The True Mayhem at Shaka’s Live Va.Beach

By on December 3, 2017

Photographed and review by Robert Escue

On Wednesday November 29, 2017, Norwegian black metal legends Mayhem

performed with support from two New York bands, Immolation and Black Anvil.

In September 2014 I saw Black Anvil for the first time supporting

Skeletonwitch’s US tour at Empire, a Springfield, Virginia venue that no

longer exists. I was quite impressed with their music and vocal style and when I heard they

would be part of this tour I thought they were a solid choice. Most of the people in the crowd

had never heard of them but in a six song set, convinced many that they need to include Black

Anvil to their playlists The last time Immolation played a show in Virginia Beach was February 16,

2010 as part of Nile’s “Those Whom The Gods Detest” tour with Krisiun,

Dreaming Dead and Rose Funeral at Gil’s Bar and Grill, a venue that has been

closed for years. Several of us were at that show and was blown away

by Immolation’s performance. While the crowd responded by screaming,

headbanging and moshing, it required Ross Dolan to motivate the crowd

several times during their set. There were times of complete silence and no

activity by the crowd. Based on the number of unfamiliar faces I saw I would

say that many in the audience were seeing Immolation for the first time. Most of

their set consisted of songs from their latest effort “Atonement”

with a nod to fans of older material playing “Burial Ground” and the title

track of their 1991 album “Dawn of Possession”.


For many in the audience this was their first time seeing Mayhem live,

myself included. The stage was set with custom lighting, banners and

skeletons and included a warning to the audience about the use of cell

phones during the performance. Mayhem wanted you to feel as well as see and

hear them and very few bands go to that length in order to convey what their

music says and did not want anything to ruin it for the fans. From Attila’s

dancing and serenading to Necrobutcher’s taunting the fans in the front of

the stage, it was definitely more than a show, it was an experience.


One of my friends posted a comment on Facebook about coming to this show as

opposed to driving four hours to Baltimore to see it. He pointed out that

many tours go right past Virginia and they do. It is due in part to poor

attendance and a lack of good venues. It reminded me of what has changed in

the metal scene in Hampton Roads since 2010. Many of the venues that brought

metal shows to the area have closed down due to poor turnouts and declining

business despite bringing in killer shows. Some of the people I am

accustomed to seeing at shows have moved on and the newer fans are not aware

of the history of the Hampton Roads area and metal music and are far more

selective as to what they see. One young lady I talked to recently was told

that there is no metal music in Hampton Roads and was shocked when she heard

about the Mayhem show. There are people in the area that want to bring the

shows metal veterans want to see and they should be supported. Shaka’s Live

has stepped up to bring the metal community shows that would normally pass

Hampton Roads and most of Virginia by to play either in North Carolina,

Washington, D. C. or Baltimore, Maryland.  This is not meant as a slam on

Riff House, they are keeping their finger in the dike as well but it is

great to see a venue bring such a killer show to Virginia Beach and I hope

this is a trend that will continue.


Mayhem Facebook:

Immolation Facebook:

Black Anvil Facebook: