Megadeth @ The Palladium, Hollywood CA 03/31/10
I’ve wanted to catch Megadeth since 2000, but life and money (lack thereof) always got in the way. However this recent tour was VERY special. Co-founder and original bass player David Ellefson has rejoined the group. More importantly, Megadeth is commemorating the 20 year anniversary of the release of their masterwork Rust in Peace by performing it in its entirety. To add to the magic of that night, this particular show at the Hollywood Palladium was filmed for a future DVD release!!! I was actually a part of Megadeth history.
So I’m pretty new to the whole thrash metal gig experience. I had arrived as Testment wrapped up their set. The preshow music was very cool, including The Cult’s “She Sells Sanctuary” and Iron Maiden’s “2 Minutes To Midnight” which inspired the whole venue to sing along with raised fists and raised beers in the air (since there were no chalices of ale available). I knew the crowd wouldn’t be gentle, haha. The show began and we were packed like sardines and jostled in every direction. Imagine this entire mass of people heaving left and right, forward and backward in unison – some people losing their balance and falling over each other in the process. It was a big, dangerous, smelly, sweaty mass of humanity. It’s hard to enjoy a show when you’re trying NOT to get elbowed or knocked over lol. I lasted only four songs before moving to the rear of the venue, stage left. I’m getting too old for that.
This was a very cool show – historic musical event. Not bad for $40. Maybe I’m not “metal” enough for a Megadeth audience, but I still had a good time and knew most of the material. 17 songs were played including the 9 tracks from RIP. Two tracks from the new album Endgame were also featured (The Right To Go Insane, Head Crusher), as were some favorites like Peace Sells, Symphony of Destruction, Trust and In My Darkest Hour. Megadeth’s set lasted a mere 80 to 85 minutes. Ommited favorites like Sweating Bullets and A Tout Le Monde were sorely missed. Thrash giants Exodus and Testament opened, however I wasn’t able to catch them in time.
I’m more of a fan of the drummers in Megadeth than the band itself. Nick Menza and current drummer Shawn Drover are idols to me. The precision and stamina of those kinds of drummers have always impressed me. Shawn Drover made those rapid fire drum parts look easy. He played gracefully and effortlessly. His hands barely moved, but my ears were hearing a mess of activity on the toms and cymbals. It was like I was watching him in slow motion. New guitarist Chris Broderick from Nevermore nailed all those acrobatic guitar parts. David Ellefson is well…David Ellefson. And then there’s guitarist/singer Dave Mustaine…snarling, sneering egomaniac. But wow can he play. The production was simple, nothing too flashy, just your typical lighting setup and some stage props and a backdrop inspired by the Rust In Peace album cover. I think Megadeth has always been about the songs and the performance, rather than flash and frills like some other groups.
Rush In Peace = one of the greatest metal albums of all time.
Skin O’ My Teeth
In My Darkest Hour
Holy Wars/The Punishment Due
Take No Prisoners
The Five Magics
Tornado of Souls
Rust In Peace/Polaris
The Right To Go Insane
Symphony of Destruction
Peace Sells (But Who’s Buying?)