Fifteen years.

That's how long it had been since I'd seen Megadeth.
When they came to Salem, I had to go. Now, I adore Megadeth despite not liking Dave Mustaine. He's a dick. His politics are ridiculous. (I realize I'm in the minority when it comes to metalheads. It's hard to be a liberal and metal.) Mustaine's criticisms of politics tend to be spot on and, honestly, his music is amazing.
In order to reconcile this to myself, I apply the Nugent principle. Which is: in order to enjoy the music, you must forget the personality behind it.
Works for me.

With that, I was super excited to go to Gigantour. I was interested in checking out High on Fire and Job For A Cowboy. I will always see Children of Bodom. They put on an awesome high energy show!
I've never been into In Flames but they were good live and I will not mind seeing them again. However, I will not go out of my way to do so. I'm not that enamored of them.

So my thumbnail review of the night follows:
(P.s. It's a quickie because I need to finish my revised paper for school and I've been putting it off. This was an exercise to get the juices flowing.)

High on Fire
As usual, the opener gets the shaft. They finished their set as we found seats. Doors didn't open until 5:30 and I think they went on at that time. Yeah. Sucks to be them.
What little I heard was okay but doubtful I'll be a fan. They're a little too doom metal for my taste.

Job For A Cowboy
Decent death metal. But boring. They reminded me a little of Six Feet Under. JFAC had a lot of young fans there and a nice reception but I wasn't terribly impressed. They're not bringing anything new to the table. Then again, I've been listening to Kalmah recently and those guys know how to make death metal interesting.

This brings me to a celebration of Finland. It is the most metal country. Seriously. The sheer volume of ridiculously spectacular bands from that country is amazing.
They know and love metal. Were it not so freaking cold, I'd probably move there. Finland rules!

Children of Bodom
I love, love, love this band. Their music is a perfect balance of thrash, guitar pyrotechnics, melody and aggression. Their shows are energetic, fun and funny.
Seriously. These guys have a sense of humor. They've covered a Britney Spears song and a Poison song. Quite well at that. This time, Alexi led the crowd in a sing along of Journey's, "Don't Stop Believing". It was fucking brilliant! Not a lot of metal bands out there that would do something like that, they take themselves much too seriously. You have to lighten up every now and again. Just sayin'...

In Flames
I don't know why they've never really appealed to me. They pioneered the legendary Gothenburg sound with Dark Tranquility and At The Gates. I adore ATG. I'm indifferent to Dark Tranquility, again, I don't know why. Just am.
Nonetheless, their set was pleasant. The sound quality was rather spotty. Twas only a portend of things to come...

You are not a "true" metal fan without being a fan of at least one of the big four of thrash: Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer and Megadeth.
There would not be any of these young bands on the bill were it not for any of the aforementioned bands. Which is why I'm curious that Children of Bodom had the best sound of the night. That's not saying much because, overall, the sound was not great.
The louder the noise, the more distorted it becomes. We all know this. Yet, when I saw Slayer (Children of Bodom were on hand for that too) the sound was top notch.
That was also at the Salem Armory so this is not unique to the venue. This was shoddy work.
So shoddy that I did not realize that "Wake Up Dead" was being performed until the very end of the song. The sound improved for a few songs, notably, "In My Darkest Hours" and "Hangar 18". Which is great. Love those songs.
But would have been best if, say, the whole show had consistent sound. Dave's vocals were drowned out most of time and the guitar was rarely heard. It was all drum and bass and it was fucking ridiculous. It was apparent that Dave was not happy with it either. It was just pathetic and insulting. This is Megadeth and that kind of thing is not acceptable.
I was terribly disappointed. Especially for Matt. He'd not seen Megadeth before and this was sad. I hope San Jose has better luck tonight.

There ya have it. I'm grateful to have seen Megadeth again but disappointed about the sound. Perhaps it'll be better next time.

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