Megadeth -- Scranton, PA -- March 18th, 2010
It was foretold in the Testament twenty years ago that a massive Exodus attack would causefire and brimstone coming down from the skies! rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes...Chuck Schuldiner rising from his grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... a massive Megadeth. That prophecy was somewhat fulfilled last night in Scranton, P.A. at the Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple. I rarely travel outside New York for a concert because every big hard rock or metal band that tours will most likely play a venue in New York city. When I do travel for a concert. It’s usually in New Jersey at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, N.J, however, driving with three buddies of mine to Scranton, Pennsylvania became a different case because Testament was celebrating the twenty fifth anniversary of their debut album, ‘The Legacy’ (1987) and Megadeth was celebrating the twenty anniversary of one of their biggest selling records, ‘Rust in Peace’(1990) and there was no way in the world we were going to miss out on a concert of that magnitude. Exodus opening the concert was also a nice, little bonus.
The town of Scranton is a beautiful, little city full of beautiful architecture, a pretty cool mall, hipster yuppies, and that’s pretty much all Scranton has to offer aside from being a nice township to spend your golden years in. Me and my friends arrived in Scranton at noon and we were astonished and amused that a heavy metal concert was being held inside an old cathedral/church, the Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple.Why? Because the overall theme in heavy metal music in terms of lyrical content question and opinionate the existence of any religion. So, me, Chris, Roberto, and Rob found a parking garage, made sure we had everything we needed, and were ready to paint the town red....or black. We killed a lot of time by checking out the mall at Steamtown which had some pretty cool stores and HOLY CRAP! TWO FIFTHS OF TESTAMENT AND GLEN DROVER?! That’s right, we saw Greg Christian and Chuck Billy from Testament plus Glen Drover walking around the mall. But, we didn’t feel like bothering Greg and Glen because they were checking out the malls themselves. We did see Chuck Billy buying a smoothie in the foot court which caused me and Chris to walk up to him, say hey, asked how he is he doing, and a quick picture. We didn’t take too much time away from Chuck because he had one of those ‘not right now, guys’ look on his face. So, we thanked Chuck for his time and sat down and ate.
After we wine and dined. We headed back to the venue and marked our places in line. Some poser yuppie who was wearing a Megadeth t-shirt and...a Avenged Sevenfold belt buckle noticed my Dream Theater patch on my battle jacket and asked me if I knew that Mike Portnoy is recording drums for the new A7X record. Obviously I knew and I am all for musically open minded. But, those two bands don’t mix well at all. It’s like putting dried up fecal matter inside a blender without closing the top...you just don’t do it. What did I do? I insulted him to the pont where I think I crushed his soul. So, after that wonderful sadistic experience. Me and my friends relax in our spots and talked and made fun of metal music until the doors open. The clock struck six, we get inside the venue, and check out what merch we will be pissing our money away on. The Exodus shirts were okay looking...but not fantastic - 7/10. I did like ‘25 years of blood’ shirt though with the Bonded by Blood album cover on the front. The Megadeth merch took me by surprise. They were selling three unique and special Rust in Peace 20 twentieth anniversary. The t-shirts had the Rust in Peace album cover and a design that came from the Holy Wars... The Punishment Due single artwork that was released in 1990. A long sleeve featuring art work from the Hanger 18 single was also being sold. What I didn’t understand was how there were no actual tour dates on the back of the t-shirts I’ve mentioned...just the cities of the tour - 9/10. With a big grin on my face I bought the Holy Wars... The Punishment Due single artwork t-shirt for $35. I didn’t get a strong glimpse of what Testament merch was being sold because I wanted to get to my spot. But, the Tesatament t-shirts I saw blew me away - 9/10.
I jetted from the merch booth to the stage and found a great spot behind Chris who was going to stay on the railing through the whole show on the left side of the stage as the Exodus crew were getting ready to perform. How well the live mix for a band is an important factor of what is going to make a concert experience memorable. But, the visual representation also counts as well. Even though Exodus got a basic backdrop with the band logo and a black background. It corresponded very well with the hidden, fantastic looking Testament backdrop. After standing around and sharing concert war stories with some old, old school metal heads. The house lights caused the area to become dark and it was time for the EXODUS ATTACK!
1. Bonded By Blood
2. The Last Act Of Defiance
3. Fabulous Disaster
4. Brain Dead
6. A Lesson In Violence
7. The Toxic Waltz
8. Strike Of The Beast
This was my second time seeing this legendary and criminally underrated thrash metal band since I’ve saw them in 2009 opening for Kreator in New York city. Their set this time around was short, sweet, and full of good violent friendly fun for all! Even though Steve ‘Zetro’ Souza will always be my favorite Exodus vocalist and it goes without saying that Paul Baloff will always be the true voice of Exodus. I must admit that even though that 95% of Exodus fans don’t like Rob Dukes. He sure knows how to get a crowd ready to slug the skulls of one another. I have a little more respect for him now mainly because his vocal performance on ‘The Last Act of Defiance’ and ‘Piranha’ was top notch. However, he failed epically at doing stand up comedy when there was some minor technical problems after Piranha and him talking about the new record and such. Most interesting bit of info was it's out in May, and it's "faster than Bonded by Blood. ‘Toxic Waltz’ is a terrible song because the lyrics are so campy and not the cool, silly kind of campy that the 60's Batman televison series reeked of. But, it wasn’t terrible seeing it performed live last night. They closed Strike of the quee...eeer Beast, took a bow, and left the stage. It was almost time to see the almighty Testament tell the tale of THE LEGACY!
The first and last time I saw Testament perform live was on the Metal
Masters Tour in 2008 with Motorhead, Heaven and Hell, and Judas Priest and I’ve become a much bigger fan of their music since then and just seeing them celebrate twenty-five years by playing their debut record, The Legacy in its entirety. I knew I was in for a special treat. As I’ve mentioned before that the visual representation to how well a band performs is also important and Testament’s stage set up took my breath away. Testament used all of the elements from the art work for The Legacy and turned it into a temple of a séance where sins of omission were committed. The venue grew dark, a haunting choir intro played over the P.A system, and it was time to wreck thy neck to TESTAMENT! Even though they only just did a nine song set, The Legacy in sequence and could have squeezed in two to three more songs. It was mind blowing to heat it live and in living color! The album sounded so much sweet live than the studio version of it.
1. Over The Wall
2. The Haunting
3. Burnt Offerings
4. Raging Waters5. C.O.T.L.O.D.
6. First Strike Is Deadly
7. Do Or Die
8. Alone In The Dark
9. Apocalyptic City
All of the band members were on fire. Chuck Billy’s voice is like wine fine. It gets better with age and becomes ridiculously powerful. Alex Skolnick was not able to join Testament for this tour due to his touring duties with Rodrigo y Gabriella. Who filled him for our skunk haired guitar wizard? Former Megadeth guitar player, Glen Drover. Glen did more than a great job filling in for Skolnick. Now, granted that Glen Drover is a sweet guitar player. But, don’t you find it odd that Glen who once played in Megadeth is opening for Megadeth...in Testament? It was cool seeing Glen again since Gigantour 2006, and how he added his own flavors into the guitar work throughout their performance, and all the band members were messing with him on stage (in a friendly manner of course), especially Chuck. Throwing picks at Drover while soloing and air guitaring with him. It was heart warming to see that kind of chemistry alive. Another interesting thing I’ve realized the morning after of the concert is because Alex not being on the tour was that Peterson is a mean shredder! I knew that Peterson was an unsung soloist and I knew he had solo's, but maybe it's just because either The Legacy was never, ever performed live in its entirety or Mr. Skolnick wasn't there, but man he shined in the lead spot! An absolutely sweet performance from the mighty Testament, the songs that made my night were The Haunting and Apocalyptic City! The Alone In The Dark with fun sing-along portion at the end was also pretty cool.
After Testament ended their fantastic performance. I stepped outside for a moment to grab a drink of water and to meet Exodus at their merch table. They signed my ticket stub and record and all of the members from Rob Dukes to Tom Hunting recorded individual station I.D on my cell phone for my radio show. The place was filled to the top as soon as I tried getting back in my spot because the reason why for why we all came....MEGADETH performing Rust in Peace from top to bottom was about to begin! I was stuck in between some drunk ass hole with a speech problem and a fucking yuppie who didn’t stop asking me stupid questions for a while. My frame of body and...a lot of sweat and other various, liquid chemicals on me allowed me to gradually get back to my original spot. Detail by detail I saw right before my very eyes the original stage set up that Megadeth used during the first Rust in Peace tour. Everything from the Rust in Peace back drop to Shawn Drover’s sweet drum riser. I have not been blown away by a re-creation of a stage design since I saw Judas Priest perform British Steel in its entirety in 2009. The arena grew dark one last time, the scariest song in the history of music, Black Sabbath played over the P.A system while an announcer gave us fair warning to stay in our homes and remain calm or we would be murdered by gun shot. I have never been so scared by something like that since I saw the video intro before Black Sabbath came on stage at Jones Beach in 2004. One by one all of Megadeth on stage. Shawn, Chris, Dave E. and Dave M. came out, in that order as the arena shouted and screamed at the top of their lungs and went right into Skin O’ My Teeth with no joking around when the intro finished.
1. Skin O' My Teeth
2. In My Darkest Hour
4. Holy Wars...The Punishment Due
5. Hangar 18
6. Take No Prisoners
7. Five Magics
8. Poison Was The Cure
10. Tornado Of Souls11. Dawn Patrol
12. Rust In Peace...Polaris
15. Symphony Of Destruction
16. Peace Sells
17. Holy Wars (reprise)
I just stood and watched the extra songs because mainly and obviously I cared more about seeing songs such as Five Magics and Rust In Peace...Polaris were about to be performed live right in front of me. Seeing returning and original bass player, David Ellefson groove the bass during Dawn Patrol was sick beyond comprehension. For me, the pinocle moment of the night came upon hearing the opening drum intro for Rust In Peace...Polaris. It was so surreal to be hearing it live as I blew out my voice the very second after shouting two of my favorite lyrics from the title track, “BOMB SHELTERS FILLED TO THE BRIM. SURVIVAL IS SUCH A SILLY WHIM!” It was so mind numbingly beautiful from seeing all of Rust in Peace performed live and in living color. I enjoyed every moment of it as all those song are categorized as "they'll probably never play them again after this tour”, those being Five Magics, Poison Was The Cure, and Rust In Peace...Polaris.
In conclusion, my only complaints and grievances of the concert are first and foremost those mother fucking, scum sucking, ass hole yuppie security guards who looked liked they were still in high school and yes, they were letting people get tossed on the floor. Of all of my years of attending hard rock and heavy metal concerts. Whenever someone decided to crowed surf. That crowd surfer was helped both by the crowd itself and the security guards to make sure that no deaths would occur during the concert. However, on the flip side. Did those “fine young urban professionals” bother TRYING to help prevent any cause of injury or death? NO! They just stood in front of the stage with their arms crossed. The situation grew from the point where Rob Dukes from Exodus called them out on why what they were doing was not cool and Lee Altus and Jack Gibson from Exodus kicked them in the head a few times during their performance as a sign to wake up. We, the crowd itself kept chanting, “FUCK YOU SECURITY!” as the Megadeth road crew were setting up. Even though Dave Mustaine from Megadeth isn’t the nicest guy in the world. I have a little more respect for him now because he became angrier than usual when he picked up one of the security guards by his neck and shouted at him. I thought Dave was going to choke slam the guy on stage which would have been awesome My final complaint is that the house mixing could have been much, much better. I don’t know if it was the spot I was standing in but, I’ve noticed that the sound was very low and dropping out in someone’s area throughout the whole concert. Other than that, I wonder what is next in store for Megadeth. I just hope that David Ellefson doesn’t get slapped around like a two dollar whore.
POSERS SAY METAL IS DEAD BUT I NEVER GAVE A FUCK. HAIL AC/DC, OVERKILL, AND FUCK POSERS!!!!!.