Ah yes, Mayhem Festival. The traveling summer metal fest marked annually by two phenomena: thousands upon thousands of sweaty hesher dudes; and reliably well-known heavy rock bands. The one Mayhem Festival I've attended over the years was its inaugural 2008 run which also happened to feature Slipknot, and it was quite the thrilling spectacle. White River Amphitheater was packed that day with the kind of shirtless people that made me feel okay about my questionable eighteen-year-old tattoo decisions, and performances bounced between incredible (Mastodon, Slipknot), surprisingly underwhelming (DragonForce), embarrassing (Disturbed), and uninteresting (everyone else). I'd say my mixed experience was pretty level with what I would have encountered other years, but this year's lot of bands (who will be swinging through Auburn Tuesday, July 3rd) looks pretty solid. Aside from the aforementioned Slipknot, you have probably the greatest metal band of all time in Slayer, legendary rockers Motörhead, and stoner-metal torch-bearers High On Fire. Full list of performers is here.
Live Nation just announced an online pre-sale (click here) that runs twelve hours from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. today only, so I might jump on that if you want to lock-in your spot. The password is, ironically, "melody". Rock on.