Review: Megadeth – Glasgow 11/11/15

Well what a start to the night. The onset of Hurricane Abigail has hit Scotland, the transport systems have ground to a halt, the show starts mega-early, and I have to deal with the dumbest door staff ever. For these reasons I miss Sylosis and Children of Bodom… I am not a happy man, but if anything is going to sort my mood, it is Lamb Of God and Megadeth. Bring it on, as I need calming down or winding up even further!

Part of the reason the door staff had issues is this is an ice hockey stadium. Very rarely is it used as a music venue, and I will admit it is my first visit. Not only is it unusual, it is well out of the way, so it has a lot to prove to me if I am to admit it is worthwhile, when there are ample venues in this city of excellent quality and some steeped in folklore and history.

No doubt, most will have heard of Lamb Of God’s Randy Blythe being attacked in Ireland. I was very disappointed in my Celtic cousins, and find it very out of context from what I would say are very friendly and happy people, but I suppose you get idiots in every country, so all I can do is apologise.

I did expect Randy to maybe take it a bit easier, and maybe let the rest of the band pick up the slack, but right from the opening bars of “Walk With Me In Hell” he was on the riser and head banging like a demon. Nobody was going to slow this man down tonight. I take my hat off to you, sir.

Now, I will throw this out here right now (I may have to hide from the local hordes for a while), but I felt the audience was very reserved tonight. I am not sure if this was down to the arena and a large amount of seated punters, but it was definitely quiet out there. Even at the barrier there was not a lot of the usual Glasgow craziness going on, and with the show Lamb Of God put on, I do not know why. It was not until we were well through the set and hit “Redneck” things picked up. We had a massive circle pit and the enjoyment seemed to flow. Even this had to be dragged out of the crowd by Randy, as he was the one shouting for it, and constantly egging us on.

The band got a reasonably healthy 80 minutes to get us crazy and in the mood for the main course, but it has to be said, there was a huge part of this 4,000 audience that were here to see them, and them alone. The four band bill seemed to pay off, and I can assure you I have never seen the band in such fine form.


I first saw Megadeth in 1988 at the infamous Monsters Of Rock (yes, Download to you youngsters) event headlined by Iron Maiden. It was the biggest audience the site has had to date at 107,000 people. It also had some tragedy with audience fatalities, and Guns’N’ Roses  shot part of their “Paradise City” video during the set (Axl wearing the white leather jacket).

For me, although there have been some close run things, no concert has surpassed that day. Maiden were at their very best, Kiss were passable, Diamond Dave was on fire, Helloween had us all in stitches, and Megadeth… well Megadeth was probably my first live taste of Thrash (I was a hair metal/NWOBHM  kid back then), and I was not sure what to make of it, to be honest. I had read all the Metallica split news, and it didn’t effect me, but for the friends there who were very much fans of the genre they were excited… very excited.

Back then, you had no other stages to wander off to, so you had to watch/hear all bands present, and I think that is a good thing. It was, for me anyway, as I got to see what this talent that is Mustaine is live and I was impressed. I do remember thinking at the time I wonder if Metallica know what they are doing.

Dave was mean and moody, dark and overpowering. He had a point to prove that day on the stage of the biggest metal festival in the UK (world at that time) and we all stood up and took notice. We may not have realised the band would still be going in 2015, and playing an arena in my own home town.

There have been many, many changes along the way, court battles, and numerous personnel changes. There are the die hard fans who will always hail the original line up, but I have to say Kiko has set down a marker. He was on fire tonight, and hit every note, nailed every solo, and has great stage presence.

The show kicked off with the huge video screens flickering to life and Chris Adler gracing the stage for a second time that evening… with a second drum kit? Not sure what was going on there. “Hanger 18” kicked in, and the crowd forgot all the trials and tribulations (except the guitarist in the crowd…they were watching Kiko very, very closely).

Now this may surprise you, but Mr Mustaine actually looked to be enjoying himself tonight. The pain of the past seems a long way behind him, and he smiles nowadays M.aye he has finally realised he has no one to live up to. He has a band that has had multi platinum success and is still going strong, still putting out new material, and tonight certainly made me want to hear the new release “Dystopia”… now!

As I said, he is having fun now. One instance was when he was asking the audience who had seen the band before and who was a Megadeth virgin. When we see the hands raised for the latter, he clapped and then asked why everyone was not joining in? His humour may be dry, but it is there. We also had a kid screaming for his plectrum. He stopped and asked if this was his first Megadeth gig and he wanted a pick? He then preceded to count out how many he had left (14), and said nah, he needed to earn it. “If you are still on the barrier at the end, I will give you one.” Yeah kid, what are you on? I just went and checked through all my old tickets, and it was seven gigs in before I got a plectrum, and that was with a few close calls and a few slaps along the way.

We also got great use of the video screens for mini breaks with the Wayne’s World Megadeth scene amongst others. We also had a set fit to bursting with classics. The majority of it was older songs, which made for great audience participation. We had the usual Vic appearance during “Peace Sells”, and it was during this number it hit me how ahead of his time lyrically Dave M was. If you look at the world today (especially the recent tragedy, and what you should expect to unfold next) his themes were, and are, very controversial and very anti establishment… just what Metal is about.

After all my early hassles this was a brilliant gig. The band is as relevant today as the they were when the big four were laying waste to rock music, changing it forever, and inspiring generations of kids to pick up guitars and dream how far they could go!!


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Review and Images: Ritchie birnie


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