July 12, 2013
Gexa Energy Pavilion
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Marco Javier
Photos by Brian Ullrich
Gigantour - Megadeth, Slash, Black Label Society, Hellyeah, Device, Newsted, Death Division
BFD Summer Show
Hotter than a whore house on nickel night and sweating like a prostitute in church, I found myself at this years Gigantour concert, also known as The Eagle 97.1's BFD summer show at the Gexa Energy Pavilion, along with thousands of sweaty metal heads!
This metal fest, created by King Redhead, Dave Mustaine of Megadeth is now in full gear with opening bands like Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society, GNR's Slash featuring Myles Kennedy, new comers Device headed by David Draiman former singer of Disturbed and local heroes Hell Yeah! There were also some new faces to be seen, Death Division and former Metallica bassist Newsted lead by Jason Newsted on vocals.
To be honest, I missed Death Division and only caught Newsted's last song. Judging by the shallow but active mosh pit, Jason's project was well received by what I am sure were Metallica fans. Their last song did have some kick as the minute mosh pit began to flare up, but only to a small rumble.
With a quick set change, and the Texas heat starting to kick in, Device hit the stage with the familiar voice and similar guitar riffs from Draiman's former band Disturbed. A three piece unit which seemed to revive the overheated crowd with new songs from their debut CD. A bit different from the big stage pyrotechnic performances from past Disturbed concerts. Sample music? You bet, and out of sync at that, while kicking off their last number, a Nine Inch Nails classic, Wish. Still, a great way to finish up their show.
Things got heated as local favorite Hell Yeah! came home and kicked fucking balls! With Vinny Paul behind the drums and the screaming rooster, former Mudvayne lead vocalist Chad Gray, Gexa Energy Pavilion exploded... metal Texas style! Their short 7 song set list seem to last longer than expected. The Texas heat was now in full swelter and the party, as they say, had begun. It was great to see Vinny Paul back on stage behind them drums playing for a hometown crowd.
Lets keep it real man, I am not a Black Label fan but don't get me wrong, I love Zakk, I think he is a great guitarist and the badass dude on the tour, but I just cannot handle his voice. I watched his opening number, Godspeed Hell Bound, and before the last note, I was heading out into the Ice House. Black Label Society is one of those bands that you either love, or don't love so much... you figure it out!
After spending another $12 fucking dollars on a cold beer and $7 dollars on a greasy cheese pizza, it was time for the band that I came to see, Slash! As an old time original fan of Guns N'Roses - from their first release in 1987, I was hooked on their music, their attitude and the creative genius of Slash. With Myles Kennedy on vocals, the band was by far the crowd favorite, up to this point. With a little extra time than the other groups, they kicked off with Halo and went right into Mean Bone a bitchin' number from Slash's Snakepit. Slash and company slowly gave the crowd what they wanted to hear... Nightrain, Welcome To The Jungle and Rocket Queen. Sorry metal heads, you just can't deny the classics! He even slipped in a Velvet Revolver song, Slither which I believe was sung by the bassist? They closed their set with a typical GNR original, Paradise City! As you would expect, the crowd was very satisfied!
Now that the opening bands had played their songs and their gear had been stashed away, the stage was cleared for the mighty Megadeth. I have to hand it to Dave Mustaine, this guy has been through much shit as a musician with band member changes, and being an out spoken individual, I really admire him as a person. He speaks his mind and holds nothing back, and it comes off loud and clear in his music.
Megadeth kicked ass with Trust, a fast driving number that got the fans in a frenzy right from the start. The stage, covered with lights and huge TV screens, almost made it hard for me to watch as I was standing so close to the barricade, far left. The band ran through a few unfamiliar songs, but there was no mistaking Skin O' my Teeth and Sweating Bullets, they were the high lights of the evening. With many songs to choose from in a limited amount of time, Mustaine gave the fans what they wanted to hear. Angry Again and Symphony of Destruction were just a few of the commercial hits from the Megadeth archives.
As Dave said in a video interview about the Gigantour show he created, and I'm paraphrasing here, he wanted to bring certain bands and musicians on tour to capture the magic of what he thought the fans would want. He succeeded! As the night ended, Slash, David Draiman, Vinny Paul on drums, Zakk Wylde and Jason Newsted, joined him on stage for a monster rendition of Thin Lizzy's Cold Sweat. Damn, how great it was to see these guys on stage tearin' it up! Long Live Metal!