So here is a taste of what I heard and saw on March 21, 2010. I attended the The MEGADETH: RUST IN PEACE 2OTH ANNIVERSARY TOUR. It took place at a venue called The Tabernacle in Atlanta, Georgia. The opening act was the long-suffering forefathers of Thrash metal, EXODUS. The show opened with “Bonded By Blood”. Current vocalist, Rob Dukes, is a decent Thrash Vocalist. I have to preface my opinions with the fact that I have only “checked out” the last 2 EXODUS releases and have not been too impressed. He is no Steve Souza, or Paul Baloff… for the matter. It was great hearing some “Old School” tunes like “The Last Act of Defiance” & “Brain Dead”. They also played “War Is My Shepherd” from Tempo of the Damned, right before the live favorite “Toxic Waltz”. I found it odd, EXODUS performed nothing from either of the “Exhibit” releases. Then when TESTAMENT took the stage, it dawned on me why.
TESTAMENT, even more than MEGADETH, is why I am at this show. Of the 3, they are my favorite. In all of THRASH, they are in my top 5, in all of METAL… my top 10. I LOVE TESTAMENT. The guys opened with “Over The Wall” and I am like “Wow”. Just because MEGADETH is doing RUST IN PEACE in its entirety, I didn’t know it was “Old School” night across the board. TESTAMENT went on to perform The Legacy release, in sequence, from beginning to end, with the exception of “Apocalyptic City”. Before they concluded the set with the albums’ closer, they performed “Into The Pit” & “Souls of Black”. Don’t get me wrong, it was an excellent set, and MEGADETH had their work cut out for them. However, TESTAMENT have a brilliant current release out entitled The Formation of Damnation. Also in their catalog are brilliant releases like The Gathering, LOW, and the very popular Practice What You Preach. I have to say I was disappointed not to hear anything off the new release. Especially since they had a “Tour Edition” of the new release, on sale, at the venue. Also, it turns out that Alex Skolnick could not make the tour, due to a prior commitment to Trans-Siberian Orchestra. He was aptly covered by, former MEGADETH guitarist, Glenn Drover. Now, onto MEGADETH.
MEGADETH opened the show with “Skin O’ My Teeth” and “In My Darkest Hour”, back to back. They sounded tight. I mean just like playing the album at home. After playing a perfect rendition of “She-Wolf”, we hear the opening chords of “Holy Wars… The Punishment Due”. You couldn’t even hear Dave because of the crowd singing the opening lyric… “Brother will kill brother, Spilling blood across the land, Killing for religion, Something I don’t understand”. It was AWESOME! The ‘DETH boys followed that up with, of course, “Hangar 18” and the rest of the release in sequence. Whenever Dave tried to banter with the audience, I could not understand what he was saying. After “Rust in Peace… Polaris”, we heard “Headcrusher” from the new release, as well as “Trust” & “Symphony Of Destruction”. MEGADETH performed one enore song, obviously “Peace Sells”. I have to state this, about 5 songs in, I grew kinda bored. MEGADETH were so flawless, and made it a point not to deviate from the song as it is, there seemed no point in seeing them live. It’s like listening to the studio cuts with a crowd. That being said, OPETH are just as flawless in the execution of their songs live. But, Mikael Åkerfeldt has such a great live repore with an audience, it is always a great time seeing them live.
In conclusion, it was a fun show. That was my first time seeing EXODUS, and they put on a great show (in spite of my reservations about Dukes). TESTAMENT were excellent, as always. MEGADETH definitely deserved the crowd response they got that night. The audience LOVED them. For me, MEGADETH will always be the superior band to METALLICA. Also, with the set list that were performed, I have to declare that it was probably a “once in a lifetime” event, and I am glad I was there. Thanks for reading. \m/