Megadeth in Stockholm, Sweden
Feb 15th, 2005
Review by Marko Syrjala and Jarno Huovila
Pictures by Marko Syrjala
In 2004, just as the sparkle of hope glowed dim, Dave Mustaine struck back with the excellent new album 'The System Has Failed', which especially after the less than stellar 'The World Needs A Hero' release, was a most welcome return to the high standard of song writing that we've come to expect from Dave. After the album release Mustaine surprisingly announced that the forth coming tour will be definitely be their last ever. Now they are now midst of their farewell tour called "Blackmail The Universe" and we were lucky to witness bands brilliant performance in Stockholm.
Opening for Megadeth on this tour is the legendary NWOBHM band Diamond Head, now with their new singer Nick Tart. Their set of approx. three quarters of an hour comprised not surprisingly of their best known songs bundled with a couple of new ones. The audience gave the band an enthusiastic reception and numbers like 'Am I Evil?' really seemed to hit the mark even with the younger members of the crowd.
After about half an hour intermission it was time for the evenings headline act Megadeth to hit the stage. "Blackmail the Universe" the opening track of the new album kicked off the show. As the first notes poured through the PA one promtly discerned the rather substandard sound quality in the venue, an impairment which as it turns out somewhat mysteriously got fixed a few songs into the show.
The stage was dominated by the eminent drum riser, with little else to catch the audience interest. The banner on the stage wall was hardly visible throughout the show at all. The lighting in all it's simplicity worked elegantly to the show's advantage.
It should come as no surprise that the undisputed star of the proceedings was without a question Mr. Mustaine, whose presumed throat ailment seemed to not be distinguishably affecting his performance. Rather than just staying in front of the microphone stand, he took every opportunity to stride around the stage to the audiences great delight. Still the man possesses such an awesome onstage presence that all he really needed to do in order to have the audience in the palm of his hand was to utter a word or two between the songs. Instead of just a few words, he in fact addressed the audience several times in quite an uplifting manner. Evident from his playing was also that his arm was back to full capacity and there were no sights of any problems. Dave remembered to mention that just two years earlier doctor said that he will never play guitar again. He also briefly talked about the loss of his good friend Diamond Darrel and then dedicated "Back in the Day" for his memory.
As for the new backing band that Dave has gathered for himself, James MacDonough (bass), Glen Drover (guitar) and Shawn Drover (drums), it's not such a clear-cut case. Obviously with a band like Megadeth there will always come the ballast of history, over twenty years of it. Thus it is always going to be an ordeal to have a new member, never mind three new members in a band of such a legendary status. These things considered, the current line-up deserves kudos for a valiant effort, as it's hard to try and not get overshadowed by what has come before. As time goes by, things will no doubt get even better.
Whoever planned the set list should be congratulated for a job well done, with such a gargantuan quantity of good songs to choose from, it must have been difficult. For some reasons there wasn?t any songs played from the "Risk" or "A World Needs a Hero" albums but with over half of the new album represented, the whole set clocked in at almost 2 hours. One of the definite highlights and a delightful surprise was the inclusion of the superb 'She-Wolf'. Of the new songs extra mention must go to the brilliant 'Of Mice and Men' and it must also be said that it?s always cool when someone play?s "Paranoid" as Megadeth now did? ;)
After the current European tour which will end on 26th of February in Granada, Spain, Megadeth will after a short Japanese tour, return to the European continent to play some festivals in the summer. See you there!
01. Blackmail the Universe
02. Set the World Afire
03. Skin O' My Teeth
04. The Scorpion
05. Wake Up Dead
06. In My Darkest Hour
08. Something I'm Not
09. Angry Again
10. A Tout Le Monde
11. Die Dead Enough
13. Of Mice and Men
14. Kick the Chair
15. Hangar 18
16. Back in the Day
17. Sweating Bullets
19. Symphony of Destruction
20. Peace Sells / Mechanix
21. Holy Wars... The Punishment Due
Through unforeseen circumstance the opportunity for us to attend this concert arose rather unexpectedly, thus we acknowledge with great gratitude the help rendered to us by the Megadeth crew, in particular Glen Drovers guitar tech Willie Gee, tour manager Suzy Nilsson, Dave Mustaine's personal assistant John Leeder and of course Dave Mustaine himself.
THANK YOU !
More pictures from Stockholm show !!!