By Thomas S. Orwat, Jr.
Buffalo, NY -The highly anticipated “Rust in Peace 20th Anniversary tour”, featuring legendary thrash metal bands Megadeth, Testament and Exodus played to a jam packed audience at intimate Town Ballroom. This was without doubt one of the greatest metal shows ever to come through the WNY area. The audience, which was made up of mostly males between 16-50 years of age, was in metal heaven witnessing three of the most highly regarded bands of thrash metal. Making the evening more unique was the fact that all three bands concentrated on playing classic vintage material from their groundbreaking releases. Megadeth played their 1990 release “Rust in Peace” in its entirety. Testament did the same with their 1987 “Legacy” release and Exodus concentrated on material from their earlier releases. This retro concept proved to be rather interesting move in that all three bands have recent acclaimed material that took to the back burner for this tour.
Megadeth, featuring rock legend Dave Mustaine, bassist David Ellefson, guitarist Chris Broderick and drummer Shawn Drover, hit the stage a bit after 9:30pm.They kicked off their set with “Set the World Afire” “Wake the Dead” and “Darkest Hour.” At this point Mustaine stepped up to the mic and announced, “Well this is what we were all waiting for.” The band then finally kicked into the first track from “Rust in Peace’- “Holy Wars.” The crowd roared in approval as the mosh pit started getting a bit more intense. Before the show, guitarist Chris Broderick explained to us the reason that the band didn’t break into “Rust in Peace” right from the start of the show. He said the band wanted to make sure everything sounded right before starting to play the entire recording. Broderick stated, ”We want to work out any bugs before we start “Rust In Peace.” Well, all the dreaded sounds bugs were most certainly smashed dead during the first three songs.
Megadeth stormed through “Rust in Peace” with great focus and intensity. Mustaine sounded great, his riffs and licks were flawless. Although a few songs into the “Rust in Peace” Mustaine excused himself so he could talk to one of his techs, he stated “I need to take care of something so we can be perfect for you guys.” After a few minutes the band was once again ready for the attack. One of the many highlights of this evenings show was the performance of guitarist Chris Broderick. His note for note renditions of solos originally composed by Rust in Peace era guitarist Marty Friedman were truly amazing. Broderick is a true guitar genius and will make a big name for himself. Many feel the he is the best guitarist to ever play in Megadeth. It was also great to see bassist David Ellefson back in the band after an eight year absence. Mustaine and him had a major falling out in 2002 which eventually led to a multi-million dollar lawsuit. But things are now patched up and Ellefson is now a major part of the band again. And on this night he shone like a diamond. Ellefson took center stage for the bass solo on “Dawn Patrol.”
After the band completed the “Rust in Peace” portion of the show they played “Headcrusher,” which was the only song that they performed from their new Endgame”CD.” Mustaine explained that the Grammy award nomined song was written about a torture device. He told the audience “I was researching the torture device called the iron maiden and found that one device was even more brutal and that was the Headcrusher!!!” Mustaine then tried to get the audience to sing the “Headcrusher” chorus back to him, but they failed miserably. Mustaine rolled his eyes and laughed it off as the band slammed into the song with brutal intensity. The show ended with the bands big hits “Symphony of Destruction” and “Peace Sells.” During this segment of the show Mustaine took off his shirt and went center stage for an all out metal god, blistering guitar solo.
The sold out crowd definitely got their moneys worth on this night. It was truly a great night to see some of the most successful and influential bands in metal history.This wasn’t just a concert, it was an event.
Megadeth will be touring North America this summer with Slayer and Testament commencing July 23 in Quebec City.
Set The World Afire
Wake up Dead
Take No Prisoners
Poison was the Cure
Tornado of Souls
Rust in Peace…Polaris
Symphony of Destruction
Holy War- Reprise
Testament played the middle slot on this bill, but it didn’t stop them from playing as if they were the headliners. This Berkelely, CA based band has been going at it since 1983 and continue to put out killer material. On this night, the band concentrated on performing their 1987 “Legacy” release in its entirety.The band consisting of vocalist Chuck Billy, guitarist Eric Peterson, bassist Greg Christian, drummer Paul Bostaph, and former Megadeth guitarist Glen Drover . Drover was substituting for guitarist Alex Skolnick who had made prior commitments to perform with his jazz group the Alex Skolnick trio. Drover wasted no time showing off his talent, shredding alongside Peterson. The highlight of the evening was when the band slowed things down a bit for a haunting version of fan favorite “Alone.”