Megadeth

Megadeth

Megadeth

Lamb of God, Opeth, Arch Enemy, Over Kill

Orlando, Fl • Oct. 8, 2006

Dave Mustaine

Jen Cray
Dave Mustaine

I remember being ten years old, in the 6th grade, and seeing the older kids wearing faded black shirts with crazy, gory designs on the front and large, sharp-looking letters on the back, spelling out names like Metallica, Iron Madien… Megadeth. That was 18 years ago, and despite what a lot of people thought at the time, those bands are still making new music and still bringing in the crowds. And, despite what I may have thought back then as a kid who listened to pop music, I’ve been finding myself in those audiences more and more.

On this, the 2nd annual Gigantour Megadeth took out a cast of new and old metal acts. Lamb of God, Opeth, Overkill, a handful of younger acts that played so early in the day that I missed it, and the standout band of the tour- Arch Enemy. The Orlando date was the final date of the American side of the tour.

The Hard Rock Live was overrun with the same black tee-ed headbangers I remember from middle school, only a lot of them had beer bellies and facial hair now that they’ve aged. Most everyone in the place got a surprise when Overkill dominated the stage early on. For 22 years they’ve been around, but not their punk-inspired performance nor their physique (vocalist Bobby Ellsworth has enough muscles in his torso to challenge Billy Idol) show any signs of getting past their prime. Members of Lamb of God came out to join in on the chorus of their final song, a cover of D.O.A.’s “Fuck You.”

Arch Enemy

Jen Cray
Arch Enemy

Before looking at a photo of Arch Enemy, you should listen to a sound bite and try to imagine how the singer looks. You’re lying if you say you pictured a beautifully exotic- yet bad ass- blond woman with a tight body and a sweet smile… but that’s exactly who fronts the death metal band from Sweden. Angela Gassow has a voice as fierce and gutteral as any of her male counterparts and she works the stage and crowd with a Joan Jett-ian “you want me/you can’t have me” attitude. This band should soon be headlining their own massive tours.

Opeth is unimpressive as a live band, though musically they raise the bar. Still, most of this crowd came for flash and flames and so the shouts of “get off the stage” began early on. It seemed a good time to go outside and grab a smoke (but, Jen, you don’t smoke… well, ok, it was a good time to get away from the metal boy body odor stink and smell the fresh air of a dozen cigarettes that mingled with the smells of the french fries from the Hard Rock Cafe next door).

It was clear that this was a large Lamb of God crowd. One particularly avid fan got into it with a security guard- moments before the band’s set- who was trying to push him back from the front of the stage.

<div class="i-credit">Jen Cray</div><div class="i-caption">Lamb of God</div>

<div class="i-credit">Jen Cray</div><div class="i-caption">Lamb of God</div><div class="i-credit">Jen Cray</div><div class="i-caption">Lamb of God</div><div class="i-credit">Jen Cray</div><div class="i-caption">Lamb of God</div>Lamb of God

Jen Cray
Lamb of God

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Jen Cray
Lamb of God

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Jen Cray
Lamb of God

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Jen Cray
Lamb of God

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Jen Cray
Lamb of God

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“I’ve been here since four hours before the doors opened. I sat through all of these shitty bands just to see this one, and there’s no way I’m leaving!”

The overzealous fan got a “get out of jail free card” when the lights fell and the guard had to go back to watching the packed house for pits and crowd surfers (both of which are forbidden at the venue). And both of which were in full, anarchic swing as Randy Blythe and crew flew into an energetic explosion of Americanized death metal. At the end of their set, the band invited onstage a “longtime fan” who proposed to his girlfriend (she said “yes”) in front of the apathetic crowd (metal fans aren’t necessarily romantics). The band then played “Something To Die For” in dedication to the newly engaged couple.

Megadeth

Jen Cray
Megadeth

Gigantour is the project of Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine, and when his legendary band hits the stage in a burst of pyrotechnics, there’s no mistaking who the headliners of this tour really are. Head down, stawberry blond hair in his face, and sneer on his lips- Mustaine is a concentrated guitarist who also sings. He doesn’t move around a whole lot, except to walk back and forth as he chugs along at the guitar, but the bursts of fire behind him that light up the massive backdrop with the band’s name spelled across it more than make up for his lack of showmanship.

To see more photos of this and other shows go to www.jencray.com.

www.gigantour.com

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