Monday, July 27, 2015

Live Review: Slayer / King Diamond @ Jones Beach

The Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival rolled through the New York area over the weekend and hit Jones Beach on Sunday night. The festival, featuring headliners like Slayer and King Diamond, also showcased bands like Hellyeah, The Devil Wears Prada along with a side stage of Victory Records artists.

Maybe because Slayer just rolled through the area earlier in the summer at the much smaller Paramount Theater, or maybe it was the heat, or the rest of the line-up but only half of the iconic theater in the sea was filled with audience members. While those that were there kickstarted their week the best and loudest way possible, others that missed this festival didn't miss too much.

The stand out of the day was certainly King Diamond. The Danish metal icon and his band brought their Broadway theatrics to the beach and put on a performance that was part horror movie and part metal concert. Going through his vast catalog in the hour they were on stage -- which looked like a Gothic church that featured devils and pentagrams around it -- the performance had everyone's attention, including Slayer's Kerry King, who came out to perform Mercyful Fate's "Evil." It may have been Slayer that everyone paid to see, but it was King Diamond who delivered the show.

Following a 35-minute intermission, mainly breaking down Diamond's set, Slayer came on at 9:45. Opening with the title track off their upcoming album, Repentless, the California metal legends barnstrormed through their classics like "God Send Death," "Hate Worldwide," and "Chemical Warefare," --- and that was just the start. The band played in front of choreographed pyrotechnics, a stack of Marshall amps, and a giant LED screen, which at times had technical difficulties, and featured their logo in every variation possible as well as disturbing images that you would expect from the band for sheer shock value.

"Just a quiet night on the beach," singer Tom Araya told the audience. "The is the quietest crowd we have ever played," he continued. In a rare occurrence, Jones Beach had a general admission section that the band was hoping to take more advantage of, but some still moshed and some still crowd surfed, but it didn't seen enough for Araya. For the 75-minutes they churned out on stage, it was the end of their set that had everyone making Araya smile as "Hell Awaits," "South of Heaven," "Raining Blood," and "Angel of Death," closed the night all in succession. While this may not have been the most packed gig at the Beach this summer, it was certainly the loudest.