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Gigantour 2008 Finishes Tour in Arizona

By CrpnDeth, Staff Photographer/Writer
Monday, May 26, 2008 @ 12:52 AM

New Swedish/Finnish releases rule the night

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The anticipation was high this year for Dave Mustaine’s traveling metal festival, Gigantour, as Children of Bodom and In Flames are always crowd favorites, not to mention both of them released new discs to high acclaim – and charting positions – back in April. This year marks the third North American Gigantour tour from Mustaine, which has thoroughly become a fan favorite, as it’s a tour for the fans and nothing like that corporate circus festival that usually travels throughout the summer dates.

But something odd came out of nowhere. Daylight gave way to darkness. High temperatures gave way to cold winds. Has Armageddon come to town? Is this an omen of Megadeth’s presence?

No. It’s fucking raining in Arizona. Thanks Breckon.

For me personally, it didn’t help matters that Mesa was the last night of the tour as I don’t have patience to begin with, and have been waiting since late March when the tour was announced. The media passes were late in getting to the front gate, so by the time I got in to the amphitheater, soaked and cold, I really had no interest in running up to shoot High on Fire. The band is a trio from Oakland that started the rain soaked gala in front of maybe a seventy people. Most of the early crowd were trying to take shelter somewhere in the open amphitheater or were taking advantage of the great (for a change) merch prices - $20 for every t-shirt. Their short set was full of energy, however they just didn’t impress musically. They could have been just any band in any club at any time. To be fair to the band, I was also preoccupied with getting out of the multidirectional rain that was falling thanks to the heavy winds that were picking up. They just didn’t do much to grab my attention.

Setlist: Rumors of War, Turk, Cometh Down Hessian, Waste of Tiamat, Speedwolf, Devilution

Job for a Cowboy played to pretty much the same small sized crowd, to the same limited response. From the reactions of most of the people there, everyone seems to be very tired of the “cookie monster” vocals. The band was heavy, and did conjure headbanging regardless of how the weather was, but they don’t stand out at all in that genre. Garnering the crowd’s attention just a notch more than High on Fire, the band was tight, but it wasn’t something we all haven’t heard before.

Setlist: Coalescing, Embedded, Entities, Reduced, Entomb, Altered, Knee Deep

The front of the stage filled and enthusiasm grew with a loudening roar when it was time for Children of Bodom, as the crowd started chanting “BODOM! BODOM!” almost as soon as Job for a Cowboy was off the stage. The band immediately rips in to Sixpounder and Living Dead Beat, and were having a blast. This was the band that everyone was waiting on to kickoff Gigantour 2008. One of the gems of a CoB show is that they do like to have fun, and will do cover songs that make beer fly out of your noise. Anyone hear their version of Britney Spear’s Oops…? Tonight they played a few minutes of Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’, and you just have to laugh.

The band was delivering riff after flawless riff throughout their whole set with barely a minute passing to catch their breath (except for the Journey cover of course). I personally dug the fact that the band switched out Hate Me for Silent Night Bodom Night. By the time the band completed their set the venue was well over half packed and the band thanked everyone for hanging out in the rain. The appreciation was mutual.

Setlist: Sixpounder, Living Dead Beat, In Your Face, Silent Night Bodom Night, Hellhounds on My Trail, Angels Don’t Kill, Blooddrunk, Downfall

Before the crowd gets a chance to settle down, In Flames takes the stage and the soggy crowd roars with approval. The band begins with Cloud Connected and follows up with the new single The Mirror’s Truth. The crowd is screaming word for word along with Anders, often bringing a grin to his face. Reaching further back in their catalog, the band played on with Leeches and Clayman.

Setlist: Cloud Connected, The Mirror's Truth, Leeches, Clayman, The Quiet Place, Transparent, Graveland, Alias, Disconnected, Come Clarity, Take This Life, My Sweet Shadow

As with all the other bands, Dave Mustaine takes the stage amid a downpour. Megadeth has appeared and Dave has launched in to Sleepwalker. All eyes seem to be on Chris Broderick as be is the new guy, and he trades riff for riff with Dave in perfect harmony. Wake Up Dead and Take No Prisoners follow to the crowd’s delight. The sonic bombardment coming from the stage makes the crowd forget about the downpour as more pits erupt. The band’s stage presence is a little less flammable tonight than it has in the past, maybe due to the winds or the setup of the stage as there are no flame pots to be found during their normal cues.

I find myself in the odd position of not remembering a song title, and it feels very weird. Just before they launch in to Washington is Next! I swear to God they played almost half – maybe even the whole song – of Out of the Tiles, even though it’s not on the setlist. Alcohol didn’t play a part in my not remembering, which is the really scary part.

The fans tonight were clearly here to soak up (no pun intended) the Swedish/Finnish intensity and new material from CoB and In Flames. While sets may have seemed shorter than normal, both bands played a wide gauge of tunes from the past decade of releases. Megadeth is definitely a fit unit with Chris, as he handled all his duties with ease. My sincere hope is that Dave lets him loose on the next disc. With their set now over, Gigantour 2008 has come to a close with complete success.

Setlist: Sleepwalker, Wake Up Dead, Take No Prisoners, Skin O’ My Teeth, Washington Is Next!, Kick The Chair, In My Darkest Hour, Hangar 18, Burnt Ice, A Tout Le Monde, Tornado Of Souls, Ashes In Your Mouth, Sweating Bullets, Symphony Of Destruction, Trust, Peace Sells, Holy Wars

Click on the thumbnail shots for larger pictures.

Children of Bodom:

In Flames:


ALL PHOTOS (c) 2008 DAVID SVENDSEN- More photos on display here

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