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Manchester Academy 1, 23 February 2008

A very metal Saturday night in Manchester saw one of the aptly named 80's 'Big Thrash Four' entertain gig goers at Manchester University's Academy 1 - Megadeth.

Playing support and opening the show were Evile, a four piece thrash metal outfit from Huddersfield, England.

With consistency and style these relative newcomers wowed the capacity crowd with catchy tracks Bathe in Blood and the excellent Enter The Grave which set the bar impossibly high for the second support act, Job For A Cowboy.

This death metal band from Arizona were possibly mis-cast amongst the other two thrash bands on this tour and sadly so as what they played they actually delivered right on the money and produced what fans of this genre of heavy metal have come to love. Massive bass undertones, deep thundering songs and a huge stage presence, Job for A Cowboy played well and no one can deny that they rock incredibly hard.

However nothing can really prepare you for the entrance of Megadeth as they took to the stage. Dave Mustaine needs no introduction these days and commands the room with hypnotic glory.

Opening with one of the new tracks off the latest album, United Abominations, the punchy 'Sleepwalker' hit the mark straight away so when the band then moved into 'Wake Up Dead', another corker from the now legendary 'Peace Sells...But Who's Buying?' record, the audience were almost in orbit.

The thrash classic 'Skin O' My Teeth' never missed a beat with another track 'Washington Is Next' coming next. Another favourite 'In My Darkest Hour' sounded as vibrant today as it did back in the eighties.

There's no denying the fans devotion to Megadeth and the evidence that this band produce amazing live sets is undisputable.

Shawn Drover plays great drums at just the right level and compliments the bass from James LoMenzo. That combined with track after track of gold plated tunes from mainly the Mustaine brain plus now the combination of Dave and the new boy, ex Jag Panzer/Nevermore guitarist Chris Broderick I'm not sure where else there is for this 'supergroup' to go.

The favourites of 'Hangar 18', 'Symphony of Destruction' and the amazing 'A Tout Le Monde' are like the air that you breathe, just essential.

'The Mechanix' is like an old friend now and the boys left the crowd wanting more to the strains of what else, but 'Peace Sells'.

The band played their encore finishing with new track 'Never Walk Alone...A Call To Arms' and the amazing grace of 'Holy Wars...The Punishment Due' from the Rust in Peace days.

The crowd almost wept as they left the venue and waved goodbye to what feel like family now.

Megadeth prove time and time again with both studio albums and live sets that their ability to maintain, improve upon and provide to music lovers everywhere the contrast between abstination and rebellion that lives within all of us who love music.

What now for Megadeth, the band that are definitely making Saturday nights special and satisfying fans all over the world.

After the show I managed to grab a quick word with ace guitarist Chris Broderick who told me it was great to be back playing the shows for the UK fans.

Set List

Wake Up Dead
Take No Prisoners
Skin O' My Teeth
Washington is Next
Kick The Chair
In My Darkest Hour
Hangar 18
Gears of War
A Tout Le Monde
Tornado of Souls
Ashes in Your Mouth
Burnt Ice
Symphony of Destruction
The Mechanix
Peace Sells
Never Walk Alone...A Call To Arms
Holy Wars...The Punishment Due


Review by Judith Reeves

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