» Megadeth 2005 02 15  
« back

Reviewed by Niklas
Photo by Michael
City: Stockholm, Sweden
Venue: Arenan
Date: 15 Feb 2005
Megadeth set length: 120 minutes
Diamond Head set length: 30 minutes

All pictures are © Michael Finnermark.
Please contact him and ask for permission before using any of the pictures.



Diamond Head

British veterans Diamond Head were in charge of warming up the crowd for Megadeth. The band have been playing catchy heavy metal for almost 30 years now, and didn't have much problems with getting the audience to sing along to old hits like "Am I Evil". If you compare the music to the main band of the evening, Diamond Head reminds a bit of Megadeth's rockier bits of later years, not the trashier moments. And to be honest, there are better and more exciting bands than Diamond Head. Solid, but nothing special.

5 chalices of 10



Initially there were rumours in the air that this would be Megadeth's last performance ever on Swedish soil, making it an interesting concert to say at least. Would Dave Mustaine and his men go out with a bang? Judging by the glowing opening track "Blackmail the Universe", it certainly seemed like case. It's not really a surprising opener, given that this is the "Blackmail the Universe Tour" and that this particular track is the opener of Megadeth's latest (and final?) album, "The System Has Failed". The rest of the set list was equally expected, and it was pretty damn good. Mustaine had picked the best tracks from his new album, and also made sure to play all his classic thrash cuts.

Dave Mustaine is often accused of not being much of a live performer. His criticizers do have a point in the fact that he rarely interacts with the audience. This only happens about three times this evening. Once when he asks for help to kick-start "Trust", and also when he allows the crowd to handle the singing duties on "A Tout La Monde" and "Sweating Bullets". There was also an opening to let the fans sing along during the chorus of new track "Back in the Day", but instead Mustaine opted for having Diamond Head making a comeback on the stage. Mustaine rarely speaks between the songs, either. He only mentions his notorious arm disease and also dedicates the song "Of Mice And Men" to the late Dimebag Darrell. Alas, Mustaine's singing voice is not the best. His hissing style does not always work well live. On the other hand, he is one hell of a guitar player.

Mustaine knows not only how to play the guitar, he can also write songs like few others. Megadeth's career spans all the way back to 1983 and the band have stocked up on several hits along the way. These 22 years are well represented during the two hours of the evening, except for the much criticized "Risk" and "The World Needs A Hero"-albums. The audience really connects with both new ("Die Dead Enough", "Kick The Chair") and old material ("In My Darkest Hour", "Hangar 18"), while the underrated "Angry Again" from the Schwarzenegger-blockbuster Last Action Hero is an unexpected but welcome surprise. Mustaine also shocks the audience with playing the Black Sabbath-cover "Paranoid". Then we have the big symphony of the evening... "Symphony of Destruction". What a song! It is Mustaine's response to Metallica's "Enter Sandman", only this rocks much harder. A true revelation.

The set list is pretty much perfect, albeit some favourites from later years are missing, such as "Train of Consequences", "Kill The King", "Dread & The Fugitive Mind" and (dare I say it?) "Crush 'Em"... But when Megadeth rounds things of with the 7-minute-monster of a track "Holy Wars… The Punishment Due", who can complain? Mustaine finally announces that Megadeth will play a festival in Sweden this summer, so it turned out this was not Megadeth's swansong after all. We will have to wait a few more months to see if Mustaine & Co goes out with a bang or not, but judging by their performance tonight, I'd say they will.

7 chalices of 10


Blackmail The Universe
Set The World Afire
Skin O' My Teeth
The Scorpion
Wake Up Dead
In My Darkest Hour
Something I'm Not
Angry Again
A Tout Le Monde
Die Dead Enough
Of Mice And Men
Kick The Chair
Hangar 18
Back In The Day
Sweating Bullets
Tornado of Souls
Symphony Of Destruction
Peace Sells
Holy Wars… The Punishment Due

Related links: