In the echelons of heavy music there is absolutely no doubt that Megadeth are sitting towards the top. Their lasting legacy, status and influence on Metal cannot really be questioned so it came as absolutely no surprise that in their special guest slot with Five Finger Death Punch tonight the place had absolutely packed to the rafters to see Dave Mustaine and co. blast through just over an hour of pure hits. With the fact that Mustaine has been struck with cancer and completely out of the game for the last year or so, the elation when he first strode on stage was palpable. As far as the overall mix was concerned, Mustaine's vocals were understandably very low, something which was initially kind of jarring but in all honesty, Megadeth has always been all about the musicianship and if anything the entire band smashed through each track with more venom than perhaps they had been doing just before their unfortunate break.
Opening with Hangar 18 in to a tour debut of The Threat Is Real both Mustaine and Ellefson sounded characteristically thunderous with the duo of Kiko Loureiro on lead guitar and Dirk Verbeuren on the drums providing an exciting level of flair as the perfect accompaniment. When you've also got the likes of the frankly RIDICULOUS Tornado Of Souls in your arsenal to crack out for the first time on the tour as well just shows how much fun the band are having being back on the road.
Easily the biggest roar of the night came about halfway through the set as Mustaine recounted the story of getting his diagnosis, the subsequent treatment and finally the announcement that he had received the all clear from his Doctors as recently as a month or so before this run of dates. An absolute "moment" shall we say, one we won't be forgetting anytime soon that's for sure.
It's an interesting billing having Megadeth touring with Five Finger Death Punch but one that has seemingly worked very well indeed. If 5FDP attract a "younger" or slightly more different "Metal crowd" there will be plenty in the room tonight who may well have been exposed to the madness of Megadeth for the very first time, and even if one or two decide to dive in and throw Rust In Peace or Peace Sells on then that should be considered a victory.