Megadeth (TOUR OPENER) -- Reno, NV -- October 23rd, 2004
TOUR: Megadeth / Blackmail The Universe World Tour
VENUE: Hilton Theater -- Reno, NV
DATE: Friday, October 23rd, 2004
ATTENDED W/: Bouville
GEAR WORN: L/S Piece Of Mind shirt, Live After Death Hoodie, Combat Goggles
MERCH PURCHASED: 2 MD Shirts and the coolest jersey youíll ever see at a show
MOSHING REPORT: Minimal (No Room For A Pit)
EDDIES AWARDED: 9
REVIEWED: October 25th, 2004
So it's almost midnight last Thursday. I'm cruising Ticketmaster for concert dates for our site's concert calendarÖ I check tickets (WTF!) for Reno's tour opener. TM ponies up one PIT ticket located dead center, almost front row. Wood! Total wood! Iím going to see Megadeth for the first time, so many years after buying Peace Sells in college in 1987 Ė and a tour opening date no less!
I departed Saturday from the Monterey Peninsula later then I hoped for because I just couldn't get my eyes closed the night before. Remember that feeling the night before you went to Disneyland? The stop-and-go traffic was horrible in the Bay Area after picking up Bouville; the weather, even worse heading into the Sierra Nevadaís from California. I white-knuckled the drive through rain, snow, and whatever crap bigger vehicles could kick up at me. We made it with less than an hour to spare.
The Hilton Theater is a casino theater. Most of the venue is tables and booths. The "pit" area had several rows of chairs tied together and were labeled to correspond to our tickets. My ticket turned out to the deadest of dead center, right in front of Dave, third row. Bouville's was right behind me front-row-table in his section.
I sat up top with him while Earshot opened to down a few drinks. We missed the first song while at the bar but they played a four song set including:
Moby Dick (yes, a LZ cover)
Wait (one of their originals)
I liked them; Bouville did not (I'll let him elaborate). Moby Dick included the drum solo, something a little strange to hear one from an opening act. Their metal was mellow compared to some of the screeching bands I've heard this year, but I liked them well enough to buy their CD at the merch table. I would like to hear a full set from them; that's the best compliment I can give an opening act.
Security and ushers were nowhere to be found after Earshot. The seats and rows be damned, people were making the sardine can out of the 10 feet or so between the front row and the stage. The casino guards futilely tried to seat them. I motioned to Bouville to come down to his new pit location.
The stage backdrop is huge... it resembles the courthouse from The System cover... "Unequal Justice For All" prominently displayed. The lights went down... the pot smoke went up... and the opening notes of Black Sabbath crashed over the PA. God damn it... now that's a way to introduce a band.
James Miner of Arroyo Grande, CA (a Maiden fan in a Killers shirt) is responsible for most of our set list. I want to give him a hearty and public THANK YOU because he was so helpful. Corrections (where I messed up, not James) have been made with information from the Megadave at the official MD forum.
Skin Of My Teeth
Wake Up Dead
In My Darkest Hour
Something I'm Not
Train Of Consequences
Die Dead Enough
Kick The Chair
A Tout Le Monde
Tornado Of Souls
During Something I'm Not, the pit started to lose it. Some asshole even did something to warrant a threat and a scowl by Dave: ďDo that again and I'm going to kick your ass." The people upfront enforced a bit of pit justice. Sporadic pits erupted but flamed out due to lack of oxygen or drunks taking the moshing the wrong way. Rows of seats became elevated escapes routes for some, aisles for those of us not on the run from security.
Stage Diving commenced with Angry Again. Dave shook his head between songs at one fat fuck (now shirtless): "Try some Slimfast." I scored a total of 24 divers before giving up the count for the encores. Of my 24, security only got their hands on three by my count. Every time security came out for the divers, people in the audience would pelt them with cups of beer. My biggest concern was that some fat ass would fall back on the seats in front of me and break my knees. Eventually, a 500 pound goliath of a roadie just started chucking people off the stage.
Between growling "MEGADETH!" for the encores and singing (Fuck you! I call what I did singing!) during Peace Sells, my voice cracked and went straight to hell. Megadeth put that shit-grin on my face that you only get after a great concert. The new line-up kicks ass. Don't worry about it. You'll have a great time; I did. In fact, if you have the means, see them more than once.
Dave: He looked good, prowled around the stage, and seemed like he was having a lot of fun. I canít see how anyone would be disappointed in him unless he didnít play their favorite song.
James MacDonough (bass): The last time I saw James was at Iced Earth in May. For Megadeth, he shaved and put on an AC/DC shirt, looking relatively cleaned up! Musically, he knew his shit and kicked ass. Good choice, Dave!
Glen Drover (guitar): He sounded pretty damn good to me, though I swear he hit a stinker in that quiet part of Holy Wars.
Shawn Drover (drums): I couldn't tell that he's only been in the band for ten days. Good job, mate!
About 4:30 AM in the casino, we talked to one of the security guards (we didnít catch his name but heís from Austrailia) who worked the stage; he broke his hand while fending off an unfriendly. Dave visited security after the concert, thanked them for their efforts, and even apologized to our guard with the broken hand (even offered him free tickets when MEGADETH GOES TO AUSTRAILIA ON THIS TOUR) and this guy really appreciated it to the extent that he had the great-concert-shit-grin on his face hours later. When a rock star takes the time for a relative nobody especially after a tour opener when he could be doing a thousand other things with a thousand other people, thatís class. Attaboy, Dave.
10 Eddies represent any Maiden concert, as Maiden is the standard by which I judge all metal. I am awarding Megadeth a total of 9 Eddies. I give their performance an 8 (which will be a 9 plus once they settle in). In a first of its kind bonus, I am awarding an extra Eddie to Megadeth because of how Dave treated that security guard. Some things are more important than the music.
Last but not least, I also have some very kind words for Megadave at the Megadeth forum but am saving them for my review of the San Francisco show.
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