I think it's pretty safe to say that nothing, short of million-dollar payoffs and/or a guaranteed session of "seven minutes in the closet" with Ville Valo, could make me attend a Mayhem concert. I'm afraid of pictures of them; if I saw them in person, they would probably smell my fear from the stage, drag me up before the crowd and make me wear a goat carcass while all the mean goths point and laugh.
Now, thanks to this video clip, I'm not so sure. This would be Mayhem performing the memorable hit "My Death" at something called "Wacken Open Air 2004", which is the biggest heavy metal festival in all the land. Yes, the show features ripping guitar solos, self-mutilation and all the double-kick bass drum you can handle but despite all that I have to say, I'm disappointed. Lead singer Maniac lowers around the stage wearing mime face paint and licking his own blood off his arms; I don't know what's grosser—his slashed up bloody arms or his pasty naked gut. Then someone on the side of the stage hoses him down during the guitar solo, and suddenly I'm rethinking my heterosexuality.
And then there's the crowd. Perhaps they are worn out from the three-day festival or feeling oppressed by the August heat. Or maybe they're just too stoned to care. But instead of ripping each other to shreds there is basically just a sea of long-haired German kids engaging in a bad-headbanging-paired-with-devil-horns-metal-hand-gesture, peppered with a few half-hearted crowd surfers. In other words: a crushing letdown.
I'm sorry, but this video clip is more entertaining. And as an aside, I want to know where you can go to get Mayhem on karaoke. The last time I went they didn't even have "Time After Time."
In case you were wondering (ha ha), this year's Wacken fest will be held August 3–5 in Germany, and features such metal greats as Ministry, Whitesnake (for some reason), Motorhead, the Scorpions and Morbid Angel, as well as Mayhem's rivals in the crazy department Emperor. Camping is available, which I can't possibly imagine. Not to be a big camping snob or anything, but GROSS. If people thought Woodstock '99 was bad, god help us if Mayhem and Emperor fans are set loose in that forum—the bodily fluid spillage alone would require a federal biohazard team for cleanup, not to mention the campfire sacrifices and potentially deadly black metal posturing. Anyway, that's all pure speculation. Confirmed activities are decidedly much tamer and include metal karaoke, a headbanging contest (plenty of competitors in that Mayhem crowd), and a fully accredited tattoo booth. Holy shit, there is also going to be a meet-and-greet with CELTIC FROST! Sweet.
Let me know if you go...I want details.