Megadeth

support Lamb Of God + Children Of Bodom + Sylosis
author MAK date 14/11/15 venue Wembley Arena, London, UK

One night after the horrific scenes in Paris, the world was in shock and some people quite possibly became wary of attending big events. Wembley Arena, one of London’s biggest venues played host to a co-headline show between Megadeth and Lamb Of God with support from Children Of Bodom and Sylosis. It was a show that could be set as a firm reminder to music fans that big events can still be a safe haven and enjoyable environments. As a sign of class, before any bands hit the stage, the lighting was set to the colours of the French flag for everyone to see.

Sylosis

Opening the night were the UK’s own thrash metallers Sylosis. They kicked off with the title-track from their most recent album “Dormant Heart”, and machine gun-like drum beats and huge chugging riffs caused the early attendees to bang their heads. Follow-up track “Teras” took us back to one of the Berkshire quartet’s earliest gems from their first album “Conclusion Of An Age”, unleashing a rather nostalgic buzz amongst fans and easily the biggest cheer during their performance. Throughout the set, there were some great responses of fist pumps from some eager crowd members and an early circle pit was opened once it was requested by frontman Josh Middleton. Apart from that and the wall of death during “Stained Humanity”, however, there wasn't a whole lot of energy from the remaining audience.

Sylosis

Sylosis played a set that was mostly new material, with “Mercy” and “Servitude” appearing from the new album. Both tracks are melodic and quite progressive overall with bursts of high tempo riffs. Interesting choice of songs considering Sylosis have a lot more songs in their back catalogue that can get the blood flowing. The plan looked like these songs were meant to wow the audience with their technicality and beautiful musicianship, which in itself was entrancing, though a lot of the audience seemed bored and looked like they wanted something with a bit more oomph. The final track "Empyreal", another fairly older track which gave the audience that energy and in response there were mass chants and more fist pumps. The sad part is that Wembley is so big that when it isn't full of people, you really know about it, as the half empty arena slowly filled but not enough to give the performance a great atmosphere.

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Setlist:

  • 1. Dormant Heart
  • 2. Teras
  • 3. Mercy
  • 4. Servitude
  • 5. Stained Humanity
  • 6. Empyreal

Children Of Bodom

Finnish symphonic metallers Children Of Bodom, on the other hand, decided to keep it old school by starting with “Silent Night, Bodom Night” from their 1999 album “Hatebreeder”. Instantly you could tell that Children Of Bodom had a much fuller sound, as more crushing riffs and synths added a lot more depth and the duelling solos between the frontman/lead guitarist Alexi Laiho and keyboardist Janne Wirman were as amazing as they sound on record. Both “Hate Me” and “In Your Face” continued the run of older songs as the latter followed an interlude of flashing red and blue lights and police sirens. By now the Arena was starting to look a lot fuller and the atmosphere continued to be torn between those who were enthusiastic and others that were clearly there to see the following bands. Those who were happy to see Children Of Bodom made their voices known and again pumped their fists regularly as they shouted “OI” loudly.

Children Of Bodom

Performance wise the Fins were note for note perfect during every song, and new song “Morrigan” from the recently released album “I Worship Chaos” went down really well with lots of cheers following the song. Further classics “Hatecrew Deathroll” and the extremely melodic “Downfall” finished the set off in anthemic style. As a fan of early material, I was pleasantly surprised that the majority of the songs were from before 2005 which certainly worked as a majority crowd pleaser. The gaping difference between Children Of Bodom and Sylosis was the tone in the melodies delivered by the guitars and keyboards. Both were incredibly intricate, but Bodom’s were a lot more fun and enjoyable to listen to. This created an immensely different atmosphere that was closer to joyful than the seriousness in the Sylosis performance – which worked massively in Bodom’s favour. One cool stage production feature was that from “In Your Face” onwards, each song had a backdrop change with the album cover matching the song the album is from.

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Setlist:

  • 1. Silent Night, Bodom Night
  • 2. Hate Me
  • 3. In Your Face
  • 4. Morrigan
  • 5. Hatecrew Deathroll
  • 6. Downfall

Lamb Of God

As a co-headliner, Lamb Of God took the opportunity to have a bit of a stage show by adding video screens and animated pillars. By the time the quintet hit the stage, the arena was close to being completely full, and chants of “LAMB OF GOD” rang around the venue as the anticipation was high. The only distraction was the rather amusing sing along to Iron Maiden’s “Run To The Hills” as it played over the PA. The lights went out and the roar from the audience was deafening. Imagery of chaos, destruction and buildings being demolished played over the screens before the band came on one by one. “Walk With Me In Hell” kicked in and Wembley bounced to the main riff as imagery of nukes and warfare continued to flood the backdrop. The opener flowed straight into another crowd favourite “Now You've Got Something To Die For”, and both songs had the impressive feat that the title words were sung loudly by the crowd during the choruses when frontman Randy Blythe stopped screaming to let their voices be heard.

Lamb Of God

New songs “Still Echoes” and “512” were absolutely loved by the audience with some fans singing right back to the anthemic choruses and going crazy to the crushing riffs. Sandwiched between the new songs, Blythe engaged the crowd for the first time. The Frontman brought up the Paris news and claimed “It will not make me afraid motherfuckers and it will not make me hate. We are better than that.” Everyone in the room cheered in unison to the heart-warming message. The atmosphere remained high throughout as Lamb Of God unleashed hit after hit, the remaining songs were either singles or pure crowd favourites like “Ghost Walking”, “Set To Fail” and “Laid To Rest”. As you can imagine, these songs had huge reactions which were mostly more people singing back louder and louder. “Vigil” was perhaps the only real surprise during the set.

Lamb Of God

The Virginia metallers had a longer set, meaning there was a chance to have a lot more engagement with the audience, which was highly welcomed. The mere mention of Megadeth drew more deafening cheers. Classic track “Ruin” was dedicated to legendary rock singer Dio as the only other time Lamb Of God had played Wembley was when they supported Dio’s band Heaven & Hell. “Omerta” claimed one of the coolest moments of the set as Blythe was joined by many fans for the opening spoken word piece. Based on the history of Lamb Of God performances, chaos was always to be expected and “Redneck” had calls for biggest circle pit in Wembley history, which turned out large enough that it couldn’t have been far off the records. The traditional final song "Black Label" had its usual destructive wall of death, which made for pure carnage in the pits until the very end.

Setlist:

  • 1. Walk With Me In Hell
  • 2. Now You've got Something To Die For
  • 3. Still Echoes
  • 4. 512
  • 5. Ghost Walking
  • 6. Ruin
  • 7. Omerta
  • 8. Hourglass
  • 9. Set To Fail
  • 10. Vigil
  • 11. Laid To Rest
  • 12. Redneck
  • 13. Black Label

Megadeth

Wembley now felt jam packed as everyone was ready for the night’s final headliners Megadeth. Opening with the classic “Hangar 18”, Megadeth had a rather special greatest hits set planned for the audience. With a new album, “Dystopia”, on the way, you might have thought the thrash legends would have used the evening to promote it, though the more popular songs were always going to get the crowd’s approval. Lamb Of God’s Chris Adler performed drums on the new album so it was inevitable for the stick man to play his seconds set for the evening, which he had been doing for all of the UK dates.

Megadeth

The first noticeable thing was the audience suddenly aged around me. It became an old school metal crowd, the 80’s look of long hair and either leather jackets or denim vests fled to the front. “Hangar 18” produced everything that Megadeth were all about, big thrashy riffs and lots of fiddly solos. Once the song finished the crowd erupted into a massive roar and main man Dave Mustaine only had to say hello and once again the cheers were deafening. This set the tone and the bar high for the rest of the performance and what followed did not disappoint. You just had to look around to see the excitement from everyone, even the seated fans were standing with raised hands either pumping or waving. Several songs in and Chris Adler remained tireless. His beats may have been less intricate compared to what he does for Lamb Of God, but they were still fast enough to require a lot of energy, It was incredible to watch him continue going all out for another lengthy set.

Megadeth

Another noticeable feature was that even though the excitement was high, the atmosphere was more chilled out compared to Lamb Of God’s onslaught of aggression. Fans were happy to stand back with a pint in their hand, singing and shouting, perhaps have a bit of a boogie and do easy participation like clapping along and fist pumps. Like with Lamb Of God, there were more big screens full of imagery related to the song playing at the time, for example, a swirling tornado during “Tornado Of Souls”. The screens mixed flashing images and videos clips. Another feature was to use the screens to features clips of films that contain someone mentioning Megadeth. One of these Including the famous “Waynes World 2” scene with Garth asking his date “Do you have any Megadeth?” just before “Trust”.

Continuing the evening’s trend of new songs doing well, “Fatal Illusion” was the only track from new album “Dystopia” previewed by the audience and followed by Mustaine claiming "That's a happy fun song isn't it" and more fans cheered as if to agree. “Skin o’ My Teeth” and “Symphony Of Destruction” took us back to the old school with more recognisable killer riffs that fans loved. Bassist David Ellefson started off a clap along before going into “Peace Sells….” that had everyone in the arena joining along. It was amazing to see thousands of people from the floor, all the way up to the rafters clapping hands and joining it. It was a strong reminder that Megadeth really is one of the biggest names in metal. The last chorus was then left for the audience to sing back and the loud echoes left hairs on arms standing from just watching and hearing everyone. Before leading into the final song of the evening, second guitarist Kiko Loureiro had a chance to show off with a mind-melting solo, which continued to gain huge applause the longer he went on. Suspense building riffs led into what was always going to be “Holy Wars…” as the final song. Mustaine finally played that famous riff and it was then a surreal feeling to watch Adler perform that just as famous introductory drum roll. These were incredible moments to witness and you could tell everyone felt the same with people still either cheering or singing along. Megadeth were far more entertain than any previous time I had seen them, making for a fantastic performance and a great end to an awesome evening.

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Setlist:

  • 1. Hanger 18
  • 2. She-Wolf
  • 3. Wake Up Dead
  • 4. In My Darkest Hour
  • 5. Sweating Bullets
  • 6. Dawn Patrol
  • 7. Poison Was The Cure
  • 8. Tornado Of Souls
  • 9. Fatal Illusion
  • 10. Trust
  • 11. Skin o' My Teeth
  • 12. Symphony of Destruction
  • 13. Peace Sells
  • 14. La Marseillaise (Claude-Joseph Rouget de Lisle cover)
  • 15. Holy Wars...The Punishment Due

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