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Megadeth Live in Hollywood

By Tokemaster General, Contributor
Monday, December 27, 2004 @ 0:59 AM


Megadeth Live at the Palladium

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REVIEW BY: VENOM18

Three years ago, After Dave Mustaine “injured” his arm, and decided to end Megadeth and hang his Jackson King V on the wall. I, like many Metalheads, felt the great sorrow that came with losing one of the Greatest Trash Metal Bands of all time. Certainly my favorite…

As a guitar player and songwriter, Dave Mustaine is in a league of his own. Since his days in Metallica, Dave has showed an uncanny prowess in firing up the fretboard. Even among his peers, he’s found respect. Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman from Slayer used to go see Metallica in the early club days and be “Blown away at how awesome Mustaine was.” (Real quote, no bullshit. We all know they don’t like each other now.) Scott Ian from Anthrax has called Dave the “Inventor of Thrash/Speed Metal.” It goes without saying that there are many of us who have picked up guitars because of the guy, and cracked our necks from the almost twenty years of Megadeth.

To think of never hearing any more music from the Mighty Megadeth was a bummer, to say the least. So here we are in 2004, and lo and behold, a new Megadeth album, The System Has Failed. I didn’t think it would happen, but I’m sure glad it did. The only thing Dave never made clear was if he would tour for it. When it turned out he was, I knew there was no way I’d miss out.

Although, it’s not much of a reunion. Dave Ellefson was gone. The only guy who stuck with Mustaine through the years, and somebody who I always thought was an awesome and underrated bass player, feuded with Mustaine to the point where lawsuits were filed. Nick Menza was supposed to be on drums, which I thought was awesome, but about two weeks before the tour began he, too, got the axe.

So the touring line-up turned out to be Iced Earth’s James Macdonough on bass, and Glenn Drover on lead guitar and Shawn Drover on drums, from the band Eilodon. I have seen Megadeth once before, in 2001, when they toured for The World Needs a Hero. I thought that line-up was pretty dead-on. Al Pitrelli was very impressive, playing every solo, be it Friedman or Poland, to the note. Jimmy DeGrasso was also a pretty good. So I was gonna keep a close eye on everyone and see if they did their homework as good as the guys before.

Dave Mustaine is and always will be Megadeth though, regardless of who’s backing him up, so as soon as it went on sale I bought myself a ticket for their show at the Hollywood Palladium. The addition of Exodus as openers was a great Metalhead delight.

Night of the show, and the line around the block of Megadeth fans all pack into the Palladium. Soon as I got in, I snagged myself a great view of the stage from the balcony. About 30 minutes after the doors open, Exodus hit the stage, with Skinlab’s Steev Esquivel on vocals.

Exodus were pretty kick-ass, the pits erupted at the sound of the first note. Everything from their early stuff like, “Piranha” and “A Lesson in Violence,” to the new, like “War is My Shepherd” and “Blacklist” off of the kick-ass Tempo of the Damned album -- sounded fucking awesome. Steev Esquivel did a pretty decent job on vocals. I remember Matt Harvey from Exhumed had filled in on vocals before him, and I kind of wished he had done this tour as well ‘cause I love Exhumed, but Steev did a great job.

EXODUS SET LIST:

Scar Spangled Banner
Exodus
Blacklist
Piranha
Brain Dead
Bonded By Blood
A Lesson In Violence
War Is My Shepherd
Toxic Waltz

Exodus done, their equipment was hauled off to make room for Megadeth. The drum kit on the riser looked very reminiscent of Nick Menza’s old drum kit. It was pretty much his set-up, down to the hanging-cymbals contraption he always had above him.

About 20 minutes after Exodus exited the stage, the house lights went down, and the Ole’ “Black Sabbath riff” Intro they’ve been using since the Rust in Peace days rung out through the PA. Shawn Drover stepped out into his drums first, then James MacDonough walked out, then Glenn Drover. As soon as the Intro drowned out of the PA, Dave stepped out of Stage Left to the roar of the crowd, chugging out the intro to “Set the World Afire.” This was quite a surprise, as I never thought I would ever hear that song live. They followed with “Skin of my Teeth,” which lead to “Wake Up Dead.”

The crowds were pretty good, lots of action on the floor. After “Wake Up Dead,” Dave greeted everyone, and started chugging the opening riff to “Killing Road” off of Youthanasia. Afterwards, Dave teased everyone by plucking the opening chords to “In My Darkest Hour,” then launching into the song with the band.

“Angry Again” followed. Dave then said he was glad his “friends” in Exodus would join him for the tour, because: “I don’t Forget My Roots, unlike OTHER People.” I thought that comment was pretty cool, but then remembered, “Didn’t he originally pick 12 Stones and Earshot in the beginning as openers?” It was good he came to his senses and got Exodus. Still, picking Christian Metal Bands to open is nowhere near as bad as the shit the OTHER people did for their last tour (Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit?... I never thought they’d go THAT low). After his comment, Dave then went on a short tirade, doing an impression of Lars Ulrich, which was pretty funny but I couldn’t understand a damn thing he said. “I even wrote a song about that little fucker!” and he began “Something That I’m Not.”

More chestnuts from Youthanasia came next, with “Train of Consequences” and “Reckoning Day.” Then one more off the new album, the pretty cool “Die Dead Enough.” Clean sounds emanated from Glen Drover’s guitar, and he began “A Tout Le Monde.” Dave asked us all to sing, so the whole crowd did the first verse.

“Hangar 18” was next. This is where Glenn Drover shined. This was his most impressive performance all night. I kept a close eye on him all night, and sadly he did miss a few little nuances on the solos. I don’t blame him though, it must have been hard to learn almost twenty Megadeth solos in the time given. So who knows, maybe he’ll improve in time.

Up next was one of my favorites from the new album, “Kick the Chair.” This was the first song I heard from the new album, off the Internet, and it was cool to come full circle and see it live. “Finally!” I said to myself as they played another off of Rust in Peace, “Tornado of Souls.” I was hoping they would play more songs off of that album, which is definitely one of their best. It would have been great to have seen stuff like “Lucretia” or “Take No Prisoners,” but they stuck to the staples.

The voices of a gentle choir rang out of the PA, and so forth began the classic “Symphony of Destruction.” After “Symphony” is when things got interesting. The synth intro to “Trust” began to play, and I couldn’t figure if it was James or Shawn, but one of them threw the whole band off to where they were playing the intro way out of place. Dave got fed up and just cued everyone else by picking really high on the guitar and went straight into the song. They fucked up the intro, no big deal, but Dave must have yelled at someone later that night.

After the second chorus Dave quickly went “Hello Me!...” and crunched out “Sweating Bullets.” They went through the whole song, and then reprised on “Trust,” playing the solo and one more chorus to end the “Trust/Sweating Bullets” sandwich.

James then walked out by himself and began “Peace Sells.” Knowing the night was almost over, I made sure I sang along to every word, ‘cause it might be the last time I ever sing it again.

Song over, the band goes off-stage. About five minutes later, Dave steps out with a black DV8 with Vic custom-drawn on it. One thing I find very odd: Why do most people start leaving the venue when it’s so obvious that the band is going to encore? I swear like half of the floor was already in line to get out when Dave stepped out on stage again. I mean, its so fucking obvious especially when they had yet to play one of if not THE classic Megadeth song…

“HOLY WARS”!!!

Dave ripped through the intro, and the floor erupted like crazy. Truly one of those songs when heard live, they are experienced. Anybody who knows the lyrics would find them filled with irony, as they relate so much to the current climate of the world as far as terrorism and war are concerned. I couldn’t help but feel think of those things in my head as I heard the song.

As “Holy Wars” reached it’s climax, I looked back through the years of being a Megadeth fan. Hearing “Countdown to Extinction” for the first time, seeing pictures of Dave playing his sweet Flying Vs and how much I wished I had one, cramping my fingers learning all of the Rust in Peace album on guitar, seeing Megadeth live for the first time… I thought of it all. As I saw Dave Mustaine walk off that stage, I hoped to myself that it wouldn’t be the last time.

Even if Dave goes solo, I’ll definitely still check it out and shit, but to think that the Monstrous Metal Juggernaut that is MEGADETH would never return is a sad thought. I still long for the day when Mustaine and Ellefson can bury the hatchet and bring Menza along (-- not Marty Friedman. Friedman’s dead to me. Pussy-ass Pop Lover who talks shit about Hendrix being “overrated” and jams with Weezer--) and either Pitrelli or Drover for one formal last hurrah.

As far as the show is concerned, it was pretty fucking kick-ass. Minor glitches aside, everybody brought a great performance to the show. Mustaine was in top form, living up every bit of his reputation. While, I think, not as good as the one before it, this was still a very adept line-up, musically and in band chemistry. All said and done, truly a great night of Heavy Metal.

FUNNY SHIT I NOTICED:

There was this guy in the pit who looked like he somehow time-traveled from the Eighties to Present Day. He had the hair, the tight-as-fuck jeans, velvet vest, even the big white high-top sneakers. He stuck out like a sore thumb. It was like he got hopped inside Bill and Ted’s Phone booth or some shit.

MEGADETH SET LIST:

Set The World Afire
Skin Of My Teeth
Wake Up Dead
Killing Road
In My Darkest Hour
Angry Again
Something That I’m Not
Train Of Consequences
Reckoning Day
Die Dead Enough
A Tout Le Monde
Hangar 18
Kick The Chair
Tornado Of Souls
Symphony Of Destruction
Trust/Sweating Bullets
Peace Sells
------------
Holy Wars



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