If someone put a gun to my head and asked me to make a list of my top 5 favourite bands, you can bet that Megadeth would make that list. For my money, they are the most consistent of the Big Four of thrash, and also the only one that seems to want to push past the label of a nostalgia act.
It seems strange to me that it’s taken them this long to headline a UK festival, you can bet your ass if Download or Bloodstock had been around in the 80’s/90’s they’d have headlined a lot faster. But I digress, the moment is finally here, and it couldn’t have come at a better time, as 2014 also marks the 20th anniversary of one of the band’s most successful albums ‘Youthanasia’.
No two Megadeth shows are the same, and tonight is one that definitely sets itself apart from the others as well. There are huge video screens onstage, and the band strides confidently on to the opening strains of ‘Hangar 18’ you get the feeling that the band is feeling a little saucy tonight and could well mix things up.
But sadly that threat is short lived, and despite the inclusion of ‘Wake up Dead’ and ‘Dawn Patrol’ tonight’s set is largely predictable. Bafflingly outside of an appearance by ‘A Tout Le Monde’ the band practically ignores ‘Youthanasia’ which is odd, given the fact that all of their merch has it plastered all over it and with the aforementioned anniversary this year as well.
Predictable setlist aside, Megadeth seem to be in fine spirits, and even with some mumbling issues, Dave ‘Lightning Rod’ Mustaine seems to be enjoying himself, appearing more animated and lively than he usually. It kind of reminds me of that moment when Pinocchio becomes a real boy and feels emotions for the first time.
Chuck in an appearance by Vic Rattlehead and some humorous clips from films where the band has been mentioned and there is a sense of fun looming over tonight’s festivities.
As a lifelong Megadeth fan, it’s hard for me to be disappointed with this. They played a set full of songs I know and love, ignoring almost as many I know and love in the process, but they played with spirit and a little bit of a spring in their step and brought the festival to a close in fine form. Megadeth might not be everyone’s favourite band, but on this night they proved once again why they are one of the most enduring bands in the history of metal.
Photos by Sabrina Ramdoyal