By Chris Annunziata
On January 22nd, Megadeth released their latest album, Dystopia. In support of the album, they embarked on a North American tour with Suicidal Tendencies, Children of Bodom and Havok. The tour stopped in New York City for two nights at Terminal 5. I had the pleasure of attending their first night at the venue. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I missed the first two bands, Havok and Children of Bodom. As I was just walking into the venue, I heard the final riffs of Children of Bodom’s “Downfall”. The last time I saw the band was back in 2013 at Mayhem Fest. So, I was extremely bummed that I missed their set. On the bright side, now I didn’t have to wait to watch Suicidal Tendencies and Megadeth’s entire set.
This was my first time watching Suicidal Tendencies live and I was not really all that familiar with their material – or so I thought. As they played their set, I realized I knew more songs than I originally thought. Frontman, Mike Muir, is one energetic fellow. He was running around all over the stage, continuously rocking out to every song they played. He was very entertaining to watch. I was really looking forward to them playing “Institutionalized”, but due to performing back-to-back nights at Terminal 5, they changed up their set and ended up playing it the following night. In the end, the band played a solid show and I really enjoyed watching them.
Up next was Megadeth, the headliner of the event. This was my first time seeing them with new members, Kiko Loureiro and Chris Adler. I had seen Adler play many times before with Lamb of God. So I was expecting him to slay over the kit. As for Kiko, I knew he was a killer musician after listening to Dystopia, and I was eager to see him play live. They opened their set with the intro of “Prince of Darkness”, which threw me off because it’s not a song they usually play live. While “Prince of Darkness” was playing, the drop-screen in the back showed a cool animation of Megadeth’s logo being branded. As soon as their logo was branded, they kicked into one of my favorites, “Hangar 18“. Unfortunately, the guitar feed went dead, so all you could hear were the bass and the drums. The malfunction was quickly fixed and everything went smoothly from then on. The band played their usual songs (“She-Wolf”, “Holy Wars…”, “Trust”, etc.) and added five new tracks to their set. The new additions consisted of the first three singles on their most recent album and two random songs. Megadeth playing five new tracks was pretty surprising to me because they do not usually incorporate that many new tracks on a live set.
Megadeth had a great sound. The guitars were crisp and clear. The impact of the drums was crushing. Dave Mustaine’s vocals were easily identified. The intro/main riff of “Symphony of Destruction” has always had a heavy edge to it, but this night it just felt even heavier. The tone of the guitar blended very well with the acoustics of the room. As expected, Chris Adler nailed every song perfectly. He has such a signature sound, it was hard not to notice that it was him behind the kit. Kiko ripped every solo graciously and effortlessly, especially during “Tornado of Souls”. As many metal fans know, “Tornado of Souls” is recognized for its very memorable solo. Mustaine didn’t talk much with the crowd like he usually does. He blamed it on the venue having a curfew, but when he did converse with the crowd, it was fun. Overall, Megadeth put on a great show. My favorite songs of the night were “Hangar 18”, “Tornado of Souls” and “Holy Wars…The Punishment Due”.It was great to finally see them at their own headline show.