Megadeth has been a touring machine in 2013 out on the killing road supporting their latest album Super Collider and as the year is quickly coming to an end so is touring for the band. Megadeth brought their current tour with industrial metal kings Fear Factory and heavy rockers Nonpoint to City National Grove in Anaheim on Tuesday night December 17 for the 3rd to last show of the tour. This weekday show didn’t stop the MegaFans from swarming to The Grove to catch these legendary thrash masters as the Megadeth faithful were out in full force.
At 8:00pm sharp Nonpoint took the stage to an almost half full venue and kicked into ‘Broken Bones’ to start their 30 minute set. There were definitely fans there early to see Nonpoint but the band didn’t seem to connect with the crowd which made the performance somewhat awkward. The band led by vocalist Elias Soriano certainly has a lot of energy onstage and their music is certainly loud and aggressive so I am sure they connect much better with their fan base in a smaller venue. The high point of the set was without a doubt the last and their most well-known song ‘Bullet with a Name’.
After an almost thirty minute wait Fear Factory appeared onstage as the intro to the title track off their newest album played loudly over the PA and then the band started their devastation by going into ‘The Industrialist’. This began 45 minutes of some of the most extreme industrial metal on the planet. The combination of drummer Mike Heller’s machine gun blasts coupled with guitarist Dino Cazares’ signature picking on his 7-string Ibanez create a wall of sound like no other. Singer Burton C Bell’s vocals seemed a bit weaker than usual which made the performance not quite as mighty as it usually is – possibly a long year of touring has caught up with him? In between songs, Bell asked the crowd how many people have never seen Fear Factory and surprisingly at least half the hands in the venue went up. That was most likely the reason there was little moshing and crowd surfing during the performance. The band played ‘Martyr’ off their first album Soul of a New Machine and ended the set with three songs from their masterpiece album Demanufacture. Hopefully Fear Factory made some new fans on this night and they get to go see them during a future headline performance. For diehard extreme metal fans having Fear Factory be the direct support act for Megadeth was certainly a treat.
Shortly after 10:00pm the lights went black and the intro to ‘Prince of Darkness’ blasted over the PA as video images played on the three large screens that provided a backdrop to the stage. The Megadeth logo was then displayed on the center screen as drummer Shawn Drover mounted his kit high above the stage on the drum riser and the rest of the band appeared onstage and bass player David Ellefson was fist pumping the crowd as the band kicked off the show with ‘Hanger 18’.
The 1,700 person venue was at this point filled with MegaFans who were in for a treat on this night in Anaheim as Megadeth played a spectacular setlist that would leave little room for debate on what a perfect Megadeth setlist would be. The band plowed through the first three songs with ease and if you are a fan of guitar wizardry this was the place to be as guitarist/vocalist Dave Mustaine and his axe mate Chris Broderick put on a fantastic display of six string magic. Mustaine often referred to as one of the most influential thrash guitarists provides his signature growling vocals and breaks off in certain songs for some amazing soloing.
At the end of the fifth song ‘Sweating Bullets’ there seemed to be some technical difficulties and the band left the stage briefly and Mustaine returned to the center stage mic noticeably unhappy and stated that any technical issues were unacceptable and that we will make this up to you by playing ‘Devils Island’ and the band blasted out this rarely played gem from the Peace Sells . . . But Who’s Buying album. ‘A Tout Le Monde’ was played next and Broderick just nailed the guitar solo. Broderick has been with Megadeth going on six years and in addition to his virtuoso guitar playing has an energetic and charismatic stage presence often pointing to fans in the front of the stage surely making many feel connected to the live performance.
Mustaine thanked Anaheim for their support and stated he considered this a hometown show since he lives an hour down the 5 freeway which was received with loud cheers from the MegaFans. Mustaine dedicated the song ‘She-Wolf’ to all the female Megadeth fans in attendance and the guitar harmony between Mustaine and Broderick at the end of the song was a sight to be heard for sure. After the band left the stage for a brief “catch your breath” moment Ellefson came out to center stage and began the infamous bass intro to ‘Peace Sells’ and upon completion of that song the band left the stage and the crowd began the Megadeth-Megadeth-Megadeth chants. Mustaine returned and stated “we are going to try and play an extra song . . . a very old song off the record Killing is My Business . . . and Business is Good”. Then continued “This song is dedicated to people who like to punish posers” and the band launched into ‘Rattlehead’ – WOW are you serious – ‘Rattlehead’, any longtime Megadeth fan surely was beyond shocked and delighted to hear this song live in 2013 – a thrash classic indeed.
The night ended with the epic song ‘Holy Wars . . . The Punishment Due’ while the video screens displayed images of desert war and other applicable images to fit the song and the band gave 110% on this last one giving the fans a very memorable night of Megadeth. At the end of the song the band came together center stage and bowed in unison. Mustaine took the center mic thanked Anaheim and his last words of the show were his signature night ending phrase “You’ve been great, we’ve been Megadeth” and the fans continued to chant Megadeth- Megadeth-Megadeth and did not want this memorable night to end.
Megadeth is certainly a class act and with four exceptional musicians. With this current lineup of Megadeth playing together for a few years now they have become a well-oiled machine delivering one of the best live shows in the metal world right now. Megadeth fans eagerly await another studio album and look forward to the next string of live shows hopefully sometime in 2014.
Broken Bones | Dirty Little Hole | International Crisis | That Day | Rabia | Buscandome | There’s Going To Be A War | Bullet With A Name
Fear Factory Setlist:
The Industrialist | Shock | Edgecrusher | Damaged | Martyr | Demanufacture | Self Bias Resistor | Replica
Hangar 18 | Wake Up Dead | In My Darkest Hour | Set The World Afire | Sweating Bullets | Devil’s Island | A Tout Le Monde | Kingmaker | Trust |She-Wolf | Tornado Of Souls | Symphony Of Destruction | Peace Sells | Rattlehead | Holy Wars . . . The Punishment Due