The clumsily titled Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival swept into the Gexa for the last date on its cross-country metal bandwagon, and once more metal was ordained by the corporate gods on a day that didn't so much swelter as annihilate. The sun beat down like a double-pedal to the head as thousands of brave souls turned up at the peak heat of the day to watch some of the festival's lesser lights play on stages with no shade whatsoever bar one unfortunate tree, which became the object of much crowding.
The highlight of the smaller stages was metal elder statesmen Machine Head, bafflingly early in the day despite an overwhelming crowd and some riffs that would crush bands decades their junior. They opened with "Davidian," a song that could draw a dedicated pit even if this festival was taking place on the surface of the sun. Never giving anything less than everything he had, frontman Robb Flynn put on something of a clinic in how to play a metal show while thousands of people wearing black in an exposed parking lot clung to a tree.