JAM Magazine Concert Reviews

February 20, 2016
South Side Ballroom
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Mike DiQuinzio
Photos by Michael Insuaste

Megadeth

Killing Is Still Their Business

Dave Mustaine will probably have to answer questions about reuniting Megadeth's classic-era lineup for the rest of his life. However, after the Dystopia tour kicked off in Dallas's South Side Ballroom on Saturday night, that question will hopefully die a quick 'deth.

"Hangar 18" began the fast-paced, hits-heavy set by showing right off the bat how amazingly well Dave and new guitarist Kiko Loureiro play off of each other. The solos were executed perfectly as clips from the classic video played on the video screen behind them, and I couldn't help but smile as my favorite song was performed flawlessly.

"Wake Up Dead," with its seamless segue into "In My Darkest Hour," kept the adrenaline level high and sounded perfect together, almost as if they were meant to be heard that way. For a die-hard fan like myself, I had to wonder where they would possibly go after such a strong start. Well...

After the well-known hits "She-Wolf" and "Sweating Bullets," the rhythm section was left alone for the more obscure, David Ellefson-led "Dawn Patrol," which segued into "Poison Was the Cure" as the rest of the band returned to the stage. Then, after a short intro by Dave Mustaine, the band tore into "Tornado Of Souls" to the delight of the old-schoolers in the crowd. Much like when they resurrected "Take No Prisoners" nearly a decade ago, these surprises make a good show great for the diehards.

Curiously, only one song from this year's Dystopia album was included in the set, but "Fatal Illusion" was performed so tightly and ferociously that it sounded every bit as vital as the classics. From there, the main set was brought to a close with the fan favorite "Skin O' My Teeth" and the iconic "Symphony Of Destruction" and "Peace Sells" before Dave returned to the stage to introduce their encore, "Holy Wars… the Punishment Due".

Guitarist Kiko Loureiro and drummer Chris Adler played the classics perfectly, but more importantly, their additions seemed to reinvigorate a visibly happier Dave Mustaine. Having seen Megadeth on almost every tour since 1992, everything about his performance on this night was the best it has been in years; his voice was strong, his guitar playing was inspired, and his demeanor was engaging. Whereas Dave has taken a "the less I say, the more we play" attitude on more recent tours, tonight he was beaming and talkative.

If there is one critique I can make of the show, it is the placement of "Kingmaker" as the second song in the set (otherwise known as the song between "Hangar 18" and "Wake Up Dead"). It didn't kill the momentum, but it is forgettable in the context of the first four songs. That minor detail aside, this was the best Megadeth show I have seen since 2009. Whether or not you have seen them before, trust me - you've never seen them like this.

Setlist
Hangar 18
Kingmaker
Wake Up Dead
In My Darkest Hour
She-Wolf
Sweating Bullets
Dawn Patrol
Poison Was the Cure
Tornado of Souls
Trust
Fatal Illusion
A Tout Le Monde
Skin o' My Teeth
Symphony of Destruction
Peace Sells
Holy Wars... The Punishment Due