This guy’s band wants to crush the world with his tour. Did he tonight?
One of the “Big Four” thrash bands, Megadeth, are back to packed Abbotsford Centre in Abbotsford Canada with support from Oni and Bullet for my Valentine (thanks to Live Nation!). This is their first appearance in the British Columbia mainland since 2013’s Gigantic Tour and since then they have released 2 albums, Dystopia (2016) and recently in 2022 with The Sick, the Dying..and the Dead!. That makes 16 albums in the discography since 1985, but how much do we hear of these tonight?
Really, the band probably should be called MegaDave as lead vocalist/guitarist Dave Mustaine runs the show. Since 2013, there is a entirely new lineup that we have not seen here with Dirk Verbeuren (Drums), Kiko Loureiro (guitar) and most recently James LoMenzo (bass).
They start off late, as call time was 9:15pm but didn’t get on until 9:22pm, but nobody cared as they start with one from 1990’s Rust in Peace album with “Hanger 18”. It’s a electric start with that song with lots of guitar shredding from both Dave and Kiko that is pretty much on the mark with the original. Bass player James is flailing his hair about with Dirk’s precise drumming as he head bangs away behind the kit. I am I the only one that is impressed that Mustaine still has a pretty healthy head of hair?
This time, no expense is spared with the stage, as it has lots of large screens for the visuals behind the risen drum kit and on both sides of it. The pictures and graphics were quite dazzling actually as song 2 is “Dread and the Fugitive Mind” from The World Needs a Hero (2001)
Song 5 “Angry Again” is not one we have heard since 2005 in this area of the world. However, I am not sure I hear that anger in the 61 year old Mustaine like we used to.
Song 6 is with the song “She-Wolf”. Personally I don’t see the appeal in this song, and it was played on the last tour here…time for a washroom break.
“Conquer or Die!” From Dystopia at Song 6 we get a Kiko Showcase of his guitar skills which gives Dave a vocal break before hitting other upcoming Megadeth staples with “A tout le monde” and then “Trust”. Did we really need to hear Trust on this tour? Well, I guess considering when he asked “how many of you are seeing Megadeth for the first time tonight?”, A LOT of hands went up, like 75% of the arena. So, they do have to play some of these oldies to the new generation.
We do get ONE song from the new album called “We’ll be Back”. It’s a fast thrasher with some high speed guitar riffs that gets the mosh pit moving. I am quite surprised he only plays 1 new song on this tour from that album as well as Dystopia. But I tell you this, some nice solo work from Dave and Kiko are the highlight of this song. Kiko is a talented addition to this band, not hard to see why Dave brought him aboard.
Other Megadeth songs that are ‘must plays’ were “Tornado of Souls”, “Symphony of Destruction” and “Peace Sells” where we see Vic Rattlehead make an appearance on stage and smother each musician. Former White Lion bass player LoMenzo gets his time in the spotlight with “Peace Sells” with that wonderful bass at the start. Yes, I did say White Lion. James was with them from 1984 to 1991 on their best albums.
Ok the real highlight of this show is at song 13 where they play “Mechanix” from the first album “Killing is My Business…and Business is Good! (1985). Some might of thought he was doing a Metallica cover of “The Four Horsemen” but “Mechanix” is the version that Dave wrote when he was in Metallica back in the early 80’s. That was a pleasant surprise as the last time it was played in this area was in 2001 at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, what a show that would’ve been! They played 22 songs that night.
Song 14 which was based off the Gulf War “Holy Wars” was played last this night. Dave can still play that ripping solo like you hear on the album, which is at the last half of the song.
Overall it was a pretty good performance from these guys from just over an hour show. A couple of surprises and all these new additions to the band have no problem slamming through all 14 songs on the set. Did we miss “Wake Up Dead” or “Foreclosure of a Dream” or “In My Darkest Hour”, maybe….but we’ve heard those on just about every tour previously anyway and it was time for a shakeup. Dave’s voice was ok, certainly light in some spots and just lacked some angry snarl that we are used to hearing from him. But after not seeing Megadeth for 10 years, we can overlook that, as we all got a good dose of old school thrash from one of the best metal bands in the world.