Thursday, March 17, 2016

Megadeth at Terminal 5

Dave Mustaine
Guitarist/vocalist Dave Mustaine was born in La Mesa, California, where his first band was called Panic. That venture ended quickly when the drummer and the sound man were killed in an automobile accident after the band's second show. Mustaine joined Metallica as it was forming in 1981, but was fired in 1983 after several drug and alcohol-fueled incidents. Back in Los Angeles, Mustaine formed the short-lived Fallen Angels while working as a telemarketer. He started Megadeth in 1983, a pioneer band in the American thrash metal scene, becoming  one of the genre's "big four" with Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax. Megadeth has sold 50 million records worldwide, earning platinum certification in the United States for five of its 15 studio albums. Megadeth's 15th album, Dystopia, was released on January 22, 2016. After many personnel changes, the band presently consists of vocalist/lead guitarist Mustaine, bassist David Ellefson, guitarist Kiko Loureiro and drummer Chris Adler.

Headlining tonight the second of two consecutive nights at Terminal 5, Megadeth proved that thrash metal is far more than thrust, crunch and speed. Mustaine and company played in a rich technical style, featuring both fast and complex arrangements. These arrangements were imaginative, and in an odd way for thrash, lush, in the sense that they were dense with layers of meticulous progressions. The set consisted of five songs from the current album, but the remaining 12 songs were all from the band's earliest collections. From the opening tune, "Hanger 18," to closer, "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due," Mustaine sang menacing vocals and played tornado guitar riffs. Frequent strobe lights and video shorts behind that band were unnecessary and perhaps distracting, yet fed into the stadium-quality magnitude of the concert. Headbangers and fist-pumpers in the audience got what they came for, but those who also listened carefully heard the depth and creativity of a well-executed metal concert from a veteran band.

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