
Raining Blood
Angel Of Death