Megadeth Bayou Music Center December 12, 2013
Thirty years into their storied career, Megadeth can still bring the noise.
Filling Bayou Music Center to about 60 percent capacity Thursday night, the turnout was a bit disappointing for the Los Angeles-based thrash metal gurus who, despite being middle-aged, performed like they were in their twenties. Perhaps their fans are the ones who haven't retained that youthful energy. Or maybe they just couldn't get out on a weeknight.
Their extended tenure in the music business aside, Megadeth is still mentioned in pop culture. About halfway through the show, a scene from "Silver Linings Playbook" was shown. In it, John Ortiz talks to Bradley Cooper about retiring to the garage and punching things while listening to Megadeth. (Ah, married life.) Fittingly, the band reemerged and performed "Sweating Bullets."
"Feeling claustrophobic like the walls are closing in," front man and founding member Dave Mustaine growled, his fingers running up and down the neck of his guitar. "Bloodstains on my hands, and I don't know where I've been."
Later, before "A Tout le Monde," another movie scene was played. In "Wayne's World 2," when asked, "Don't you just love music?" Dana Carvey responds with "Do you have any Megadeth?"
And, of course, who could forget that song about Mustaine's ex-friend's ex-wife, "who was a very, very bad woman." "She-Wolf" was dedicated to all the ladies in the crowd, though it's unclear whether that was meant as a compliment.
Mustaine still possesses the stage presence of a young man but is beginning to look and sound like an aged rock star. He has reportedly cleaned up and rediscovered his faith, but his partying days have clearly taken their toll. He's got the body of a man at least ten years his senior, and his voice, while still strong enough to placate Megadeth enthusiasts, isn't what it once once. Lucky for fans, his hands work just fine, and he can still shred with the best of them.
Hell, he just might be the best.
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Megadeth focused on their older crowd-pleasers Thursday night, sweeping most cuts from their latest release under the rug except for "Kingmaker." And rightfully so, because this year's Super Collider has not been received well. Fans most likely wouldn't have taken too kindly to being subjected to the new songs.
Thankfully, Megadeth have enough great songs in their repertoire that a tepid release won't stop them from bringing a great show to town. And if Mustaine stays clean, we might just have these guys around for a bit longer.
Which sure would be fun.
Personal Bias: Since growing a beard, I suddenly have an affinity for metal. Who knew? Maybe I'll grow my hair out too.
Seen In the Crowd: Outside, I watched a guy who had to be at least 50 drunkenly tumble down the steps in front of Hard Rock Cafe. He got right up, but not before a cop saw and walked over. So close...
Random Notebook Dump: Watching the faces of those exiting the theater around the corner -- prim, proper and bejeweled -- as they walked past Megadeth fans outside the venue -- grungy, tattooed and wearing a lot of black -- was priceless.
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