(River Center, Davenport, IA)
By Bob Zerull
It’s 6:00 PM, Monday, December 7th at The River Center in Davenport, Iowa. Tomorrow we’re supposed to get a blizzard, with up to 12 inches of snow. Megadeth is scheduled to play Fargo, North Dakota on the 8th and Billings, Montana on the 9th. The crowd in Iowa was very grateful that Megadeth decided not to cancel to beat the blizzard.
I wandered my way up to the front couple of rows at The River Center not sure what to expect. I’d never seen a concert here before but it looked like a great place to hold a show. There was a ton of room. If you wanted to mosh the rest of the crowd wasn’t going to suffer. If you just wanted to hang back you could do it. I even saw kids standing off to the side bouncing balls up against the side walls.
At 9:30 PM the stage was ready to go for Megadeth. Looking around at the fans there were around 1,500 people there. Not bad given the weather conditions.
At 9:32 PM the lights went out and blue sirens started going off. One at a time the members came out. First was drummer Shawn Drover, followed by lead guitarist Chris Broderick and journey man bass player James LoMenzo. When Dave Mustaine hit the stage the fans went nuts. Dave walked right up to the mike and then ripped into the opening riff off the first track from the new album “Endgame” called “Dialectic Chaos.”
I was impressed with the talent among all the bands on the bills, but none of them could even compete with the virtuosos within Megadeth. Let me concentrate on Chris Broderick for minute. That guy is just a flat out stud. He’s as good a guitar player as anybody and he’s got the stage presence on top of it. Whenever he meandered over to my side of the stage the guys around me would start pointing, nodding and throwing up the devil horns and Chris just stood there smiling, nodding and shredding. The guy is a bad ass and he knows it. Broderick definitely moved up my list of favorite guitar players.
Megadeth played five songs off the new album including the Grammy nominated “Head Crusher” and fan favorite “44 Minutes.” The songs that got the most crowd reaction were “Sweating Bullets,” “Peace Sells,” “A Tout Le Monde,” “Symphony of Destruction,” and of course the encore “Holy Wars.” To be honest there never was a down moment during the show. You know that moment when the classic rock band plays the new stuff and you decide to step out and grab a beer or use the restroom? That moment didn’t once happen at this show.
Between songs Dave would come back out onto the stage clapping his hands in acceptance, thanking the crowd and telling stories. The man knows how to put on a good show. Mustaine has worked hard for everything he has. He grew up a ginger kid, pale with freckles and red hair. It’s hard to be taken seriously when you look like that. I can say all this because I suffer from the same condition. He’s come a long way, for 20 some odd years he’s been the leader of one of the best heavy metal acts of all time, coming off of one of the best heavy metal albums in a long time (“Endgame”). Mustaine has a lot to be proud of.
The current lineup is a phenomenal one and I hope they can stay intact. Shawn Drover is a dazzling drummer with an awesome drum set. LoMenzo is a maestro bass player who has played with greats such as Slash, Zakk Wylde and Vito Bratta. He also is one hell of a performer who knows how to work the crowd. It was just an all around spectacular lineup and show. I can’t wait to see Megadeth again. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to review the show in February when they come to Chicago with Slayer and Testament.
Check out parts one and two of the interview Zoiks! Online did with Megadeth.
Bob Zerull is a frequent movie and concert goer who talks about his ventures to arenas and theaters more than any person should be allowed to do. Now, he puts them down on paper. Visit: www.cadaverchristmas.com. Email Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(River Center, Davenport, IA)