'MEGADETHED'  

Posted by Praveen in , , , , , , , ,


I've always loved his peculiar vocals. I've been inspired and touched by his amazing lyrics. His jaw-breaking solos have took my breath many a time. His band has remained one of my all-time favorites from the time I started listening to heavy metal. So, it was always a great dream to watch the man and his band live atleast once in a lifetime. But that dream is no more. Because, it became a reality this saturday at the palace grounds, Bangalore. Yes, am talking about Dave Mustaine and his band Megadeth which made India headbang to its tunes this weekend. The 'Rock in India' fest was a dream come true for me.

The day started with the metal army from my hometown, Trivandrum, landing here in the morning. We all proceeded to Palace grounds by afternoon. But the crowd outside the grounds were not as big as expected. The security was checking every inch of our body to make sure that concealed cameras and cigarette packets didn't make its way to the venue. We got inside only at the end of the 2nd band Prestorika's performance. We missed the first band 'Casino blues'. Anyway, I was happy that we were there in time for one of my favorite Indian bands, 'Junkyard groove'. This was my first time of watching the guys from Chennai live. I love most of their songs that I listened from their myspace page. Songs like 'its ok' and 'been so long' were lapped up by the small crowd. The vocalist with his drunken antics and able singing stole the show. Lots of people din't care to come near the smaller stage set for the Indian bands as they were waiting near the main stage to be in front by the time Megadeth performs. Next in line was 'Motherjane', the rockers from god's own country and the best in the country, IMHO. They belted out their great numbers from the old 'Insane biography' album as well as the unreleased 'Makhtub' album. We all enjoyed a lot by headbanging from the front row and singing along the lyrics. We also got a copy of the rare 'Insane biography' cd and got it autographed by the band.

We went around for a drink of cola(the only other things available were alcoholic drinks) and also visited the merchandise shops. By the time, we came back Thermal And A Quarter[TAAQ] were on stage. They played crowd favorites like 'Paper puli'. Though I liked their show, it was not as big as I expected. Then came the oldest guys on the Indian rock circuit 'Millennium'. Before the show, I haven't even heard their name. But after their show, I was wondering where these guys were hiding all these days for me to miss them. What I liked most about them was their in your face attitude. It was a power packed show all through with heavy riffing and stage antics like the 'metal army' chanting.

By the time Pentagram started, we were searching for a place near the main stage to watch Megadeth up close. Still, from there, we enjoyed the Pentagram show especially 'Its electric'. Am still wondering why vocalist Vishal Dadlani went behind bollywood music when he had such a great band at hand[obviously, its the money :D]. So, the side shows got over. Though it was supposed to be a side show, almost all the bands performed really well to underline the fact that the future of Indian rock is in safe hands.

We made our way through the crowd waiting impatiently in front of the main stage. About 6 rows from the front, the crowd was so dense that we couldn't move any further. The lights went off and then it blasted on to a sudden assault of heavy metal. 'Machine head' were on stage led by their evergreen front man Rob Flynn. I haven't heard much of them except a few songs from their new album 'Blackening' and the old song 'Davidian'. Still I enjoyed the show and headbanged to their songs. There was some heavy moshing happening right beside us and we had to do lot of expert maneouvers to save us from the assault. Lots of people[many of them with their GFs] were escaping from the front rows to stay free from the moshing and pushing. That paved the way for us to move forward a couple of rows. Rob Flynn said that when they started the band he never ever dreamed even in his wildest dreams that they would ever play in India. He was visibly surprised by the aggressive Indian crowd singing along their lyrics. Their show ended after 8:15.

Now, it was time for what I waited for all these years. The huge drum on stage was replaced with another one, specially for megadeth. The stage backdrop of Machine head was replaced with a huge one reading MEGADETH. The band crew was busy running around setting things up and sound checking. The impatient crowd began chanting 'MEGADETH, MEGADETH'. The huge speakers were playing songs from metal greats like Ozzy, Maiden and Pantera. And then at exactly 8:45 PM, the opening riffs of 'sleepwalker' from the new megadeth album 'United abominations' began streaming in. The crowd let out a huge roar. There he was, standing near the mic with his guitar in his trademark style. The lights went on in full bloom. I couldn't believe my eyes. Mustaine the great was standing before me and singing "No one is safe when I close my eyes, I come to take your life". Yeah, he almost took my life. He looked thinner than what I've seen on video. But the voice was still the same as was the guitaring. Chris Broderick was also great, playing the leads to perfection. As was Shawn Drover, pounding hard behind the drums. The only bad thing was the sound system, from which nothing was audible at first. One had to strain one's ears to hear the guitar leads. There was a slight drizzle right from the time Megadeth were on stage but it disappeared after sometime. The show really picked up with 'Tout Le monde' when the whole crowd sang along the lyrics. This fired up Mustaine and his bunch and the complexion of the show changed from there.

For the next 1 hour and 15 minutes we were treated to a mix of old as well as new favourites from the Megadeth discography. The crowd loved the old ones more, evident from the singing along. Maybe, they were more familiar with the old lyrics. The crowd, though small in number compared to Iron Maiden's show last year, played along well with the band. One such thing I particularly loved was the 'Megadeth, Megadeth' chanting that accompanied the guitar rhythm part in 'symphony of destruction'. During the last song 'Holy Wars', the band suddenly switched to the 'Mechanix' song after the arabic solo. Then again after the song, they switched back to 'Holy wars'. That was one surprising and nice touch to end the concert. It brought back memories of the long standing fued between Metallica and Mustaine, which actually paved the way for the birth of MEGADETH. Was this is a sign of Mustaine 'buying peace' with Metallica or declaring 'Holy war' on them? One can never be sure...

The playlist of Megadeth was as follows[not exactly in the same order]

1.Sleepwalker
2.Wake up dead
3.A Toute le Monde
4.Peace Sells..But whos buying
5.Symphony of Destruction
6.Tornado of souls
7.Trust
8.Burnt Ice
9.Skin o my Teeth
10.Washington is next
11.Hanger 18
12.In my darkest hour
13.Take no Prisoners
14.Holy Wars...punishment due
15.Mechanix[played in between Holy wars]

Some songs which I expected them to play[but they didnot play] were 'countdown to extinction', 'sweating bullets', 'United abominations'[I was sure of this since this was the title of the tour],'This was my life', 'Addicted to chaos' and 'Captive honour'. But still this was a great concert, a once in a lifetime experience. And I wouldn't have missed it for anything, not even work :P. The concert ended faster than expected at 10PM and we were left craving for more. As if he read our minds, Mustaine announced that he really loved playing here and that they would be back again to rock us...Now, am waiting for that day...Until then, its memories of this great day all the way

PS- Couldn't put up the pics I took there online cos its still in my mobile. Would do that soon.

PPS- Do checkout this interesting blog on the concert by young metal head Hari, a 10th standard student- http://hari-musicmania.blogspot.com/

your crusader Praveen