The extensive World Tour in support of new album United Abominations has already seen Megadeth support Heaven And Hell
in North America, hit some of the major European festivals, and now reach England where they played some headlining club dates around their appearance at the Download Festival.
Montreal stoner rockers Priestess
accompanied the all-conquering thrashers on this five-date trek, and given the strength of their debut album Hello Master
, and the fact that they’d never played England before, their arrival in London was hotly anticipated. Unfortunately, for both them and us, they suffered the same fate as most support bands do at the Astoria (and it’s smaller counterpart the Mean Fiddler). Deaf sound-man.
Just like on so many other occasions I’ve witnessed before, the mix for Priestess was drowned in bass, meaning the vocals above all else were completely inaudible. Even more unforgivably, and again as has been so many times before, the sound-man didn’t fix it. I can’t understand how a professional can stand and listen to a mix like that for a whole show and not do anything about it. So, I’ve no idea what Priestess played, because I couldn’t hear a single word of any song. The only song I know they played was debut single I Am The Night, Colour Me Black
as a closer, because singer Mikey Heppner announced it.
Their performance looked OK, although they did themselves no favours by wasting precious time in a 30-minute set by letting Vince Nudo have a drum solo. I also don’t think they helped their cause by spinning several songs out into meandering and often directionless instrumental dirges (at one point they repeated the same part so often it sounded like a broken record) that not only began to get boring, but were ill-suited to an audience who had come to see technical thrash. Under lighting that could best be described as chaotic Priestess either need to fire their team or, if they didn’t bring anyone and used the in-house team, they need to hire their own.
Megadeth themselves couldn’t have hoped for a better reception. The completely-sold-out Astoria roared with appreciation as front-man Dave Mustaine and drummer Shawn Drover took the stage to launch into Sleepwalker
from the new album. Monster bassist James Lomenzo (ex-Black Label Society
) and Shawn’s guitarist brother Glen (the pair are also in the supremely technical Eidolon
together) joined shortly after and the band didn’t let up for another two songs as classics Take No Prisoners
and Skin O’ My Teeth
whipped up the crowd suitably.