GIG REVIEW: MEGADETH ‘Dystopia’ World Tour Live At Dallas, TX
When you’re 13 years old and some dude you know comes into you house one fine evening and shows you a video of Megadeth’s “Holy Wars”, your life changes forever. It’s been 13 years since then and I would not have believed that I was going see Megadeth perform live. The 20th of February was indeed special. I was listening to ‘Rust in Peace’ all day long and was pumped to see the band perform. The concert was held in Southside Ballroom, Dallas, TX. I arrived at the venue and saw a huge line. I knew then, that it was going to be a night to remember.
The first band to play was Havok with their traditional thrash metal sound. Since the conception of the band, the main focus has
always been to produce a traditional “thrash metal sound” with traces of what has been part of the modern metal sound, such as odd time signatures, breakdowns and a bit of groove. That got the pit going and growing strong. They impressed the audience with the message that’s conveyed through the songs. It was all positivity and a lesson in ethic. The most metal lesson ever. The next band to play was Children of Bodom. I’ve seen them play live about three times now, and if you ask me honestly, their sound mix was weak. I’m used to all out crazy show that Alexi Liaho and company play. Their set was peppered with hits like “Needled 24×7”, “In Your Face” and “Are You Dead Yet?” I grew up on these songs so I enjoy them every time they are played live. I guess they were just tired, or it must be that this was the first show of the tour and I can understand artists needing a couple of shows to get in the groove of it all. They did play accurately and that is what matters on the core level. The guitar skills were on par.
Then the stage went dark and the wait began. It was a 30 minute wait before the intro video aired on the large screen. Surreal atmosphere saturated the venue. Everyone started shouting for the band to take the stage. I was in the front row, and was trying to work out the set-list that was recently pasted on the floor. A loud explosion, and the show began with “Hangar 18”. Now, if you don’t know what that song is, you are missing out. It’s a solo-marathon, and when you know the solos verbatim, there is no shying away from humming them and making odd faces. Soon to follow was “Kingmaker”, succeeded by “Wake up Dead”. By this time, I’d lost my senses and found myself losing control. The set just kept belting out hits after hits. “She-Wolf”, “Sweating Bullets”, “Poison Was the Cure”.
Then it happened. I was awaiting this moment for over 13 years. “Tornado of Souls” hit the stage and for the next 5 minutes, I was in trance. Needless to say, the solo saw me teary eyed and I am not ashamed to admit it. Kiko has his own unique take on the solo and I like it. They played “Fatal Illusion” from their newest album ‘Dystopia’ and segued into “A Tout Le Monde”. I wish I had a lighter, but I sang along with strange brothers in arms. Special shout out to David Ellefson for nailing “Dawn Patrol” and “Peace Sells”
The last three songs flew by and the band left the stage. Everyone knew what they were waiting for and moments later, Dave Mustaine and company returned to the stage. He had a quick joke with one of the people in the front row and then marched into “Holy Wars…The Punishment Due”. Having sung this song with group of my friends in school on teacher’s day, it was nostalgia of the best kind. Chris Adler breathed new life into the Megadeth songs and gave them a new vigor. That’s how it’s supposed to be played. This was an unforgettable experience, personified in action by my relentless shouting of the band’s name to any stranger walking by. With a stiff neck and some battle scars, I sang my way back home and I knew life would never be the same again.