I almost never go into DC anymore, but oddly enough I found myself there three of the last four days. I was there Friday to go to a morning show with Andrew WK playing at 8am, Saturday for some non-metal shit, and Monday to see a more or less reunited Megadeth play their greatest album front to back. It was pretty much everything I could have hoped for. If this tour isn't already sold out in your town, get some fucking tickets. Even if it is, just go try and buy some from a scalper, because it's more than worth it.
I was in a strange situation at this show. I bought my tickets before any of my friends, but the show sold out before they could get theirs. So I flew solo on this one. I made it to the 930 Club right before doors opened. When I got in I made my way right to the front where I would stay the entire show. The front is always a mixed bag of getting a great view of the bands, getting kicked in the head by crowd surfers, having the best chance of catching drum sticks/picks, and being mercilessly crushed into other human beings. Some notable moments: the dude jumping behind me and grinding his crotch into my ass, an idiotic old timer talking about how Ozzy's vocals are "right on the money" live, and another idiotic old timer making the same stupid jokes about my hair the whole show in between saying "Wow!" at any random event on stage. Despite all this, standing upfront allowed me to get some usable pictures of the bands. So, let's talk about the opener...
Exodus started their set to the most lethargic crowd I've ever seen at a metal show. I know it was Monday night, but fuck, everyone was just standing around not even headbanging (I was doing my best, but I didn't have much room). After the third song or so, singer Rob Dukes read everyone the riot act and things started to liven up. He even initiated a pretty rad wall of death. I really enjoyed Dukes as a singer. I saw Exodus open for Megadeth in 2004 on the System Has Failed tour, and he was MUCH better than the joker they had singing for them back then. Plus he's got a huge gnarly scar on his cheek. One thing I did miss from the 2004 show was the absence of Rick Hunolt on guitar, but Gary Holt held down the fort:
Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of Testament because this security dude was standing right in front of me the whole time. Before the show I read all this shit talk online about how founding member Alex Skolnick wasn't going to be on the tour. I can understand a die hard Testament fan's grief, but for a casual fan I was pretty pumped to see Glenn Drover (ex-King Diamond, ex-Megadeth) rip some sweet solos and bust out some awesome harmonies with Eric Peterson. Chuck Billy was lookin pretty slim up there, at least compared to the photo I posted before. His vocals were pretty awesome as well. And I didn't even realize at first that Paul motherfucking Bostaph was on drums. He's a total animal, and I'm glad I got to see him live. It really just seems like the whole band is having an awesome time. And if you didn't know yet, Testament is playing their debut album The Legacy in its entirety on this tour.
And now, of course...
The biggest story of this tour is the return of David Ellefson on bass guitar. To contradict what I said above, the show was actually more than I hoped for. When I bought my ticket Ellefson hadn't rejoined the band yet. I was comfortable paying $46.50 to see Dave Mustaine playing Rust in Peace with some hired hands (more or less). Now I was seeing Megadeth for real again (like on the World Needs A Hero tour in 2001), since Mustaine and Ellefson were the only mainstays in the revolving line-up of the band until the breakup of 2002. So, everyone in the club had an especially nice warm feeling in their hearts watching the set.
Mustaine had some weird technical issues at the beginning of the set and changed his guitar like three times. At least everyone got to see all his nice guitars? Highlights from the Rust in Peace set are definitely Poison Was The Cure, Five Magics, and Take No Prisoners, and there was only one song from the new record. As far as the band, Chris Broderick is a total BEAST. The dude played the solos almost verbatim from the records. That's quite a feat, considering that their set list spans four guitar players. The fact that he's the most jacked member they've ever had only adds to his radicality. Of course, David Ellefson was great, and he had four nice moments in the set with just him and the crowd. With the bass intros to Poison, Peace Sells, Trust, and Dawn Patrol, everyone got a good dose of the only true Megadeth bassist. Lastly, Mustaine was Mustaine. His only real "banter" suggested that if he were to ever meet a "terrorist," he would force him to suck his dick and then kill him. That might seem pretty gnarly, but imagine it said in the least gnarly way possible. Bet let me assure you, it was certainly no dealbreaker. The Megadeth set was what I came for, and it was as good as I could ever ask for.
In all honesty, the shows on this tour are probably the best shows any of these bands have played since at least the early 90's. If you are into 80's thrash metal, this is your dream tour (until the American Carnage tour happens). Seriously though, there are NO SLOW SONGS played on this tour. Imagine going to see a heavy metal band and actually getting the shit kicked out of you by some killer thrash?! Seems like a no brainer, but sometimes it gets past some of these so-called "metal musicians."
GET YOUR ASS TO THE RUST IN PEACE ANNIVERSARY TOUR! That's all I got to say.