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Megadeth Brings Long-Awaited Gigantour Back to the Windy City

Aragon Ballroom – Chicago, IL, USA – February 10, 2012

by Michele Mussatto, photo by Michael Romcoe

Dave Mustaine of MegadethMegadeth's fourth Gigantour festival exploded onto Chicago's beautiful, packed Aragon Ballroom on Friday, February 10, 2012 along with special guests Motörhead, Volbeat and Lacuna Coil. Organized by Megadeth's Dave Mustaine, 2012's Gigantour has been highly anticipated since the last tour in 2008.

As described by Mustaine, Gigantour offers a chance to tour with like-minded artists "that play heavy music in a high-energy environment." He founded the tour in 2005 and has played with such artists as Anthrax, Dream Theater, Fear Factory, Lamb of God, Opeth, and Static-X. This year classic metal rock legends Motörhead made Gigantour a must see event.

The fans were on fire for Megadeth as they chanted "Megadeth, Megadeth" until the set opened at the dramatic drop of the main curtain to their hit Trust off their Cryptic Writings album. Mosh pits and body surfing broke out immediately and continued throughout the show. It was warm and toasty inside, but the concert happened to fall on the coldest, snowiest day of an otherwise unseasonably warm Chicago winter, causing fans to hold jackets in one hand while throwing up devils horns with the other.

Megadeth showcased three songs from their aptly named thirteenth album "TH1RT3EN," along with fan favorites such as Peace Sells, Symphony of Destruction, and Holy Wars. Debuting at #1 on the Billboard Hard Rock Albums chart, TH1RT3EN may prove to be the band's lucky number as it has earned their 10th nomination for a Grammy - an award that has eluded Megadeth for their past 9 nominations.

Undaunted by the cold, Motörhead took the stage before Megadeth in their classic, hard core, in your face, rock and roll style with singer/bassist Lemmy Kilmister warming hearts with classics Killed by Death, Damage Case, Overkill and of course Ace of Spades, to which multiple mosh pits broke out. The pyrotechnic explosions helped warm up the audience too, especially during drummer Mikkey Dee's raucous drum solo.

Lemmy, frontman of Motörhead says, "Megadeth are one of the greatest bands to tread a stage anywhere and me and Dave have been promising each other we'd tour together ever since we met! We've done festivals in Europe with Lacuna Coil and they're workaholics as well! Volbeat are great too; the whole bill is pretty diverse and I advise everyone who likes being deaf, and/or can lip-read already, to come out and see what the stuff that doesn't get any MTV Video Awards sounds like! Gigantour is just that!"

To celebrate their 35 years on the road, Motörhead just released their DVD The Wörld Is Ours-Vol 1 - Everywhere Further Than Everyplace Else, containing some of the finest moments from the band, including the entire performance from Chile's Teatro Caupolican, shot and filmed in classic black and white by Banger Films and Sam Dunn (Iron Maiden Flight 666, Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage).

Danish rockers Volbeat opened for Motörhead with their melody core, college rock vibe. Most appreciated by the audience was their megahit "Fallen."

Volbeat vocalist and guitarist Michael Poulsen said the band couldn't refuse Mustaine's offer to join the tour. "This is something you don't think twice about; it's a must and a blessing. They [Megadeth and Motörhead] are two of the world's biggest/best and most important bands in heavy rock history. Since the beginning, Megadeth and Motörhead have been a huge inspiration of my/our musical careers. To have the opportunity to go on the road and share the stage with these two legendary rock bands, is another dream come true in the Volbeat adventure."

Volbeat will join Megadeth again this summer at the Rock on the Range Festival in Columbus, OH on May 18th - 20th. Forty-four bands will perform including Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Anthrax and Five Finger Death Punch - anyone up for a drive, Chicago?

Italian goth metal band Lacuna Coil opened for Volbeat, led by cutie Cristina Scabbia and their mellow metal sound. Lacuna Coil's new album, "Dark Adrenaline," sold around 20,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 15 on The Billboard 200 chart. Says Scabbia, "WOW! Gigantour! I am super excited!! I mean are you kidding me? A tour with Megadeth, Motörhead, Volbeat and us? This is going to be so crushing that I think the walls are gonna fall down in some of the venues!!"

Cristina played a special part in Megadeth's performance by singing "A Tout Le Monde" with Mustaine. I've seen Megadeth four times now, and this is the first time I've heard them play their haunting ballad about suicide, and Scabbia did an excellent job singing the female vocal part.

Gigantour will be visiting venues all over the U.S. and Canada this year. The name Gigantour was inspired by the classic 1960's Japanese animated robot "Gigantor," which came out at the same time as the Speed Racer cartoon. Megadeth has teamed up with VIPNation.com to provide fans with Ultimate VIP packages, including premium tickets, meet and greets, exclusive gifts and more.

Gigantour 2012 Tour Dates:

  • Jan. 26 - Camden, NJ - Susquehanna Bank Center
  • Jan. 27 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Arena
  • Jan. 28 - New York, NY - Theater at Madison Square Garden
  • Jan. 29 - Lowell, MA - Tsongas Arena
  • Feb. 01 - Glens Falls, NY - Glens Falls Civic Center
  • Feb. 02 - Quebec City, QC - Colisee Pepsi Arena
  • Feb. 03 - Montreal, QC - Bell Centre
  • Feb. 05 - Kingston, ON - K-Rock Centre
  • Feb. 07 - Oshawa, ON - General Motors Centre
  • Feb. 08 - Hamilton, ON - Copps Coliseum
  • Feb. 09 - Auburn Hills, MI - Palace of Auburn Hills
  • Feb. 10 - Chicago, IL - Aragon Ballroom
  • Feb. 12 - Milwaukee, WI - Eagles Ballroom
  • Feb. 14 - St. Paul, MN - Myth
  • Feb. 16 - Saskatoon, SK - Prairieland
  • Feb. 17 - Edmonton, AB - Shaw Conference Centre
  • Feb. 18 - Calgary, AB - Big 4 Building
  • Feb. 20 - Abbotsford, BC - Abbotsford Ent & Sports Centre
  • Feb. 21 - Kent, WA - Showare Center
  • Feb. 23 - San Jose, CA - Events Center
  • Feb. 24 - Universal City, CA - Gibson Amphitheatre
  • Feb. 25 - Phoenix, AZ - Comerica Theatre
  • Feb. 26 - Albuquerque, NM - Tingley Coliseum
  • Feb. 28 - Denver, CO - The Fillmore Auditorium