Monday, July 8, 2013

Ripple Field Report - Gigantour 2013 - Mohegan Sun Arena



We arrived at Mohegan Sun Arena and walked the marbled floors and native American themed architecture into the arena. The air conditioned interior offered an oasis of cool as we escaped the sweltering humidity.  Our seats provided an excellent overhead view of stage left. The crowd, small but growing, loyal but low in numbers; filtered slowly in. We were ready for a heavy metal tour de force.

 Death Division was already on stage. These guys do not have a label and yet they were rocking like seasoned professionals. Sound was loud but not ear splitting. They did their set and quickly left the stage. The crowd was impressively responsive to this unknown newcomer to the metal scene.  Gigantour, a brainchild of Megadeths Dave Mustaine, features 6 bands. There is no time for encores or chatter. Just metal. As it should be, nonstop ,no frills...pure.

Newsted took the stage next and he does a great motorhead-esque, Metallica spiced performance. This guy has always had a sense of where metal is and where it is going. He rocks the stage with a confidence unequalled. They even broke out into "Creeping Death". That drove the swelling crowd nuts. Jason Newsted is a professional in every sense. Several nods to Motorhead in vocal and song structure and the inevitable take on Metallica's signature sound. Good solid band.

Hellyeah are amazing. The vocals screaming and powerful. Pantera fans will enjoy this take on their sound. It is a band teetering between punk rock and death metal but capable of throttling back into hard rock mode. Interesting vocalist with the Mohawk. He led the crowd into a frenzy. Again a quick set. Would have liked to have heard them redo a pantera song but there was probably no desire or need. These guys are very good at what they do.

Device hits the stage as a three piece. Drums, guitar, vocalist. There is no bass player. It seemed odd to me that the singer for disturbed couldn't lock down a bassist. Maybe they really are hard to find. The music was controlled power and delivered well. This is the band Disturbed without a bass player. I don't get it. They wanted more out of the crowd but I think the crowd was taken back by the piped in bass notes. On record they kick ass but visually I just don't get it. They lost me on the delivery of the three piece.

Black Label Society hits the stage like a jackhammer. They tore the roof off. I love Zakk Wyldes playing and play he does. Included in the shortened set is a killer extended solo. The band is tight and loose at the same time. They didn't do "In This River".  I didn't notice as much onstage drinking. Overall the performance seemed rushed but loose. The band and Zakk have been doing this for a long time so they are seasoned professionals.  The lyric sheet for every song on the stage was a bit of a shock as well. We could see the guy change it out every song from our viewpoint. That was disappointing, but at least it proves even a guitar god like wylde needs help with lyrics once in a while. still though.....disappointing.

 Megadeth never lets you down. They were tight and locked in. The new songs kicked ass and the old ones were played with the keen sense of tried and true performance. The precise measurement of every note and the movement of each band member helps to deliver a stunning performance. "Hook in Mouth" was a surprise and they rocked it.  Mustaine seemed...happy? and generally loose. The performance was spot on. Megadeth has been consistent throughout the years in their delivery.

Mustaine and the boys know their audience. The show wasn't sold out but they rocked that huge stage like it was. Truly Mustaine seems comfortable in his own skin, his own legacy. He prowls that stage looking for anyone who doubts him. A solid performance from one of metals premier acts.


10/10 horns up

--MetalRising

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