A roadie came up behind them and asked, “You ready guys? Want me to ﬂick the switch?”
Aron looked round at his boys and they all nodded in agreement.
He turned back to him. “Hell yeah,” he drawled.
Aron let the others go ﬁrst and listened with a smile as he heard the masses explode. In the few seconds before he went on stage, the girls saw him change. An invisible shroud fell over him and he finally became what Maria and the others had seen on his album covers. He morphed like a lycanthrope. The spoilt, sordid creature they had ﬁrst witnessed transformed into a ﬁgure-head, the icon he was. Maria felt a slow, savage tingle rush down her spine.
He ran on stage and the crowd went insane. He said nothing initially, knowing he didn’t need an introduction. He pulled his silver guitar over his head, nodded to Will, and they began.
Everyone instinctively surged forward. People jumped in all directions and screamed, as if they could jump high enough to reach him. Aron ran to one end of the stage and made the people perform a Mexican wave; something that regular fans were used to doing.
“Anyone wanna to cause mayhem?!” he screamed into his microphone. The mob roared back at him that they did.
His voice was extraordinary. Powerful and almost operatic, it was an instrument in itself. As if the music were made to fit his voice and not the other way round.
As she watched from the wings, Maria James was so overwhelmed, even by the ﬁrst song, that she wanted to fall to her knees and weep. Certainly she had heard their albums and had now been lucky enough to see them in rehearsal, but to see Project Mayhem live, so closely, combined with the hysterical response, was one of the most powerful experiences she could ever remember. For the ﬁrst time too, she saw how different the boys’ performing styles were.
Will Richards stood quite still, his legs awkwardly crossed and with timid eyes looking out, wondering why they had come to see him. He didn’t understand how special he was. He didn’t realise that the crowd, the girls especially, loved the way he stood. The tortured artist, the amused onlooker. The silent genius.
Jamie Taylor Jnr sat at the back, but by no means went unnoticed. His act was tinged with madness. He threw his drumsticks in the air, pulled faces at the crowd, and behaved more like a circus clown than what most critics agreed was world’s greatest percussionist.
Marcus was the tallest of them all, and looked like a huge punk giant. He ﬂung himself about his side of the stage like a lunatic, and his size and projection made him a terrifying sight. But there was no doubt at all who was king for the day.
Aron Moretti stood at the centre of it all and harboured the ability to change the world. His command of the crowd was phenomenal, his skill as an entertainer unique. Unlike most performers, he did not put invisible barriers between himself and his audience. He created the feeling that they were one crowd, enjoying the gift of music together. He made them sing and yell as their ringleader, but he was also one of them. He touched them all, and they would remember him forever.
He dressed in all black today, yet Aron constantly reinvented himself. Not just for profile, but because he was easily bored and needed constant stimuli all around him. Today, being the ﬁrst performance with the British girls supporting, he thought he’d dress to impress and let them know what they were up against. What the standards were. He looked like a ferocious dark angel. His tattoos and nose-ring added to his savage appearance, his hair was wild and unkempt. His luminous green eyes glared out at the audience with such anger that the front rows began to feel nervous, and some of the younger girls started to ease themselves backwards.
The crowd panted, begged and reached in desperation for him. Groups of excited girls chanted his name. They held up home-made banners with pictures of him and Will Richards on them. Men dressed like Marcus and Jamie, men who had followed them through high school, stuck posters inside lockers and on bedroom walls. Girls showed off tattoos of their names, had made t-shirts declaring they were pregnant by any one of the four of them. Drinks were thrown; people were hurt, shoved and crushed in the urgent, fearless mission to get closer to the biggest band in the world. For two hours, they were in heaven. For two hours, Aron strutted with long graceful legs up and down the stage like a gothic peacock; thrilling, inspiring and breaking hearts. An exotic hybrid of musicians both present and past, he delighted in being the protagonist, and felt confident that this was his place. His purpose. His magic was unworldly, his presence like the dazzling sunshine. The feeling across the world for all who knew him was that he was unique, ethereal, and untouchable. That he’d been chosen, as if by some higher power, to be a rock star.
find Mayhem with Angels on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mayhem-with-Angels-ebook/dp/B004SUP3SW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1329938104&sr=8-2