A huge mind-blowing tour featuring legendary thrash metal band MEGADETH kicked off in Dallas, TX recently and A&GS was there to take it all in. Rare is the occasion in which almost any city in Texas has the opportunity to be the number one date of any tour.
Well, we had the honor of receiving MEGADETH, along with fellow thrashers HAVOK and Finland’s melodic death metallers CHILDREN OF BODOM, who I’ve been a fan of for almost a decade.
The South Side Ballroom hosted the thousands of attendants for this show, and I can officially and proudly say that this gig is a strong potential candidate to add to my list of best shows of the year.
The lineup looked like it had a sweet mix of extreme sauce and that evening is sure one that I’ll remember for a very long time. The lines to get in were very long as usual (for a huge band name and a disorganized parking lot) and the show hosted non-stop action for the most part.
Lights go off, and HAVOK is in the house! As the first couple of riffs sound, it looks like “Unnatural Selection” is immediately start a pit that has a diagonal direction. Thrash metal is here and HAVOK has a HUGE chance to increase their fanbase and show everyone what real metal is all about. This was my second time seeing the band and I still love the way they sound and how they perform. Madness is the perfect word to describe what was going on while Denver’s own were making people slam each other into pieces.
The set had a fairly long duration, including sensational tracks like “D.O.A.” and “Fatal Intervention”. I couldn’t stop head banging the whole time until my favorite track ripped the house apart. “Give me Liberty or Give me Death” is such a powerful closing song for this amazing band. The place exploded one more time and suddenly all the people looked like a bunch of fast-moving insects working for their queen. HAVOK DELIVERS, and I encourage you to check them out every single time. There are very few metal bands that represent the thrash metal essence like they do and they’re somehow ahead of the game here.
CHILDREN OF BODOM, is one that I’ve been following for a very long, long time. In fact they’re one of the bands that got me to explore the metal world back in 2006.
COB have had a very interesting career, and this is definitely not their first time playing with MEGADETH, so I could already tell that there was some chemistry, hence the amazing crowd involvement. With a setlist consisting of ten songs, Alexi Laiho, Janne Wirman, Henkka Seppälä, Jaska Raatikainen and Daniel Freyberg played some complex melodies with heavy riffing for the enjoyment of the public.
The first couple of songs “Are You Dead Yet?” and “In Your Face” are crushing, and even though I detected a weak sound at the beginning, it was much more clear when “Halo of Blood” had its time to shine. Right after the aforementioned song, one of my favorites “Hate Me!” made the pit open up once more!. It looked like the band had something prepared from almost every one of their albums.
“Blooddrunk” and the title track from their latest album I Worship Chaos (Nuclear Blast Records) were also a very nice addition. Following these, tunes like “Angels Don’t Kill”, “Lake Bodom” and “Silent Night, Bodom Night”, from the golden ages of CHILDREN OF BODOM got me stoked to be a part of this show. The evening was shaping itself better every minute, and it wasn’t even done yet until another one of my favorites screwed the place (musically speaking) one more time! “Needled 24/7” was the second-to-last track to pair up with “Downfall”, which is a very nice piece of melodic metal and it’s a very characteristic song from the band.
I’m surprised that after all these years, COB haven’t lost their touch, and they sure find a way to keep creating incredible music.
Alexi Laiho is such an amazing guitarist; his technique is unreal and the sound he produces is perfectly clear. He’s truly one recognizable player in the metal world, and hopefully he and his bandmates have many more years to please the fans with well-composed songs to lose our minds to.
Before MEGADETH hit the stage, a very important highlight needs to be mentioned: MOTORHEAD’s “Ace of Spades” and IRON MAIDEN’s “Wasted Years” were among the songs played while setting up the gear… and the people did not stay quiet. No live band was playing at the moment and it just looked like everyone needed to let some energy go! It was very pleasant to sing those songs with strangers, who are not quite strangers after all.
Our music has this invisible bond among us, and it’s something we all know how to enjoy. These two tracks completed the warm up to receive the huge headliner of the night.
Long had I waited for this show to finally arrive, and after seeing MEGADETH live for the very first time at Knotfest Mexico 2015, I couldn’t contain my excitement to see what Dave Mustaine, David Ellefson, Kiko Loureiro and Chris Adler had in stock to deliver to the attendees. Finally! The moment of the night has arrived! All MEGADETH band members are ready to play one more time (after almost three years) in Dallas! No better opening song could fit besides “Hangar 18”. The crowd reaction went far beyond my expectations, it looked like this was a MEGADETH show from 10 years ago or even more. People moving here, people moving there, more people jumping here, others headbanging there. “Wake Up Dead” sounds beautiful live, Adler’s drumming gave an excellent taste for that one. I still have the first notes in my head.
“She-Wolf” and “Sweating Bullets” were also some fine tunes played before Ellefson played “Dawn Patrol” and gave a proper introduction for “Poison Was the Cure”. This is the point of no return. After this song, it just kept getting better and better! “Tornado of Souls” and “Trust”, created more happiness with the fans and were worth the price of admission.
It was my second time seeing MEGADETH and every song was taking me back to last year when I had that first taste, so this evening I had the opportunity to re-live an incredible experience from a shorter distance than last time. Dystopia is the newest MEGADETH album, and it’s an absolute killer so “Fatal Illusion” was another highlight of the night.
Classic songs like “Skin O’ My Teeth”, “Symphony of Destruction” and “Peace Sells” took the amps and delivered the sound up to the most mysterious hidden corner in the guys and gals’ room. It was an unbelievable night.
A perfect ending was composed with the sound of “Holy Wars…The Punishment Due”, which is also one of my all-time favorite MEGADETH songs and I had a little over six minutes to lose my mind. I still have these sounds in my ears along with seeing my buddies Jose, Tanner and John slamming hard towards everything that was crossing their path. This was clearly an unexpected reaction from me, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. MEGADETH has proved why they have that spot among The Big Four. A memorable night along with memorable moments and songs.
The tour is barely starting, and it’ll continue until the end of next month with its culmination on March 24 in Quebec. This means that you have two options: you either buy your ticket to see this show right now, or you make good plans for the upcoming spring break and catch all these bands wherever they’re playing. This is not something you’d like to miss and you’ve been warned about it,so spend wisely and listen to real music.
LIVE WORDS: THE ALCALDE