A small venue, but a sold-out show.
English Evile who open for Megadeth in Oslo are a new but promising quatuor to me.
They play fierce traditional thrash of the best sort and give us a flawless performance the half hour they play; and I like the vocalist's charisma.
As one of my absent mates sent me in a sms, I say: "Evile rules!" and they have just release their debut album, 'Enter The Grave', produced by Fleming Rasmussen himself.
Now, the stage is set for Megadeth
. Simple, right to the point, just like real heavy bands can do it. They need no frills. They've got it all, it's in their music.
We're standing about ten meters from the stage, right at the middle. Think it must be the best place at the venue. We see well and get the good sound, just in front of the PA station. Should I feel old? I mean, I'm not standing in the pit and it's OK!? No, I just haven't seen Megadeth for 11 years, and times obviously change. Sis is not here as she was last time, and I've got those friends all around me to mend the gap. We're all in a state of excitement about the whole setting. Us together, about to rock to Megadeth.
The stage is set, plain and right to the point. So is the band. They walk in all of a sudden, already hitting the strings. I immediately get a 1990's feeling and it won't leave me throughout the show. All the ingredients are there. The lightning of the stage, the big hair, the riffs, oh, the riffs....MegaDave himself really hardly looks older than 25.
They take us with turmoil with Sleepwalker, first title of their brand new ‘United Abominations’. A bomb of an entrance.
After a couple of songs, Dave greets us with his well-known grin. To me he's just been frozen for a decade, and here he stands again, nailing solo after solo.
It takes the first few songs for the microphone and Dave's guitar to be audible and clear. When this is said, the sound is quite well-balanced through the show. We also get to meet the brand new guitarist Chris Broderick (ex-Nevermore), who's only been playing since the Finland gig three days earlier. Few can fill Marty's shoes, but think this new gentleman will do well after a while.
In the first half of the show, we get old pearls like Wake up dead, Skin o' my teeth, Take no prisoners, Hangar 18, as well as new songs as Washington is next. They play the six first tracks of the last album, and these blend magnificently with the old hits.
The audience turn into choir boys and girls on A tout le monde, Symphony of destruction and Peace sells. The atmosphere is almost cliché traditional heavy metal, with synchronized head-banging and a near-religious attention, would it not be for the mobile phones travelling back and forth in the air. We are actually witnessing the performance of a legend.
Everybody's here for the music. Sorry for the classical comparison, but this is where Metallica has failed. Megadeth has kept a musical integrity and their original aggression.
I have to say I skipped a few chapters, and wasn't quite sure what to expect by taking the trip, but the new songs, many new to me the evening of the show, still have the fierceness many old bands have tended to lose (Metallica again, anyone?), and on Thursday night it is difficult to tell the new material from the old.
I personally miss a bit more of Youthanasia (Reckoning day), and more Countdown or Cryptic writings, but this is a rather short set too. In the ninety minutes they play, Megadeth delight us with a solid, varied set-list.
They finally stand in line and take a bow as big bands do, and when a rock version of a Jesus song starts playing in the venue, we know the show's over and it is safest to leave the place to go and drink the night away.
The set list:´
02. Take No Prisoners
03. Wake Up Dead
04. Skin O' My Teeth
05. Washington Is Next!
06. Kick The Chair
07. In My Darkest Hour
08. Hangar 18
09. Gears Of War
10. A Tout Le Monde
11. Tornado Of Souls
12. Ashes In Your Mouth
13. Never Walk Alone
14. Symphony Of Destruction
16. Peace Sells
17. Burnt Ice
18. Holy Wars