Behind the Scenes at Mayhem Fest with Scorpion Child

It soars into the air, a sparkling baton for rock singers. Its chrome-plated shaft sears fingertips upon contact. It spins first, then tumbles while singer Aryn Black of Scorpion Child dances and jams with the solos being played on a Flying V and a Les Paul. He doesn't need the microphone for another second or two, and he's lost in the moment.

But it's so fucking hot that Black almost misses the falling microphone as it plummets toward the stage. Fans step away from the barricade as he leans too far forward while his guitarists' eyes shift from narrowed and focused to "Holy shit, not a Krist Novoselic move."

Two steps, then another and Black catches the microphone, stumbles backward to balance himself, pulls his shoulders back as if he were going to roar and finishes the rest of the song.

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Christian McPhate is an award-winning journalist who specializes in investigative reporting. He covers crime, the environment, business, government and social justice. His work has appeared in several publications, including the Dallas Morning News, the Fort Worth Star Telegram, the Miami Herald, San Antonio Express News and The Washington Times.