Live review: Mayhem Festival @ Comfort Dental Amphitheatre feat. Disturbed, Godsmack, Megadeth and moreBy Paige Montgomery | July 18th, 2011 | 1 Comment »
Concertgoers might be complaining about the rain so far this season, but after spending 10 hours in blistering heat yesterday at Comfort Dental Amphitheatre, I had to wonder, which is the lesser of two evils?
It was a long, long day in the sun at Rockstar Energy’s Mayhem Festival and when you pack in a full house of sweaty, beer-touting metal heads, I wouldn’t call it the most comfortable concert watching environment — but this crowd is die-hard and despite the day’s battle with heat stroke, they kept the venue buzzing from the moment doors opened to the last drum beat.
This year’s festival, also known locally as 106.7 KBPI’s Birthday Bash, was headlined by Disturbed, Godsmack, Megadeth and Machine Head. In Flames and Trivium closed out the Revolver and Jagermeister side stages alongside Suicide Silence, Unearth, All Shall Perish, Straight Line Stitch, Kingdom of Sorrow, Denver’s own Switchpin, Novus Folium and Horse.
The line-up this year was decidedly heavier than years past and with Megadeth and Machine Head on the main stage it was a show geared more towards old-school metal fans and purists of the genre. The main stage portion of the show started with no frills — the two veteran metal bands let the music drive their performances and there was virtually no “wow” factor to the show until Godsmack got about three songs deep into its set.
For the first 15 minutes, Godsmack barely even moved and it seemed like the entire show was on track to be a lack-luster production. That is, until front man Sully Erna entered stage right on a mobile drum kit and alongside drummer Shannon Larkin (also on a moving kit) stole the night with one of the most mind-blowing drum solos (well, duos) ever. The entire set just got better from there and fans belted out “Voodoo,” “Love-Hate-Sex-Pain” and “Stand Alone” with an inspired second wind. It was the best Godsmack has been in years.
There was no doubt that Disturbed was going to be great — and they were. The introduction of twenty-foot flames, a massive video backdrop and a catalog of mega-hits like “Down with the Sickness,” “The Animal,” “The Night” and “Indestructible” was what this tour needed — their set made what could have been a miserably sweaty day in the heat well worth it.
Paige Montgomery is a Denver-based freelance writer. Check out more of her work on
Quoleena Sbrocca is a Denver photographer and regular contributor to Reverb. Visit her website here.
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