Better than...putting a plug in it.
Megadeth leader Dave Mustaine has gone on a tear making controversial statements in interviews recently. At least he has the sense to mostly keep his opinions to himself when performing live. At last night's Gigantour stop at Gibson Amphitheatre, he preferred to let Megadeth's songs do the talking for him, almost to a fault.
Italian goth-metal sextet Lacuna Coil and Danish rockers Volbeat got the night off to an energetic start. Motorhead came to kick our ass, and they did.
Megadeth then took the stage to an enthusiastic crowd response, launching straight into longtime favorite "Trust." However, Dave Mustaine's energy level seemed somewhat subdued. His normally angry snarl wasn't as potent as it was the last couple of times Megadeth was in town. He rarely engaged the crowd; most of the time he said little except to introduce the next song.
The band received an enthusiastic response when they came out, but the lack of energy on-stage ended up sucking the wind out of the crowd. Classics like "Sweating Bullets" and "Hook in Mouth" -- which should have triggered wall-to-wall moshing -- instead saw small pockets of pitters that seemed like they were going through the motions.
That's not to say that Megadeth's set was bad, or completely lacking in entertainment. The energy level increased with the appearance of Lacuna Coil vocalist Cristina Scabbia, who joined the band to sing her vocals on "A Tout Le Monde." Guitarist Chris Broderick played mesmerizing solos on songs like "Foreclosure Of A Dream" and "Guns, Drugs & Money."
And those bloggers looking for another dubious Mustaine quote to pounce on were disappointed. The only political or religious statement he made throughout the night was at the very end, before the final song. Asking the audience who they were planning to vote for in this year's election, Mustaine was very careful not to endorse Rick Santorum, simply saying "take a look at the last three years, and ask yourself if you want the same shit for the next five years."
Mustaine did perk up a little bit during the one-two punch finale of "Peace Sells" and "Holy Wars...The Punishment Due." However, for most of the night we sat there waiting to be inspired.
Personal Bias: Much like I don't have a horse in the Ozzy vs. Dio debate, I also don't have a horse in the Metallica vs. Megadeth debate.
The Crowd: A healthy mix of old metal dudes in Slayer t-shirts and teens in denim vests sporting Toxic Holocaust patches.
Set list below.
Megadeth's set list:
Foreclosure Of A Dream
A Tout Le Monde (w/Cristina Scabbia)
Public Enemy No. 1
Whose Life (Is It Anyway)
Guns, Drugs & Money
Hook in Mouth
Ashes In Your Mouth
Symphony Of Destruction
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Holy Wars...The Punishment Due