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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

On Megadeth’s 2013 Gigantour in Winnipeg

Business Is Still Good! 
(On Megadeth’s 2013 Gigantour)
by aLfie vera mella

[July 22, MTS Centre, Downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada]

Because we had other important appointments to attend to before the concert, we missed the front acts which included the U.S. Metal bands Hellyeah and Black Label Society; but that's all right, at least, by the time Megadeth appeared onstage, our energy was freshly potent. I didn't care if I was wearing an Echo & the Bunnymen shirt; still I was practically headbanging and airdrumming through the whole set of Megadeth.

The entire show was quite short--only about 14 songs, especially when compared with other gigs that we attended in the recent past. I think this was intentional, and I sensed that already just by counting the number of bands opening the show. Even so, Megadeth's fist-pounding brand of Thrash Metal remains as crunchy and sparkling-clear as always--Dave Mustaine's and Chris Broderick's twin lead-guitar attack never failed to charge up the audience; add to that, the tubular-sounding bass playing of Dave Ellefson that connected well with the hits of drummer Shawn Drover.

Megadeth opened their set with the tribal-drumming-introed "Trust," from the seventh album, Cryptic Writings (1997).

Unsurprisingly they performed their most commercially popular song, "Symphony of Destruction," from the fifth album, Countdown to Extinction (1992), at the latter part of the set, which of course got the loudest sing-along response. 

They didn't play my most favorite song ("Mary Jane"), but at least they played something from the same album this song came from, the somber but still thrashing "In My Darkest Hours." 

One highlight of the show was the performance of the song "Dance in the Rain," from the latest album, Super Collider (2013), which featured on lead vocals David Draiman of the U.S. band Disturbed.

The moshpit though was a bit lackluster—no wild slamdancing—just full of Metal-sign-flashing Metalheads. It didn't matter though, the music was enough to raise the dopamine levels of perhaps the majority of that night’s audience inside MTS Centre, and that meant Megadeth’s business is still good. In my honest opinion though, based on my having known the band since 1988, Mustaine and the rest of Megadeth seemed to be really past their wild and anarchic days. They remained passionate and hard-rocking onstage; but obviously, they had elevated onto the status of serious artists who were now simply happily reaping the fruits of their long labor. Come to think of it, 2013 is Megadeth's 30th anniversary.

The last song was "Holy Wars...The Punishment Due," from the band's fourth album, Rust in Peace (1990).

What sent shivers down my spine was the song that they selected to be played after the curtains had closed—"My Way" by Sex Pistols—Megadeth's obvious tribute to one of their Punk Rock influences.

Final Note
Regarded as one of "The Big Four of Thrash Metal" (along with Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax), Megadeth was founded by Dave Mustaine with Dave Ellefson in 1983, after Mustaine’s getting fired from Metallica because of his excesses. He was Metallica’s lead guitarist for two years. In its 30 years of activity, Megadeth has released 14 studio albums—from 1985’s Killing Is My Business... and Business Is Good! to this year’s Super Collider