Live Review: Megadeth + Metal Church, VEGA Copenhagen

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Megadeth thrashed Copenhagen!

Vega Main Hall, 02. August: Always a strange size, On the Dystopia World Tour, Megadeth seems to make everything work to their advantage. Often perceived as a second-place by some fronts, perhaps especially by Mustaine himself, Megadeth proved for the second time in a few years, that they are by no-means at second place:

Metal Church

As the support tonight came on in the form of US band Metal Church, we were greeted with an awesome set from the Washington State quintet. With a sound best described as a perfect mix of Bruce Dickinson vocals from Ronny Munroe, and equal parts early Metallica, Judas Priest and Megadeth, it was like a journey through classic metal history, without being covers, as “Fake Healer” from the ’89 release “Blessing In Disguise”, started the show, followed by “In Mourning” and “Needle And Suture”. Munroe & co. seemed to enjoy themselves massively, smiling and pointing at people in the audience. As their 45 minutes came to end with “Beyond The Black”, Munroe thanked the audience from the bottom of his heart, looking forward to meeting everyone for selfies and autographs in the merch booth. Extremely well played by everyone, and a joy to witness.

Megadeth

I’ve always seen Dave Mustaine as a troubled soul. No doubt about his own actions led to his departure from Metallica, but he’s always been a man who openly questioned his own abilities, which earns him massive respect in my book. He clearly has some inner demons, and it seems like he’s winning that fight – all powers to you, David. Last time Megadeth visited Denmark, was the 2016 edition of Copenhell, the all-metal festival in Copenhagen, which our Danish team covered this summer. That gig was of massive proportions, as it was on Helvíti, the festival’s biggest stage. VEGA Mainhall has only room for 2-3000, and was sold out, but this evening Megadeth proved that the size of the venue doesn’t matter. Hell, for all I care, this could’ve been a secret gig at the High Voltage Rock Club (Copenhagen).

Anyway, ss “Hangar 18” came on, the thick basslines of David Ellefson pumped through Vega’s newly redisigned PA, and Ellefson (who’s actually a Pastor in private), looked like an excited little boy, as he rocked the place with his bandmates. “Skin O’ My Teeth” and “Threat Is Real” was up next, and Kiko Loureiro showed up close, what an absolutely phenomenal guitar player he is. Proudly showing off his red signature Ibanez KIKO100, Loureiro utilized the whole stage with an unseen level of surplus.

Kiko Louriero bending his signature Ibanez KIKO100 to the max! Photo © Jakob Muxoll

The Belgic Soilwork drummer Dirk Verbeuren sat up high on a podium, and looked very concentrated with his big black on-ear headphones. His play was as tight as a dolphin’s butt…..watertight – just to get to quote the movie “Airheads” 😉

There wasn’t many interactions with the audience, but those that were, revealed a very humble and peaceful Mustaine, and a band of seasoned and legendary musicians, who couldn’t hide the fact that they do what they  love, and love what they do.

This is something that shows, and a band that comes on stage, has a setlist 100% deprived from any of the usual bullshit of an encore that “everyone knows is coming, but everyone acts like it’s a surprise that they’re coming back in”, is A-OK in my book. An evening of professional musicians, just four guys who knows how to play thrashmetal, absolutely stripped to the bare essentials of playing pure thrash!

Mustaine isn’t exactly known for being overly active on a stage – most of the times he’s just standing there….and standing, but he absolutely ripped the air with every note he played, and kicked more ass than many bands I’ve seen, that it was more than okay! Most bands with “boring” musicians (as in, just standing there like they’re bored out of their skin), would normally get a big fat minus-point from this writer. But Mustaine is one of the few who can get away with this. A few “Thank you all so much!” and smiles, bows and waves, was all we got in terms of spoken words. But, ‘tell you what? It was perfectly OK! The whole concept made the four guys seem like it was your homies up there. Their presence and surplus throughout the set, made it feel like this was their first show on the entire tour, and the energy projected tonight was just overwhelming.

Megadeth – just four guys thrashing! Dirk Verbeuren, David Ellefson, Dave Mustaine, Kiko Louriero   Photo © Jakob Muxoll

As I had now moved to the 1. floor balcony, even people up here was headbanging! And as the set came to its end, and I had taken a photo of the setlist from earlier, I knew what was up next: The massive “Symphony Of Destruction”. Deemed as one of the greatest guitar riffs of all time (and one of my personal favourites as I started playing myself at age 12), the super-massive slow-moving thrash hit from 92’s “Countdown to Extinction” set the sold-out venue on fire! Then came “Mechanix”, Mustaine’s original version of what Metallica made into “The Four Horsemen” (Kille ‘Em All), and it was like watching an early Metallica show, as this very fast-tempo original ripped through the room. Then there was “Peace Sells”, and finally “Holy Wars”, before Mustaine came back on stage, bowed, waved, and thanked the audience deeply.

Highlights were many among the setlist, but tunes like “Hangar 18”, “A Tout Le Monde”, “Conquer Or Die”, “Peace Sells”, “Symphony Of Destruction” and “Mechanix” were my personal highlights.

Massive respect to Megadeth for this bomb of a show!


We rate:
5.0 rating

Throw some respect to the guys at https://www.megadeth.com

Setlist:

Hangar 18
Skin O’ My Teeth
Threat Is Real
She Wolf
Trust
Fatal Illusion
Conquer Or Die
Lying In State
Poisonous Shadows
Tornado
Post American World
A Tout Le Monde
Sweating Bullets
Dystopia
Symphony Of Destruction
Mechanix
Peace Sells
Holy Wars

Based in Denmark, Jakob shoots portraits, conceptual photography, bands and rock concerts. Having played lead guitar in several bands, he combines his love for music, with his passion for photography.

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