by Matt Bishop | March 21, 2016
Last night in Philadelphia, Megadeth brought together a marriage of different styles to turn the Electric Factory into one giant metal melting pot. The thrash metal titans brought along hardcore legends Suicidal Tendencies, melodic doom metal outfit Children of Bodom, and up-and-coming thrashers Havok to make the Dystopia World Tour one of the most brutal tickets yet of 2016.
Colorado thrashers Havok kicked off the evening’s festivities with ferocious technical thrash. They made a statement early, kicking this off with “Point of No Return.” The band grinder out six tracks, closing with an appropriate and patriotic anthem “Give Me Liberty…or Give Me Death.” Havok are putting the finishing touches on their fourth studio LP which is due out later this year. It will be the follow-up to 2013’s Unnatural Selection, which cracked the Billboard Top 200 upon release. With their next effort, Havok are poised to be come a force to be reckoned with in metal music.
Children of Bodom treated fans to their melodic brand of death and doom metal. “Philadelphia, we are Children of Bodom all the way from fucking Finland,” screamed frontman Alexi Laiho. With the stage nearly as dark as their music, opening with the title track from their 2005 album Are You Dead Yet? They proceeded rip through “Silent Night, Bodom Night,” “In Your Face,” “Morrigan” “Hate Me!,” “I Worship Chaos,” and “Angels Don’t Kill.” They exited with “Downfall” from their 1999 sophomore effort Hatebreeder.
The chaos continued with Suicidal Tendencies. Fists were pumping fast as the band opened with “You Can’t Bring Me Down.” Iconic metal drummer Dave Lombardo has breathed new life into the band (not that they needed it) and they sounded tight. Vocalist Mike Muir gave Lombardo a special introduction, and the crowd welcomed him chanting “Dave!” The band wrapped up their set with the politically-charged “Pledge Allegiance.” Muir asked the audience, “How many of you are gonna come back and see us in the fall with a new record?” “See you then,” he stated.
Megadeth are on the first leg of their world tour supporting their fifteenth studio campaign. Mainstays Dave Mustaine and Dave Ellefson are flanked by the revamped lineup of guitarist Kiko Loureiro and drummer Chris Adler of Lamb of God fame. Although they are just past the 30-year mark of their storied career, the band are not continuing to make a living off their greatest hits. Megadeth showcased five tracks from Dystopia, playing nearly half the new record.
The band did pull out some gems from their catalog, with highlights including “Hanger 18,” “Symphony of Destruction,” and “Peace Sells.” Other fan favorites and deep cuts were “She-Wolf,” “Trust,” “Sweating Bullets,” “Tornado of Souls,” “Poison Was The Cure,” and others. ‘Deth’s formula hasn’t changed much over the years, and it doesn’t have to. Pure unfiltered technical thrash that sends fans into a frenzy. The band’s new lineup is as tight as ever, maybe more so. They closed out the evening with an encore of “Holy Wars…The Punishment Due” from their seminal classic Rust In Peace.
Megadeth’s latest effort Dystopia debuted at #3 on the Billboard Top 200 in January, marking the band’s highest-charting album since 1992’s Countdown To Extinction peaked at #2. Throughout their career, Megadeth have sold over 50 million album worldwide. They have garnered eleven Grammy Award nominations and in 2015, frontman Dave Mustaine was honored with The Golden God Award at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards.