September 10, 2013
Austin, TX USA
Review by Justin Press
Two Stalwarts of the Metal World Deliver a Show for the Ages...All Ages
Transcending all that have come before them and all that have followed, Iron Maiden are undoubtedly still the biggest heavy metal band in the world, they are in a term, global.
Having surpassed Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and even Metallica for sheer dominance, Iron Maiden are more than just influential or iconic, they are the template. The sound, the integrity, the look and the imagery, plus their self-reliance, all taglines for what it is to be defined as "heavy metal".
For 30-odd year now, they have excelled, expanded and superseded our ideals a what is capable of, and even as they all approach the other half of their 50's, their performance last Tuesday night to a capacity crowd at the 360 Amphitheater outside of Austin shows that plenty of mileage is left on the band. Tour mates Megadeth, one of the originators of the Thrash movement, who've now moved beyond that tag onto a more visceral techno-aggressively melodic locomotive outfit also churned out a tight ten song opening set that was pure fire and brimstone that set the pace for the evening, fury with a tune.
Megadeth led by the unflappable Dave Mustaine went headfirst into the chaos with "Hanger 18", followed by the youthful rage of "Wake Up Dead", a one-two of primal metallic blister. The introspective "In My Darkest Hour", an homage to death and dying, filled the air with funeral dirge yet is still musically hammering enough to not smother the audience in a shroud. "Kingmaker" from their latest release Superconductor left little doubt that Megadeth is still a masterful force to be reckoned with and not living off of their wide-ranging past. As a matter of fact, for anyone who've seen the band live throughout their career, it is quite evident that this "clean and sober" Megadeth is actually getting more vicious and more urgent. The favorite for schizophrenics everywhere ‘Sweating Bullets" still clobbers with its call and response and Mustaine's uniquely distinct snark and snarl. The exchanges between Mustaine and guitarist Chris Broderick is a master class in timing and interplay, while co-founder and bassist Dave Ellefson and drummer Shawn Drover weld the bottom end to the floor throughout the set. Flanked by a giant video wall, Megadeth set into the closer, the more relevant than ever "Peace Sells" amidst a barrage of warring and political intrigue and imagery, the chorus had 20K screaming "...but who's buying?"
Not ones to just walk away, the band came out for what many consider their tour de force, and quite possibly one of the top (3) thrash-oriented tracks off all-time up there with Master Of Puppets" and "Angel Of Death", the stealth and imposing "Holy Wars" with its barrage of riffs dropping down like war hammers and once again hitting upon the shores of religious zealots causing chaos for a God they truly do not know. A completely riveting and concise strike from one of the most technically proficient and storied bands to ever enter the metal fray.
Part Two Awaits »