Gigantour Ft. Lauderdale

By A Headbanger, Do You Bang Head?
Friday, October 13, 2006 @ 9:25 PM

At the Bank Atlantic Center Oc

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Review by Berserker

Last year, Dave Mustaine of Megadeth fame created provided the U.S. with an all-new and different rock/metal tour that U.S. needed so badly. He named it GIGANTOUR. He had also selected one of the best festival line-ups that any music enthusiast could ask for with such acts as his own, Dream Theater, Anthrax, Fear Factory, Nevermore, Life Of Agony, and so on. One year later, Dave says he's ready to take on the rest of the world with the second installment of Gigantour. I will admit, I was more thrilled about last year's lineup than this year's (though still interested). Yet, who could say no when tickets are available as low as ten bucks, and the main act has changed their set list around at each stop? Hmm...a Saturday evening of pure head banging fun. Perfect! Let's Go!

Me and a friend of mine made our way to the Bank Atlantic Center (now on its third name in less than a decade). At this time, I must give thanks to Dave for not only coming down to Florida period, but for making several stops in the sunshine state. Most rock touring acts, especially in the world of metal, seem to hardly or never visit the southeast region of the U.S. (let alone the southern tip of the country). How acts and/or booking agents seem to think that they cannot make money on tour in the fourth most populated state in the U.S. is beyond me. Megadeth has been one of the few acts to make a stop in my area most of the time. Much appreciate. I also want to make a criticism toward the venue at how in the world they think it's legit to charge $15 bucks for parking. Almost as bad as the Miami Dolphins down here ($20). We both agreed that we park across the street at the mall next time. Anyway, while waiting in line for about twenty minutes and heading up the elevator, we heard who I presumed was the Smashup starting things off. Later, I was able to confirm it was them. For what I was able to hear, they sounded pretty good. They basically finished by time we sat down. So, that is all I can really say about them. From the club section we were sitting in, we had a clear view of the entire stage including behind the main stage, and the road crew in plain sight. It was easily to see them working on the different stage setups as each band came and left the stage.

Next was Into Eternity (finding out later that for some reason, Sanctity did not even play). Lots of fast guitar playing at so many different directions. Yet, it seemed to keep in time with the drummer. I could not hear the vocalist quite well. I was wondering if it was him, or the sound equipment they were using. I could hardly hear any of the lead singer's singing, but could hear his screaming. All in all, they sounded decent at best.

After them came the headliners of the "second stage" show (only one stage was setup) in the form of Overkill. One of the pioneers of the eighties thrash movement, I was looking forward to hearing they play for the first time. To my surprise, there are more people that are actual Overkill fans than what I thought. Several "Overkill" chants could be heard in the arena, and chanted loudly in such songs as "Elimination" and "Fuck You." Blitz can sure work up a crowd into a frenzy, though I could hardly understand what he was saying. After hearing their performance, I was pretty sure that all the amps for the instruments were much louder than the ones for the mics. As my friend put it, "Unless you know the band's catalogue, you would still have a hard time understanding what was happening.” Fortunately, I know a good sum of Overkill's catalogue and was able to tell one song from the rest. Despite those negatives, their set was nonetheless enjoyable. Other setlist highlights include "Old School," "Rotten To The Core," and the opener "Necroshine."

Now it's time for the headliners to take the stage. First was Arch Enemy. To me, Arch Enemy has always been one of those bands that suffers from "Mercyful Fate Syndrome (a band that has a talented rhythm section, but a singer you can't stand to listen to...ahem King Diamond)." Whether the vocalist was Johan Liiva or Angela Gossow, I was always turned off when the first vocals of each song kicked in. My Gigantour experience did not change my opinion on this matter much (though I will give credit and say they're still much better off with Angela than Johan). Still, the band was incredibly tight throughout their entire performance. They also started to really get the pits active. Must have been two going on through each song (real ones too...not last ten seconds then quickly ends with a guy standing in the middle waiting for someone to bash him). For Pumping up the crowd, they get my respect.

Next was the band that in my view was the best sounding and enjoyed the most next to Megadeth. Metalheads everywhere…presenting Opeth. Their sound was crystal clear. That, along with their style of songs that they write, made it possible to hear the singer perfectly. Those who are not fans of the progressive side of metal or progressive bands period beware. They only played four songs in the span of forty five minutes. Yet, never did any of the four songs they played seemed to drag on. In CrpnDeth's Gigantour review, it struck me that he felt Opeth seemed out of place at the tour. I won't give him much flak (as he said he was expecting that comment). I understand why he would say that. As one listens to each track that the band played, the band brings a very strong atmosphere with the tone of each song and the way they're structured. The word that comes to mind is deep: deep as in the mood setting, and deep as in how deep in the trenches they delve into the progress live and experimental (and this is keeping in mind of last year's prog type bands Dream Theater, Symphony X, and Nevermore). Think of them as Pink Floyd playing metal songs. However, Dave has been quoted as saying he has always wanted and eclectic variety of bands on Gigantour. Opeth would certainly make any lineup live up to those exact words (They would also make any lineup great period).

Lamb On God came on stage next as one of the co-headliners of this tour. They were greeted by loud chants in the arena. When they hit the stage, the moshers hit the pits. Three to Four vicious pits were constantly happening as Lamb Of God tore through their set. As far as their performance goes, two words come to mind...distortion city. Everything that came out of the speakers sounded muffled (the vocals, the guitars, everything). I know music always sounds more clear on disc. Yet from a technical standpoint, this is one of the more clean sounding straight up metal bands to come out recently. How could this band sound so stagnant live? I don't remember hearing such songs as "Ruin," "As The Palaces Burn," "Sacrement," "Redneck," and "Now You've Got Something To Die For" sound so bad. I'm not afraid to admit that I wasn't the greatest Lamb of God fan coming into the arena. Yet, that was disappointing. My friend felt the same, and that was one of the three bands he wanted to see the most. With their performance done, I could not wait for the main attraction to make their way to the stage.

Megadeth came out the same way they did at last year's Gigantour: A blast of pyro and into "Blackmail The Universe." Much was similar to last year's show. Dave and Co. played a blistering ninety minute set with about eighteen songs total (with no tech. problems at all....sorry Montreal). The band sounded great just like last year. There were a few things different this time around. The obvious being bassist James Lomenzo from recent BLS fame. He fits right into the fold. What was also different was the setlist, for those who saw the first show's setlist posted on Blabbermouth figured it would be the same set, that's not the case. Besides the new song "Washington's Next” (which sounded pretty good…right where the band last left off with The System Has Failed), fans in Ft. Lauderdale got treated to such fan favorites as "Take No Prisoners” (on of my favorites from my favorite Megadeth album R.I.P.), "Devil's Island," "The Mechanix” (glad to hear any song from Killing is My Business....), and big surprise "Liar” (Dave has stated that he put the song into the set the night before because he heard Lamb of God jamming on it. If anything, Florida fans thank you Lamb of God for doing so). The biggest difference, however, would be the two lifting cameras hovering around the arena. During the set, Dave had announced to the audience that this stop on the tour would be one filmed for the next Gigantour. Again, thank you Dave for realizing that there are a good number of die hard, fired up metal fans here.

Altogether, Gigantour was another enjoyable experience. Lots of good music at a fan-friendly price. We can only hope that tours like Gigantour can be a trend here in the U.S. A toast to this year tour, and here's to the next.

Megadeth's setlist:

  • Blackmail the Universe
  • Set The World Afire
  • Wake Up Dead
  • Skin Of My Teeth
  • The Scorpion
  • Liar
  • In My Darkest Hour
  • Take No Prisoners
  • Devil's Island
  • She Wolf
  • Symphony Of Destruction
  • Trust
  • Kick The Chair
  • Hanger 18
  • Washington's Next
  • Peace Sells (with members of the other bands singing at the end)

  • The Mechanix
  • Holy Wars...The Punishment Due

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