Rob Zombie / Megadeth / Lacuna Coil
Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain
May 12, 2012
Review and pics by InfamousButcher
Road veterans Megadeth have been very busy lately. Riding the Big 4 wave, master shredder Dave Mustaine and the boys put out new album TH1RT3EN in November 2011 and revived the Gigantour festival with Motorhead, Volbeat, and Lacuna Coil for a North American Tour. Now following a short break, they are back on the road again with Rob Zombie and Lacuna Coil. As a huge Megadeth fan, I feel very fortunate they do so many tours, we have seen them 9 times in the last 2 and a half years!
Tonight we are in Scranton, Pennsylvania to catch the Megadeth / Rob Zombie tour. The venue is the Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain, a large open air amphitheater with covered seats and a decent sized lawn. Scranton is scenic and beautiful, lots of forests, fresh air, and clear blue skies. Sound quality of the venue is great and it is very clean. Only drawback is the parking, a half assed gravel covered lot that is a far walk from the venue. Oh well, it can’t all be aces!
After a mad dash to the pit we positioned ourselves in front of the barrier on the left side of the stage. Lacuna Coil came on at 7:15 and proceeded to bore me with new song “I Don’t Believe in Tomorrow”. Is this really even metal? I think it could definitely pass as hard rock. Hailing from Italy, Lacuna Coil is touring to support their new album DARK ADRENALIZE. Christina Scabbia is as good singer and frontwoman, but the music is just not heavy enough to get me going. The other singer, Andrea Ferro, is completely useless. His voice isn’t strong and commanding like Christina’s it’s just superfluous. Sound quality was a little muddy, vocals were drowned out at times and the guitar and bass weren’t distinct. Overall a bit of a mess, 45 minutes I’ll never get back.
Rob Zombie was headlining tonight, so Megadeth came on next at 8:20, exploding with new song “Never Dead’! This made me very happy as I am sick and tired of “Trust” being used as the opener. This is a thrash metal show damn it, let’s start it properly with a kick in the f*&^ing face! Sound was thick and tight, with searing leads from Chris Broderick and Dave and thunderous drumming from Shawn Drover. Nowadays, Dave’s vocals are hit or miss, some nights he sounds great, other nights he struggles with the high notes and gets drowned out frequently. Tonight, Dave was on fire and his vocal range was excellent and powerful, sounding much better than he did when we saw Megadeth twice on Gigantour.
The seminal classic “Hangar 18” was next, complete with the furious guitar assault at the end by Dave and Chris with Shawn blasting away at the drumkit. Thrash brutality followed with ENDGAME’s “Headcrusher” and then came the best part of the set, flawless versions of “In My Darkest Hour”, “Trust”, “She-Wolf” and “Sweating Bullets”. The musicianship and guitar virtuosity just blew me away. Later in the set new tracks “Whose Life Is It (Anyways)?” and “Public Enemy #1” were polished and powerful with excellent backing vocals from David Ellefson and Chris. As an added feature with this also being a Rob Zombie show, the Megadeth backdrop was a giant screen which showed videos while the new songs were played and images of Vic Rattlehead and Megadeth logos during other songs. The show closed with blistering renditions of the classics “Symphony of Destruction”, “Peace Sells” and “Holy Wars”. Vic made his appearance in the flesh (or should that be bone?) during Peace Sells.
As usual Dave was very interactive with the crowd, soaking up the cheers, telling stories about being naked in the back of a police car, giving away a guitar a radio contest winner had won, and urging us not to waste our vote in the upcoming presidential election. Ah a man of the people! Mustaine for f*&^ing president indeed! All fans seemed satisfied, overall the crowd was loud but not intense, no moshing whatsoever, some crowd surfing. It will be a different reaction here come August for the Mayhem Festival!
After a 30 min wait, Rob Zombie came on at about 10, emerging from a giant robot and charging into a rocking rendition of “Jesus Frankenstein”! The screens behind Rob played old Boris Karloff movies while he screamed and danced, sporting a giant skeleton arm. The stage set up was very similar to the one last year, a feast for the eyes with skeleton microphones, giant robots, zombies, and ghouls running amok. Similar to seeing an Alice Cooper show, Rob is a great atmospheric performer. Rob’s voice has lost the unique edge it had in the 90s, but he is still a master entertainer. He is always moving, constantly dancing around like a demonic whirling dervish while screens play pornographic anime and footage of naked women shaking their breasts. What was that cartoon with the naked Dr. Octopus woman?!? To paraphrase Sam Kinison, I guess Rob just wants to be part of family entertainment!
Rob addressed the crowd frequently and went into the crowd twice, during massive hits “More Human Than Human” and “Thunder Kiss ‘65”. Rob’s band was tight and competent with good guitar work from John 5. Other set highlights included “Never Gonna Stop”, “Pussy Liquor”, “Sick Bubble Gum” (good audience participation – rock mother*&$ker!), and one for the ladies where men were encouraged to lift the women onto their shoulders, “Living Dead Girl”. Encore was the hit “Dragula”. Crowd was very interactive singing and head banging and all true metalheads went home happy. Overall a great show of thrash and theatrics.
Lacuna Coil set:
I Don’t Believe in Tomorrow
Kill the Light
I Won’t Tell You
Heaven’s a Lie
Give Me Something More
Trip the Darkness
In My Darkest Hour
A Tout Le Monde
Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)
Public Enemy No. 1
Symphony of Destruction
Holy Wars… The Punishment Due
Rob Zombie set
Scum of the Earth
Never Gonna Stop (The Red, Red Kroovy)
Living Dead Girl
More Human Than Human
Mars Needs Women
Thunder Kiss ’65