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The Congress Theatre - Chicago, IL, United States - September 22, 2006

by Adam Bielawski

Megadeth - Dave MustaineLike a Sinatra song, "When I was 25...", hence is the feeling when I experience Megadeth. The past, memories, nostalgia, being old (or is that politically incorrect), the events in my life. I remember the day when I never used to get spammed; email from only a few class mates, how about the ones who even knew what e-Mail was, college is a beautiful thing, the years were 1992 - 1996. Back then it was even proper to spell it as email till some marketing yuppie said you have to use it correctly as e-Mail. I also remember the release of Megadeth's Peace Sells album, not CD, album, and how I waiting in line at Kroozin Music Record store on the side west side of Chicago , these are the days when I was a teenager. My Levi's denim jacket, my Iron Maiden's Trooper patch covering the back, long hair, and a new band I just discovered a few months before with my friends, Megadeth. Oh yes, Denim and Leather, they go together. Now who said that? Metal was and there was no other music that mattered. Those were my teen-age years and the 1980's. The 1990's brought many new things for me, a sailor in the U.S. Navy, going to college, the movie's Dumb and Dumber and Friday, and then the most explosive invention of my time, the introduction to the general public, the Internet and the World Wide Web. These were the days when there fewer than 5,000 web sites and even less actual domain names, this was the time that I discovered the World Wide Web and the Internet scene, but you know who else was there? Megadeth, the web site Megadeth Arizona , created by a fan and quickly adopted by Dave Mustaine and Megadeth. First musical artist, in my personal opinion (I have not researched the fact), to actively promote online the latest CD at that time (Youthanasia, 1994), if there were any other artist who promoted through a national label let me know. For now, Megadeth was the band that took on the new Internet frontier, a pioneer and a forefather of what is known as Thrash metal, as well as one of the few who adopted the web as renegades do. First to conquer, first to build, first to be vanquished and dispelled; without the renegades and thinkers of our time, there is nothing.

Megadeth performed as the headliners for Gigantour 2006, in Chicago at the Congress Theatre on September 22, 2006. Still going strong, holding speed and paving the way as a politically controversial artist in Rock. Will Dave Mustaine, and Megadeth currently consisting of Glen Drover (guitar), Shawn Drover (drums), James Lomenzo (bass), ever be recognized as Rock and Roll Hall of Famers? Someday recognition will be upon Megadeth. As for now, there is no complete movie, documentary or history of metal without Dave Mustaine. Seeing Megadeth and reliving metal thrash the way it should be. Maybe a bit older and a bit sober. Today, I don't head to the front, but kick it in the back, a bit further, so I can experience the person and the band I have listened for over 20 years. All of us have a few artists that no matter what, makes us feel drive, power and invincibility.

Gigantour 2006 brought to metal thrash fans the new breed and the old; co-headlining with Megadeth were Lamb of God, which brought a long set within the domain of the Congress Theatre as well as Gigantour as well as Arch Enemy with Angela tossing some sex appeal in black metal, Overkill, Into Eternity, Sanctity, and The SmashUp of which all made up a great bill of thrash and death metal. Lamb of God complemented the tour very well with its complex guitar riffs and lyrics addressing politics and religion as Megadeth has and done for more than 20 years. Randy Blythe, the vocals behind Lamb of God, is a front man that carries thrash metal as a sword and the fans who come to see them play. Moving and interacting with the moshers, indulging a couple of Budweisers, and noting, "Don't take some of the shit too seriously." Opeth received very good feedback from the concert viewers, the progressive death metal band form Sweden articulated over fifteen years of touring and their music. A bit melodic I thought, as seeing Opeth for the first time, however hitting notes punctually, vocals by Mikael Akerfeldt were crisp, overall the sound was flawless and eerie. Arch Enemy a favorite of many, also has roots from Sweden plus a strong foundation of members for various death metal groups with moderate fame. The front person of Arch Enemy, since dawn of the millennium, blond bombshell Angela Gossow has created the hard edge and a bit of sexuality for the fans. Angela did not originally spawn as the original vocal talent, however since on or about 2001, there was no turning back and Angela has been the hard death metal voice of Arch Enemy. The Years of Decay by Overkill is the album that I most recognized, I knew of Overkill way before the disc, however that was my first real purchase of anything by Overkill and catching the New Jersey thrashers as another band I am very happy to state I have seen live. Bobby Ellsworth screeching voice on Elimination to this day makes me blurt out "Elimination." Into Eternity, these Canadians have been making a name as progressive thrash metal band for much of the decade, releasing a new album in October 2006, The Scattering of Ashes. Sanctity and The SmashUp are very much worth mentioning, however I could not make the acts as they started 4:30 pm in the afternoon. Hey some of us are slaves to the corporate world. What a buzz kill.

Arch Enemy - Lamb of God - Overkill

Megadeth performed the new and the old leaving out Anarchy in the UK and one or two other songs from previous sessions. Either an interview or something I read mentioned that Dave does not perform the song due to larger awareness, maturity as well as change of thought. Nothing wrong with that and I understand and recognize. As many past closings of Megadeth, the final song usually opens with the voices of thrashers on the scene chanting "Megadeth, Megadeth", this night being a Friday night at the Congress in Chicago. Now entering with his shirt disrobed, Dave Mustaine, and Megadeth give praise and thanks for all that came to see Megadeth play. Jumping into the final set, Holy Wars, as the mosh put now burns with fury, the finale is complete. The rest of the band exits, while Dave Mustaine personally thanks and says his parting comments and till I see Megadeth again.