Monday 9th October saw Megadeth kick off their Ireland/UK tour at Dublin’s state of the art, 14,500 capacity, 3 Arena with an eye watering line-up that included Sylosis, Children Of Bodom and Lamb Of God. Considering the size of the venue this package was never going to be a sellout, however, despite it being a Monday night there was a more than respectable turnout from Irelands metal hordes!
By the time we’d made the journey down from Belfast, Lamb Of God  were about to take the stage (sorry Sylosis and Children of Bodom, you were on too damn early!). Besides an inferior sound, the majority of the crowd didn’t seem to give two shits about Randy Blythe and the boys, with only pockets of the crowd getting involved. In fact, we came across numerous groups who refused to enter the arena until they finished! After a few songs Randy Blythe went on a foul mouthed rant but with sound issues causing parts of it to be lost in translation, it was only the following day – when it became public knowledge he’d been attacked before the show – that his tirade made sense. Maybe this explained Lamb Of God’s relatively lacklustre performance but, in truth, more was expected from a band of their calibre.
On to the main event. After a 40 minute wait, the lights dimmed and Megadeth‘s  intro video erupted. By now the crowd had filled out nicely and the crowd collectively lost their shit to “Hangar 18”, a stone-cold classic which kicked off a set full to the brim with crowd favourites. “Wake Up Dead” and “In My Darkest Hour” proved to be early highlights and the obligatory, and always amazing, “Holy Wars….The Punishment Due” bought things to a satisfying close.
As you would expect for the main draw, the sound had significantly improved but there were still issues with Dave Mustaine’s vocals and some of his solos were left drowning in the soupy mix from time to time. Another slight issue – and one that was expected – was the predictability of the setlist. Apart from the welcome inclusion of Rust In Peace’s “Poison Was The Cure” and newie “Fatal Illusion”, it was pretty much the same old songs the band have been playing for the last five or six years now. However, when those songs are certified metal classics it’s hard to be too annoyed! One last gripe – and just a minor one – but surely a band of Megadeth’s stature can manage more than 70 minutes? We wanted more damn it!
Renowned for line-up changes, it was clear to see that Megadeth, circa 2015, are a band reborn. New guitarist Kiko Louriero played to the audience perfectly whilst David Ellefson was his usual solid self, anchoring the band with his lead heavy bass work. Lamb Of God’s Chris Adler deserves special praise indeed. There’s no other way to describe him than as an absolute percussive beast. His double bass work was absolutely immense and the 3 Arena may have get the engineers in; he could well have caused structural damage!
Over the years Megadeth have appeared to be going through the motions but in Dublin they seemed like a band revitalised and reborn. Nevermind the Rust In Peace line-up, this current version are firing on all cylinders…see them while you can!