LIVE REVIEW: Megadeth + Lamb of God at The 3Arena

Megadeth Tour Poster

Date: November 9th, 2015
Venue: The 3Arena, Dublin
Line-up: Megadeth + Lamb of God + Children of Bodom + Sylosis

It has been an amazing time for metal fans in Ireland recently. Just a couple of weeks ago we had the Deathcrusher tour, the Seige of Limerick and the Fires of Samhain events, and now we have one of the biggest metal shows of the year with metal titans Megadeth and Lamb of God co-headlining, alongside special guests Children of Bodom and Sylosis opening the show.

Without wasting any time UK metallers Sylosis took to the stage. Unfortunately for the guys, the sound mixing in the venue rarely favours the support bands and Sylosis fell victim to muddy sound issues. Their set had a fair representative of tracks from their latest album Dormant Heart, opening with the title track and got heavy with “Mercy”. Their earlier songs also got a favourable response from the crowd, with the likes of “Teras” and “Empyreal” giving lead guitarist Josh Middleton a chance to show off his skills on guitar. However, it was a losing fight against the sound mix with both his solos and vocals being buried in the background, which is a shame as I’ve witnessed his playing at their last show in Dublin, supporting DevilDriver, and was seriously impressed.

The muddy sound continued into Children of Bodom’s set but luckily it was somewhat fixed after a few songs. The band have always made sure to make a visit to Ireland when a new album arrives and this time was no different with their latest album I Worship Chaos releasing only a few weeks ago. Opening with the fan-favourite “In Your Face”, the crowd were certainly energetic, screaming back the words. The excitement died down a little for the newer tracks but there were enough older songs to keep the momentum going. The band themselves, while a technically impressive performance, seemed rather uninterested throughout. Closing with “Downfall” it seemed the band had finally hit their stride, the sound had improved and the guys started to get into the performance; however the set ended rather abruptly after a mere 30 minutes. Hopefully they come back soon as the interest for a full set was definitely there.

The first of our co-headliners Lamb of God took to the stage with vigor. The sound this time was completely transformed, the guitars and drums pushed up much higher in the mix. Vocalist Randy Blythe was on fire, scowling around the stage and sounding simply ferocious. After a couple of older tracks the band was keen to show off some of the new material from VII: Sturm und Drang, which sat nicely in with the other tracks. However before playing “512” Randy stopped to tell us about an unfortunate experience he had while he was out taking pictures during which time he was attacked by a group of youths. Despite what had happened to him he seemed in good spirits and channeled this energy into the groups set. They played all the favourites the crowd wanted to hear, everything from “Ghost Walking” to “Laid to Rest”, with the headbanging and pits going relentlessly throughout. The double-whammy of “Redneck” and “Black Label” was ridiculously heavy and brought their set to a satisfying close.

After a short delay the time had come for Megadeth’s turn. There has been a lot of talk about the band lately, mostly regarding their recent line-up changes with many saying the band is now simply Dave Mustaine and some “hired guns”. This negativity was completely dispelled once those opening chords of “Hanger 18” started to play. The guys were in top form with Dave and new guitarist Kiko Loureiro going toe-to-toe for the trade-off guitar solos. This was also the first night in which Chris Adler pulled double duties with Megadeth and Lamb of God which he pulled off with a bang giving some songs a much heavier tone.

The guys weren’t here to mess around; they threw out hit after hit with the crowd lapping up every bit of it. “Sweating Bullets” had the crowd singing back every line in the verses while even the new single “Fatal Illusion” received a warm response, fitting nicely into the set. A cover of Thin Lizzy’s “Cold Sweat” was also slipped into the set on account of the band playing in Dublin.

There were a number of screens set up on stage which the band used to play the songs music videos along with some humourous videos of references to Megadeth from a few movies. It was a nice touch and really added to the spectacle of the performance. Even Megadeth’s own mascot, Vic Rattlehead, made an appearance during “Peace Sells” where he was conducting the crowd who were already screaming back the chorus.

Closing the show with “Holy Wars… The Punishment Due”, Megadeth sound like a band rejuvenated and looked like they were truly having a fun time performing.

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