Thursday, June 09, 2005

Site Update: June 9th, 2005 Part I: 21st and Melbourne Megadeth gig review

Posted by AmishThrasher at 10:28 am
Looks cool, huh?
Welcome (again) to the AmishThrasher blog. Well, I promised that I'd put my old essays up online, and I'm delivering. My aim is to get one essay up a day until they're all up, so check back regularly, and - like always - feel free to comment on them. AT the moment I'm posting second year / first semester essays, and the quality of them will improve as I go along. The essays will cover philosophy, media, and politics given those are the subjects that I've studied. Why bother? Well, because they may be of use or interest to people, and there's more point in sharing them with anyone who wants to read them than there is in typing them up once, for some lecturer to read, and then forgetting about them.

Apologies to anyone reading this about the blog having gone quiet for a while there - basically I was bogged down with a whole bunch of work that needed to be done for uni, plus my job. Similarly, appologies for general reclusiveness. That said, I'm on holidays now, so I have more time to devote to things like keeping the blog up to date, so I will.

Beyond uni and work, I've been keeping myself busy in other ways the past few months. For example, I recently had my 21st, which I did in two halves. For the first half of it, I had close friends, family, and relatives go to the Geebung in Auburn. After that, a bunch of us headed down to Casey's (Switch) where we had a room booked and a big drink tab. In all, the night was awesome.

Similarly, I was able to catch MegadetH when they came to Melbourne, and it was easily one of the best gigs I've ever been to (though I speak with a clear bias - Dave Mustaine and co. have been one of my favorite bands since high school). I went along with Charlie and some of his mates. Even though we got to the Queensbridge Hotel (where the gig was) an hour early, the queue already stretched maybe 200m down Queensbridge Street. By the time the gig started, the queue went right down the block and around the corner. There were more Megadeth t-shirts than I've ever seen in my life. Given that Megadeth is a relatively obscure band, it was ununsual to be in a place where everyone knew all the songs and owned all the albums.

For those of you unfamiliar with 'deth, they're a thrash metal / grunge / hard rock band. They're one of the big 5 thrash bands, with Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer, and Pantera. Their music - especially their early albums - sound similar to early Metallica, and for good readon: Dave Mustaine (Megadeth's lead guitarist and vocalist) was the original lead guitarist for Metallica. Mustaine, if you check the song credits, also wrote (or helped to write) a number of songs off Metallica's first few albums. Mustaine also makes a cameo appearance in Some Kind of Monster. For more info about them, check out: and their official website

Anyway, we were on the balcony for the opening act - a local band called Dungeon. Given, by the time they got to the stage, all everyone was chanting "MEGA-DETH! MEGA-DETH! MEGA-DETH!" they did a very good job keeping everyone's interest. Dungeon is a talented band that sounds like a cross between Dream Theater / Shadow Gallery and Megadeth. If you get the chance, pick up one of their albums. Anyway, once Dungeon finished their hour-long set, I grabbed a bourbon and a beer and got down to the mosh.

I must admit I was a little bit apprehensive before they came on. After all, this wasn't the classic '90s David Mustaine / David Ellefson / Nick Menza / Marty Friedman line-up; it was Mustaine / Drover / Drover / McGovern. I also hadn't had a chance to check out the setlist before the gig.

Any doubts would soon be blown away. They kicked off the set with 'Blackmail the Universe', which is the thrashiest song off their newest album 'The System has Failed'. The first few songs included classics like Set the World Afire (which saw the mosh surge forward), Skin O' My Teeth, and Symphony of Destruction. The current line-up nailed everything. Like I said, the place was packed, and everyone knew all the words and really got into eveything, which wasn't hard - it was 2 hours of their thrash, grunge, and hard rock. In some places they played the songs better than on the albums. Also heaps of crowd-surfing.

It was also amusing to see - given the history between Mustaine and Metallica - a banner hung over the balcony saying "Megadeth is #1, F*** Metallica" (Mustaine clearly noticed and was amused by it, though he later stated on the band's website that he is against Metallibashing). Also amusing seeing guys run across stage and switch Mustaine's guitar mid-song. Making matters even better was the fact we had prime viewing real-estate in the mosh. While the set was 2 hours, it was 2 hours of more or less solid music (with very little speech in between) with the exception of Mustaine briefly introducing songs ("This song is about how the political system in the US is screwed up" for Kick the Chair, or "It's time to play name that tune... see if you recognise this one!" for She-Wolf). The one big exception was when Mustaine decided to tell the crowd a little story - he went to the doctor a while ago, the doctor said he injured his hand (the crowd jeered), - "So I killed him!" (crowd cheers) and concluded "I dunno, I think its workin' pretty well tonight (monstorous cheer). The set ended with Peace Sells (with a cover of Black Sabbath's Paranoid in the middle of it!)

The band returned for one more song as an encore. They played Holy Wars... The Punishment Due. And they played it with The Mechanix (Metallica's 4 Horsemen with Mustaine's original lyrics) and Train of Consequences in the middle. While this was originally going to be Megadeth's last tour, Dave Mustaine mentioned in an interview with Triple J that he's not so sure anymore, and has since announced that his Gigantour will be coming to Melbourne.

As I said, one of the best gigs I've been to.