Sunday, 17 June 2012

Deth in the Ballroom 2012, Megadeth style

Camden Electric Ballroom Tuesday 12th June 2012 + video

Dave Mustaine has come a long way over the years. On 6th March 1987 the author saw their first european gig at Hammersmith Odeon. The venue couldn't even spell their name correctly as you can see above, and the ticket cost around a fiver. After spending six hours on a National Express coach to get there, expectations were massive that day. This would-be guitar hero who was kicked out of Metallica by now had a couple of great records under his belt, so the show was a must-see. Mustaine & co came on stage almost an hour late allegedly due to airport problems although it looked to the average fan that it was more likely down to personal problems. We got barely an hour from them, lots of sloppy snarling and snapping and intermittent audience boos, but nevertheless I came away feeling there could be something special being cooked up here. Record companies also thought so, and they've been proved spot on with steady album sales over two decades.

Twenty five years on, and Megadeth have slipped in a cosy little club show in London a couple of days after their Download appearance. With Metallica having just churned out the Black Album in it's entirety, now it was Megadeth's turn in the spotlight at this £50 (inc fees)  ticket show and we hoped they wouldn't be all back-to-front.

 Bearing in mind we were in a tiny sweaty club holding around a thousand people, I was anticipating something above and beyond; maybe a run through of Peace Sells, or Rust in Peace or something left of centre. Instead we got a safe "part of the tour set". Sure the sound was excellent, the band were no doubt excited to be back in a club (well, excited as Dave ever can be), and worked the audience as well as they ever do, but it was just very safe. You felt they never got off the leash and really went for it. Part of the problem is they haven't released a killer album for years and unless you go back to the late 80s / early 90s there are only a limited number of highlights to roll out.

The new album is an improvement however, and Never Dead, Drugs Guns & Money and particularly Public Enemy No.1 were pretty tasty, but I was really anticipating more. The closing three numbers were as rowdy as it got, as everything built to a climax of sorts. After a boisterous Symphony of Destruction, a terrific Peace Sells finished the set before the encore of Holy Wars.

A decent gig, but as mentioned earlier, Mustaine knows his limits these days, a safe perfomance with enough in his locker over the years to deliver enough for everyone to go home happy. If it were a game of "21" you just know he's gonna stick on 17 these days. How times have changed.

Mustaine has always had "a lot of neck" on him . . .


Never Dead
Hanger 18
Foreclosure of a Dream
Dawn Patrol
Poison was the Cure
Sweating Bullets
A tout le Monde
Angry Again
Drugs Guns & Money
Who's life is it Anyways
Public Enemy No.1
Symphony of Destruction
Peace Sells . . .  but who's buying
Holy Wars . .  The Punishment Due

A never seen before photo of Mustaine from that Hammersmith 1987 show w/guitar pic from that night.

1 comment:

  1. Man...not 1 song from Killing. Wish they would play Good Mourning Black Friday & My Last Words. My 2 fav Megadeth songs ever.