Megadeth

support Essence
author MN date 25/05/13 venue Store Vega, Copenhagen, DEN

This year marks the 30 year anniversary for one of the big four. Namely, Megadeth, a band that have cemented their position as one of the quintessential thrash-metal experiences, anchored by the notorious Dave Mustaine. Store Vega is jampacked this evening and set to receive the now middle-aged crooners and expectations run high as legend is about to be witnessed. The audience is a mix of both older and newer fans, with a majority of them sporting Megadeth t-shirts. Essence, a Danish thrash metal band received the honour of providing a warm-up gig to get the joints loosened for Megadeth.

Essence

Essence are a part of a newer generation of thrash metallers, eager to carry the torch forward. As the boys enter the stage, they display a youthful exuberance and heartwarming smiles showing just how eager and thrilled they are to play at one of Copenhagen's best venues, especially opening for these legends of thrash metal. Essence play hard-hitting metal with some severely heavy passages bounded together by a thundering bassline. Essence lead vocalist and guitarist, Lasse Skov, is especially keen and impassioned tonight, and his use of searing vocals in songs like ”Unlimited Chaos” and ”Blood Culture” ensured howls and approval from the audience. I was genuinely impressed with these youngsters and their contagious energy. Alas, their set was much too short, but their opening ended on a high note as the audience joined in on a larger group photo with the band, all in good fun.

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For some reason, our photographer Marika was not allowed to take pictures of Megadeth, but many more shots of Essence are available here.

Megadeth

With plentiful years of gig-experience and 13 releases, to this day, one of the throne-holders of thrash metal remains Megadeth. As the stage is being constructed, the audience is made witness to a much larger Megadeth production than in their heydays. The roadies set a total of three large screens to magnify their large but arguably pompous presence. Around 9 PM, Megadeth are ready to perform and their cue comes in the form of a recording of ”Prince of Darkness”, the screens visualize a larger Megadeth logo being revealed, the suspense rises in the audience and Megadeth open their gig with 1997's ”Trust”. A little bit of a weak opener in the opinion of this reviewer, perhaps some older tracks from their late 80's period would have been better. Fans of the 20 year old breakthrough record ”Countdown to Extinction” were VIP guests this evening as Megadeth performs a quartet from the famous record. Dave Mustaine seems in good humor, and in good health. Same goes for David Elefsson, the legendary bassist and one of the founding members of Megadeth. Sealing the early 90's nostalgia, ”A Tout Le Monde” is played to the satisfaction of all in the audience. This is followed by the über-thrashy ”Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)” that shows just how good a drummer Shawn Drover is. An annoying detail of tonight's show is that Megadeth walk off the stage every 2-3 songs and return after 1-2 minutes. This being a minor detail, still gets to me as it seems like a misuse of valuable gig-time. The initial set is completed with the fantastic ”Symphony of Destruction” and ”Peace Sells” thus a total of 5 songs were played off the breakthrough album. The crowd remains hopeful as Megadeth return to the stage performing ”Holy Wars...The Punishment Due” but the encore remains at that. I stand a bit dissapointed, as Megadeth thanks the audience for their support, a band of such calibre should play gigs that rally in at more than an hour and 20 minutes, especially taking into account the quarterly pissbreaks/naps the band insisted on taking. The music sounded great, and Dave Mustaine remains a killer guitarist, but the set was too short. This evening, Dave also showed his grandfatherly side by saluting the youngest fans in the audience, a nice gesture, which had 2 kids leave the arena with Mustaines sweaty wristbands. My final conclusion remains that this was a lukewarm performance from a legendary band where I expected a bit more.

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