Megadeth, Groningen, May 26, 2013

The first, and last, time I saw Megadeth was back in 2008, in front of a massive audience made up of 15,000 screaming fans. Despite the fact that it’s been 5 years (holy shit! 5 years!) since that night, I can still remember it fairly well.

This time things were a bit different. With an audience of roughly 1,500 people (and this is one of The Big 4!) I was skeptical as to what Mustaine & Co. would be able to offer, especially considering that their last few albums hadn’t been very well received (granted, better received than any of the latest Metallica crap, but that’s not too hard).

After an entertaining, yet absolutely forgettable, opening set by the Dutch band Black Bone, Megadeth took the stage of De Oosterpoort. If nothing else, you have to give them credit for an amazing stage show, particularly when you consider the constraints of a mid-sized indoor venue. Massive screens served as backdrops for the duration of the show, showing images related to each song, illustrating the feelings of anger, fear, angst and desperation that seem to permeate so many of Megadeth‘s tunes.

Opening with “Trust”, Megadeth knew how to please their audience right from the start, while still highlighting their newest release, “Super Collider”, with “King Maker” and the homonymous “Super Collider”. Trying to make sure that every milestone was touched, the crowd was rewarded with tracks like “Symphony of Destruction”, “A Tout le Monde” and  “Peace Sells”, to name but a few of their classics. Mustaine seemed oddly cheerful and communicative (by Mustaine standards) and took the time to interact a bit with the crowd, something that is always appreciated.

Despite their great repertoire, however, the band experienced some serious audio problems that, sadly, persisted during the whole show. The instruments were set so high that they drowned the voices almost completely, to the point that many times, if it wasn’t because I was looking at them moving their lips, I wouldn’t have been able to tell that they were actually singing. There are those who say that this might have been deliberate, as a way to cover an (allegedly) tired voice, but I can’t tell for sure.

Regardless of any shortcomings with the sound, the crowd was ecstatic and enjoyed every minute of the show… even when we had to deal with the occasional imbecile who decided to mosh during, of all things, “A Tout le Monde” or those who apparently had decided to make a point by not showering or using deodorant.

The final verdict? A good show that went through all the classics (even if it missed “Skin o’ my Teeth”) and that satisfied the audience, despite some technical problems.

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