The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival once again invaded Camden, NJ’s waterfront. With its 5th installment of its heavy metal summer tour, we see the return of some veteran favorites and a whole slew of new faces.

This year’s lineup reminds us all why we brave through the treacherous heat. The sunburn is nothing compared to bruises you earn in the pit (badges of honor, to some.) This year featured: Slipknot, Slayer & Motörhead on the main stage, Anthrax, Asking Alexandria, The Devil Wears Prada, As I Lay Dying & Whitechapel on the Jägermeister Stage, and Upon A Burning Body, I The Breather, Dirtfedd and Betraying the Martyrs on the Sumerian Stage.

Since my writer cancelled on me last minute, I was only able to make it for the main stage acts. Therefore I’m just gonna briefly talk about my experience photographing the three bands I was allowed to. Because there were too many photographers at the show, they had to separate us into three groups and we were limit to only a single song each. It wasn’t easy since I’m used to getting three songs to shoot. With only one song, that meant I only had 3-4 minutes to get my shots in and get out.

Asking Alexandria opened up the main stage with a Reckless and Relentless heavy set. Since they played in the middle of the day, shooting them live was actually a lot easier that expected. There were fairly well balanced natural light coming from the outside along with the stage lighting above.

Motörhead came on after and rumbled through several fan favorites. Their stage setup was fairly basic with a big black banner with their logo behind them. There was some natural light coming into the amphitheater but most of lighting consisted of the spot lights above and a few yellow gel lighting.

Slayer was one of the most difficult to shoot. I got to shoot their opening number so I got to experience the curtain drop. I was so nervous shooting them since I’ve been a fan for so long. Unfortunately, their lighting consisted of a heavy UV wash with occasional pyrotechnics. On stage left and right, they had stacks Marshall amps in the shape of upside-down crosses that shot flames as well as their infamous eagle logo above center-stage that lit up, giving a break to the blue with it’s contrasting warm glow.

I saw most of their set since I didn’t get approval to shoot Slipknot. Their set was completely flawless. It was as if they found my Slayer mix-tape from high school and played everything that I had on there.

This was my 4th time going to Mayhem Fest (having missed the previous year…) I was disappointed that I missed the early half of the show. I might have to reconsider who I bring with me to shows next time (ahem, contributing writers.) But overall, I had a blast.

This post was written by:

Henry Chung – When Henry’s not busy updating this page and speaking in third person,he’s busy shooting and editing pictures from concerts and designing logos for bands.