:: Megadeth ::
:: The Fillmore Auditorium :: Tuesday, February 28 ::
By Brandon Daviet
Anyone reading this who is a fan of Kevin Smith’s movie Clerks will understand what I am talking about when I say the events leading up to Megadeth’s set at this year’s Gigantour was filled with a series of down endings. The most significant of these being the almost unnoticeable sign at the box office saying: “Due to Illness Motörhead will not be performing tonight.” As any Motörhead fan knows the band rarely cancels a show and the word on the good old internet revealed that Lemmy had lost his voice and Denver would be the only show affected. (The small consolation in this is Motörhead is already scheduled to be back in town in July with Slayer, Slipknot, Anthrax and a host of others.) Still the double bill of Motörhead and Megadeth was what a lot of people had come to see and there was a feeling of disappointment passing among the older members of the crowd along with plenty of Mother Nature’s finest.
But, alas, the show must go on, and indeed it did. I missed Lacuna Coil but did catch Volbeat treating the crowds a few verses of Motörhead’s Ace of Spades and a Johnny Cash tune I couldn’t quite decipher given their distortion and the Fillmore’s less than spectacular sound system.
Megadeth didn’t waste any time getting on stage after Volbeat, I was in the bathroom and wasn’t the only one who was caught mid-stream with surprise when the first notes of Dave Mustaine’s voice wafted through the air. I never did figure out what the opening song was but by the time I made it back to my crew Megadeth was hashing out “Foreclosure of a Dream” and the fists of the oldest and youngest metal heads were pumping in the air. The band quickly switched gears into the conspiracy theory musings of “Hanger 18”and the paranoid musings of “Sweating Bullets” before trotting out the first track from their current album Thirteen, “Public Enemy #1.”
Toward the end of the track “Whose Life is it Anyway” Dave Mustaine stopped the show to warn the Fillmore’s Security staff about roughing up his fans. In fact the house lights came on for a minute and the offending guard was removed and replaced.
The band finished their trilogy of new songs with “Guns, Drugs and Money.” Mustaine then addressed the big elephant in the room by taking the band through a rendition of Motörhead’s “No Class” leaving many in the crowd perplexed. It is worth noting that the fact that Megadeth did this is what makes the one of the best in their game. Not only can you count on them to bring top notch musicianship but Mustaine is long removed from the snarling red-headed monster he was when he was bounced from Mettalica and this show of respect to his musical comrade was fitting and a rare treat for the fans of both bands.
The show winded down as the band brought out Lacuna Coil’s Christina Scabbia to help sing on “A Tout Le Monde” and then playing “Ashes in Your Mouth” and “Symphony of Destruction,” making the album Countdown to Extinction the star of the show with at least five songs culled from it. The band’s encore was rocking but not surprising with a double shot of “Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying” and “Holy Wars…The Punishment Due” closing out the evening.
In the end Megadeth proved once again that they are really, in many ways, the true reigning kings of metal. It is no surprise that after thirteen albums they are still packing in fans of all ages. I would like to see them diversify their set lists more from show to show instead of tour to tour but other than that I have never left a Megadeth show —and, I’ve been to more than a few — with a bad taste in my mouth.