Megadeth / Job for a Cowboy / Evile

Carling Academy, Birmingham on Friday 22 February 2008

The Academy tonight is busy with all sorts. It doesn't look like a sellout crowd, since the pit area in front of the stage, even though healthy in size, doesn’t seem to consume the entire ground floor of the academy, as it so often does. This could have been because some of the older guard were much happier with an elbow on the bar, enjoying the music. Instead of an elbow in the back of the neck.

Evile are the sort of band people need as a support act. Fast, heavy, and some great synchronized hair metal, made them the perfect opener for the rather age varied crowd.

Job For A Cowboy on the other hand, weren't. If they could have played all their songs without stopping the drum beat, I honestly wouldn't of been able to tell when a different song was introduced. Their style just didn't seem to fit right tonight. Maybe the roaring and powerful vocal style of Johnny Davy would have been better suited, to a more metalcore crowd. The overuse of the double kick pedal and blast beats, doesn't allow the music to gain any structure. The noise just seems to blur into a wall of guitars, allowing many punters to pay that last visit to the bar before the main attraction.

Then the place erupts. Megadeth stride onto the stage to the entire venue in overdrive. Never men to hang around, they launch straight into it. Understandably, a lot of tonight's set is made up of songs from their 2007 release, United Abominations. With good solid tracks Such as 'Washington is next' and 'Burnt Ice', the new material seems like classic Megadeth, but with a more personal touch. Especially since before launching into 'Burnt Ice', Dave Mustaine (Vocals) shares with us his inspiration behind this song. How this drug, 'Ice' is, "killing people in the streets. People are dying on this cocktail of drugs." Its certainly interesting for a band of this stature to be engaged in a subject, which is normally so stereotypically used in the rock and roll scene.

But, as most here tonight would have told you in the queue outside, Megadeth never fail to disappoint with the classics. Mid set, they pull out musical gems such as 'Symphony of Destruction' and 'Hangar 18'. These 2 particular songs are able to stir up the crowd into a frenzy. From the veterans whom bought these songs and their albums, back when they were released, to the kids whom have enjoyed playing these timeless songs on plastic playstation guitars, they are completed with huge applause accompanying each.

"There’s a curfew on this building tonight, so we're going to blast through as many songs as we can." Shouts Mustaine, before launching back into the bands catalogue of musical treats. The curfew here tonight has certainly changed things around. With the band soon to be finishing at a strict 9.30 timeslot.

The last song before the inevitable encore comes in the form of 'Peace Sells'. Its at this point where we probably see the venue at its most lively. Allowing, for the first time this evening, the entirety of the crowd at pit level to be jumping around in unison. Fists pumping into the air. Even a quick glance up to balcony level allows you to see many swirls of hair banging away to the speedy drum thrashing, courtesy of Shawn Drover.

The band leave stage, and quickly reappear for a two song encore. Although it feels that they've used their trump card in their pre-encore set, the end of the gig is met to a unison of hands. A nod and a lift of the guitar saluting the crowd tonight, sums up how grateful this band still are of its fans. And the roaring, endless applause just shows the band how appreciative we are of their timeless music. "You've been great. We've been Megadeth." Are the final words bellowed down the microphone from Mustaine. And its these 6 words that sum up tonight's performance.

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article by: Phil Davies

published: 26/02/2008 12:22

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