Earlier this month I had the pleasure of seeing Megadeth live at the Brixton Academy in London. Megadeth are for me a very important band as they were one of the bands that got me into metal, I remember hearing ‘A Tout Le Monde’ on a metal radio station when I was 14 and the rest was history. I previously saw Megadeth live at Sonisphere UK 2011 as part of the Big 4 Tour. While their performance at Sonisphere was good, they encountered problems due to the wind, having only an hour set and being on before the mighty Slayer. But at Brixton their set was going to be longer and I could not wait to start off my holiday by seeing Megadeth!
It was never going to be Bleed from Within’s night. Despite this the band that walk the line between Metalcore and melodic death metal were still entertaining and were still given a large cheer when walking on stage. The Glaswegian quintet certainly had passion and talent and were a fun opener. Despite large cheers and claps in between songs and singer Scott Kennedy thanking the audience, expressing the band’s gratitude at opening for Megadeth and getting a chance to play Brixton Academy, their music didn’t connect with the majority of the audience and their request for pits was met with a less than positive response. The band’s use of flashing lights also became irritating and distracting. Kennedy also instead of announcing the name of each song, decided to scream it which wasn’t a wise move. Despite being a different genre to Megadeth and being unknown to the majority of the audience, Bleed from Within rose to the challenge and gave an entertaining show despite the daunting task at hand.
A lot has been said about Megdaeth’s iconic frontman Dave Mustaine lately, he’s often viewed as a joke now by some of the metal community with his radical Christian views, paranoid conspiracy theory claims against Obama and claim that he cured a man’s throat cancer, I was worried that this might derail the show despite the anthems in Megadeth’s fourteen album arsenal. But as soon as the band’s intro, accompanied by a visual extravaganza on multiple screens started, I forgot about my worries. The band walked on stage to a thunderous roar and opened with the opening salvo of ‘Trust’ and ‘Hangar 18’, in just two songs they had destroyed Bleed from Within’s set. The band next played ‘Kingmaker’, accompanied by a lyric video on screen. This song was from their latest album Super Collider, which wasn’t a total disaster as predicted. It was a bold move to include a new song from a fan dividing album at the beginning of the set but Megadeth pulled it off.
After a stunning ‘She-Wolf’ and a large cheer, Dave Mustaine stood there, staring at an audience chanting Megadeth at the top of their lungs, during the chanting though I was worried he’d go on a rant and I could sense a few of my friends were too. But instead he was very humble and apologized to the audience for not coming to England on the anniversary tour of Countdown to Extinction, so to make up for it they played four songs off Countdown, finishing in the epic sing a long of ‘Sweating Bullets!’ What followed next was an onslaught of Thrash Metal anthems, Chris Broderick and Dave Mustaine played every solo flawless with huge grins on their faces, David Ellefson proved he was still an inspiration bass player with a spotless rendition of ‘Dawn Patrol’ while Shawn Drover deserved every cheer and horn raised at him throughout his set. The show was simply incredible, with the videos and montages accompanying him adding to the show, apart from the hilarious video to ‘Public Enemy No 1’ involving the monkey shootout. There was also great emotion in the set when the band played ‘A Tout La Monde’, and Mustaine let the audience sing the chorus which echoed not only around Brixton Academy, but Brixton itself! It was a phenomenal moment that was sadly ruined when the band decided to play lead single ‘Super Collider,’ of the latest album. It didn’t ruin the gig but it certainly ruined the mood, the majority of the seating section that had been standing decided to sit down, following it with a cover of Thin Lizzy’s ‘Cold Sweat.’ But as soon as the intro track to ‘Symphony of Destruction’ started playing, a massive cheer arose and everyone stood up again. The whole standing section was jumping to the iconic riffs and going mad, I could see the mosh pits from seating. Set closer ‘Peace Sells,’ was hugely entertaining too where they were joined on stage by a man dressed as their iconic mascot Vic Rattlehead, also served as a testament to Megadeth’s continued relevance, from the young fans, the older fans wearing tour t-shirts from the 90s and to the children singing along with their parents, Megadeth have deserved their place in the metal pantheon.
After ‘Peace Sells,’ the band came back onstage for an encore and Dave Mustaine after thanking the crowd once again simply said ‘you know what comes next, it goes something like this.’ Mustaine then played the intro to the Thrash Metal classic ‘Holy Wars: The Punishment Due,’ the whole venue erupted into chaos, so much that one fan was thrown out of seating for acting too violently. That was simply the best Thrash Metal gig I had went too, despite Slayer being my favourite of The Big Four, it was the best Big Four performance I had seen, simply astonishing. There is still life in Megadeth and if gigging is their business, then business is good.