MEGADETH in Bangalore! – A Review

The day had finally arrived. Anyone who regularly goes to concerts knows it to be a painful experience right up to the time the main act takes the stage. And this was no exception. Rock in India started at about 2:30 in the afternoon with the Indian Professional bands playing first in a side stage after which the main acts of Machinehead and Megadeth would take place. Now only the real Rock fans know to appreciate Indian rock bands. And for all those, it was a feast on that day as about 7 well known bands performed all their hit singles. Now before I get into the details of the show, let me tell you something about the concert as such.

Now as in any concert, it was a NO SMOKING area. Yeah right! The only thing you could see there at all times was smoke! And for the first time in India, a rock concert had alcohol being sold in the arena-courtesy Royal Challenge who were the main sponsors for the entire event! So all those who wanted to get high and headbang to glory were in for a treat. Well at least that’s what I thought so! Because only after I realized that there was ‘other’ stuff in use to get high, did I understand why there was that different smell to all that smoke around me! My good friend who had accompanied me to the concert stabbed me to the ‘stuff’- like he always does. And throughout the festival, the crowd was very violent, with a hell lot of unfriendly pushing and pulling, with all of it culminating in one of the most violent mosh pits that I have seen! And that’s as much as I wanted to say about the concert as such. So now lets get on with the bands and their performances.

1) Casino Blues: So first up was Casino Blues. Apparently they had won some competition and had come all the way from Assam or something. Ok so they started playing their originals with not much of a stage presence and that really got a section of the crowd who were already drunk to start hurling abuses at the band members-both verbally and with gestures. But well, the band members couldn’t do much could they? So they just continued with their songs. They must have sung some 4 of their own. They were not bad. But I believe they are still beginners in the field of professional music and need some experience playing on stage. Notwithstanding the crowd jeers, they began to play “Where the streets have no name” by U2 to end their stint. Like I said, I would like to see them some 4-5 years from now.

2) Prestorika: I guess that’s the name of the band (or is it Perestroika?). Anyway, I had heard a few of their songs before and I liked them. I don’t remember too much about their performance apart from the fact that they were a lot heavier than Casino Blues and the crowd obviously seemed to like that. They responded with the first mosh pit of the day where a drunk dude got his shirt torn pretty bad and was happy about it! Their music was good and they had a nice stage presence. The crowd definitely liked them.

3) Junkyard Groove: Now this was one band that I was really looking forward to. I had heard a few of their songs previously and had also heard of their good stage performances. And I was definitely not disappointed. Their originals were really melodious to hear and even better were their stage presence. It was like seeing a really experienced band play on stage. They got the crowd to actually sing along their best original-“Its OK”. Now that is something that doesn’t happen all the time with Indian bands!

Lead Vocalist (to the silent crowd): “Hey common man! Say something. Say We love you, Once more, Fuck off! Say anything!”

The band really got a big ovation from the crowd which was really sizeable in number.

4) Motherjane: Ok Motherjane was very easily the best of all the Indian bands that played on that day! Now here is a piece of information hard to digest: All the band members are from Kerala and are staying in Kerala! So what you have here is a ROCK band comprising full of Mals! Now I never knew I would live to see that day! But I have and I am glad for that! Motherjane, I believe is the band that has the true potential to make it big on the international stage. Their music is a blend of rock and classical. And the best part is that it doesn’t sound incongruous at all! It would be very easy to see these guys on the street and dismiss them off as just another horde of Mallus.

But make no mistake! These guys are good! The lead vocalist was a smart looking chap with the voice anyone would die for! And the lead guitarist! I mean, if you actually saw this guy somewhere, you would think this guy was some sort of a rustic Mal. But there he was on stage with his guitar and his cooling glasses playing these mind blowing leads in classical style like a GOD! I just loved his attitude. It was like he was saying: “I am a Mal. I ROCK!” Never saw that one coming! He was my first qualified candidate for the “Cool Mal” image! Mindstreet was the song of the entire evening which got the most crowd participation and cheers! They also played a few other songs. But there was this one song during which the guitarist had some problem with the amp and he had to actually fix it during the song and before the lead started. So here is this guy, fixing the amp during the song with his lead coming up in a few moments, fixes the amp, and then goes on to play the best solo of the evening! Now if you know which was the song that he played, please let me know. I just loved that piece!

All in all, Motherjane was the best Indian band to perform that day!

5) Thermal and a Quarter: Ok obviously no introduction is required for this band! Everyone knows TAAQ. I had just gone out as they started to play. I guess I didn’t miss out on many of their songs. But even though I was very much in the arena for all their show, I don’t remember them playing Jupiter Café. Now if they did, do let me know. I was really looking forward to that. But they played their other songs and a couple of unreleased ones from their new album as well. Like I said, I wasn’t there for the entire performance but as far as I could make out, the music was definitely good!

6) Millenium: Now that was a band that I hadn’t heard at all and I wanted to see what music they played. Apparently these guys have been around for a lot of time and have released many albums. They basically played real hard metal prompting the crowd to go on a mosh rampage. I did like their music and would like to listen to them sometime. They had a great stage presence though!

7)Pentagram: Ok frankly speaking I am not a great fan of this band. Largely due to the predominant electronic sound that they have. And as this was the last band before Machinehead, I went over to the other stage where Machinehead and Megadeth would be performing. And I really didn’t pay much attention to what was going on there as everyone were already jostling for space around me.

MACHINEHEAD

Now I had frankly not been listening to them before I learnt that they would be coming down here. And even after that, I found their music too hard for me. But it was a totally different scene altogether at the concert. Once Machinehead came on stage and started hammering through their numbers, I saw this huge mosh pit next to me and I was so fuckin tempted to go mosh myself! I almost joined them but my friend pulled me back just in time! But looking back now, I wish I had moshed then. But there was no stopping Machinehead. One after another their songs started getting harder and harder. Lead vocalist Robert Flynn spoke a lot to the crowd about how they had never dreamt that they would be coming to India when they started off and stuff like that. And then he went on to say this: “Someone around here in the crowd is smoking an enormous amount of Marijuana and it is all coming over here! Way to go man!” Now that was something!

It was a true headbanger’s dream come true! That was officially the best growling I had ever heard! I guess that is what you would call Professional Growling! Machinehead was just simply too fuckin’ heavy and too fuckin’ good!

MEGADETH

Ok first things first. This is not the same old Megadeth. There is no Marty Friedman. Get that. And no Glen Drover. It was only Mustaine from the original lineup but I will not underestimate the bassist James Lemenzo and drummer Shawn Drover were already seasoned Megadeth members. But I really wanted to see how good the new guitarist Chris Broderick was. Mustaine had a lot of great things to say about him prior to the concert. Anyway, they came on stage at around 9 in the night to some deafening cheers and straight away screamed into “Sleepwalker” from their latest album. Now I might not get the entire order perfectly. So just let me know if I am wrong. And after Sleepwalker, they began one of my favorites “In my Darkest Hour”! The intro riffs were damn good but was disappointing were the sound systems. I was really surprised with the lack of sound volume in the first place alongwith the complete absence of the vocals and the lead guitars. However I enjoyed the song thoroughly and then they screamed into A Tout Le Monde one of my other favorites. I think they played the original version and not the one in their new album but I couldn’t make it out clearly- what with Mustaine making the crowd do the singing. Again, I could not make out the lead guitar at the end of the song which was really disappointing. But then the sound improved when they screamed into “Skin o’ My Teeth”.

At that time I knew that they would be belting out only their hit numbers. So then followed Hangar 18 and Symphony of Destruction! It was then that I remembered that seeing those songs being performed live by Megadeth themselves was my teenage fantasy and it was really hard to believe that it was happening in front of me! I headbanged to Hangar 18 and Symphony of Destruction to my complete satisfaction! Frankly speaking, I went hysterical when they played those songs, acting like I was out of my senses! Anyone who had seen me at that time would have surely got concerned about my mental state. The sound had improved a lot by then and I was able to hear the solo clearly. But what I was disappointed was with Chris Broderick. I mean he was the lead guitarist but Mustaine was playing most of the solos. Even in Hangar 18! Now I have no doubt about Broderick’s ability to shred and play any Megadeth lead, but he never was the highlight even in the solos! Anyway, I don’t know when exactly but I clearly remember the intro to Tornado of Souls and heard the crowd go wild. I love that song and that lead as well! And then they played “Washington is Next” from their new album. The crowd was headbanging again when James went into the bass of “Peace Sells But who is Buying”. But one song that I was really waiting for all the time was TRUST and as James gave the bass intro to it, and as the drums picked up and the intro lead came up, I saw myself getting hysterical yet again! The lead is clearly the highlight of the song and Broderick played it to perfection! I just loved that one moment in the middle of the song when it went complete silent and then next moment Broderick is ripping through the lead. That one moment, I felt my fantasy fulfilled! I just loved TRUST!

I was really expecting them to play She-Wolf or Secret Place but instead they went into Burnt Ice from their new album which involved a lot of shredding and it was good. “Before we end this tonight, we would like to just tell you how much we liked being here….And we will be back!” and then the guitar screamed HOLY WARS! That was exactly the last time that I went hysterical that night! Headbanging to Holy Wars was something that I thought would never happen. But there I was headbanging myself till my neck hurt. But again, I was really disappointed that Broderick didn’t take the stage and instead it was Mustaine all the way even in Holy Wars! Not that he was bad but a lead guitar is a lead guitar and he is the one who should be providing the style to the performance. Like I said, I do not doubt Chris’ ability but I just wish he had played a more active part in the concert. And so there it was! They had performed 12 of their hits in just over an hour. It was surely a short performance but one that was packed with a lot of energy!

And all I cared was that I was there when Megadeth came to Bangalore and I headbanged to Hangar 18 and Holy Wars! Now that’s something I can tell my grandchildren about. So if any of you had been to the concert, do leave a comment about your experience there.

PS: My good friend and I were supposed to get drunk at my home as my parents were out. Forget the booze, we didn’t get anything to eat in the first place and had to satisfy our extreme hunger with Cucumber and Carrot!

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About Akshay N R

Civil Engineer by Profession; Dudeist by Religion. Also allergic to mediocrity.

Posted on March 19, 2008, in Alcohol, Bangalore, Bangalore Concerts, Megadeth, Megadeth in Bangalore, My sense of Humour, Rock in India, The things that happen only to ME.... Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. I understand your disappointment with Broderick, but why are you so surprised that Dave played most of the leads. After all, he’s written every Megadeth song. Even when Marty was around, Dave played half the leads. The correct manner to describe Megadeth’s line up is drums,bass and TWO guitars.

    You can check out their old live videos on you-tube if you don’t believe me. Dave is not just a rythm guitarist, otherwise would he have played in Metallica in the first place?

  2. Dude obviously being a Megadeth fan for so long, I know that it was Mustaine all the way. And I dont imply that Mustaine cant play the leads…
    What I was saying was that, there were certain leads that were played by Marty in all the songs and I would have liked Broderick to play them at least, as he is supposed to be in the same role as Friedman.
    That way Glen Drover was better. I believe you have seen ONe Night at Beunos Aires-the concert. You can see how Glenn is the highlight when it came to the guitar solos.That was what I was expecting of Broderick when he played….And either way he didn’t have that good a stage presence. Of all the concerts I have been to, I would say that Steve Morse has the best stage presence…

  3. the concert was awesome…
    neways….of all the indian bands ..i really liked prestorika..and millenium…
    i was standing in line for the toilet during motherjanes’ performance…so missed it…
    machine head was awesome…almost at par with megadeth….im sayin that cos i hvnt heard much of em…and the sound they got was fuckin pathetic..so couldnt really make out what tey are playin..

  4. @nilsaw:
    dude I have to say u missed Motherjane! And i guess u know that urself..
    yeah i feel i cannot emphasize enough on the bad quality of the sound that they got…the indian bands only had better sound!

  5. sound sucked….stage was too dull and bland……megadeth playd 4 just over an hour…but i still had the time of my life. the bangalore crowd waz gr8 as always..unlike the shity crowd in mumbai 4 maiden

  6. @SAUZEE
    Yeah I have read about the Mumbai crowd being shitty quite often…I guess the Mumbai crowd consists of these Shakira-loving, Beyonce-loving nonsense….
    So if any pop artists are coming to India, plz send them to Mumbai…
    And i cannot emphasize enough the quality, or the lack of it, of the sound systems….The sound of the Indian Bands was much better…whoever did the sound need to commit suicide….

  7. Nice review man….my bro is in bangalore but didnt go for this concert coz Marty is not in the band anymore….but hey i told him Mustaine=Megadeth..anyways i work in kolkata and we never get acts coming over here…except for the surprise Joe Satriani 2yrs back?….was searching the net for a review: Megadeth’s concert in India…and google threw up The Hindus review..but the review was quite vague…and then i found yours…a fan so thanx..guess i have to satisfy myself with reading concert reviews…not being able to watch any..

  8. @Blind Dayze
    Thanks for stopping by. Yes, being a Banglorean from birth, I have to say I am fortunate to witness all the major rock bands come down here..
    I heard about the Joe Sat thing and I was truly surprised that he actually went to Kolkata!
    And I have to add that your bro really missed the show. He will really regret not having come to the concert!
    But even though it sounds too much to ask for, I really suggest you come down to Bangalore once in a while to witness something spectacular…..

  9. Dear Mr Akshay,
    Please check your e-mail regarding your registration for Manipal Media Students’ Convention / Manipal Bloggers’ Meet.
    Regards,
    For MMSC 08,
    Ragamalika Karthikeyan

  10. Akshay, im disappointed you hadn’t heard of Chris Broderick before this. He is one skilled guitarist and sounded amazing when he played for Jag Panzer and Nevermore. I’m surprised a lot of people havnt heard of him actually. I guess no one expands into listening to other metal bands like some, including me, do.

  11. @Aditya
    I never said that I hadn’t heard Broderick before. I have only said that Mustaine dominated most of the leads and that I didn’t like that aspect. Also I have clearly stated that Broderick is an amazing guitarist but what I was disappointed in him was his lack of stage presence…

    And I do listen to a lot of other metal as well…

  12. Dude, you obviously don’t know much about guitarists. Chris Broderick is one of the finest there is. Mustaine is nothing in front of him and neither is Friedman when youre comparin talent. And in Hangar 18, Mustaine played only the last lead as he is supposed to. Watch before you comment. Thats all. No hard feelings, just correcting your error.

  13. @mittal:
    Sure no hard feelings..
    And I would also like to point out that nowhere have I mentioned that Broderick is a bad guitarist or for that matter,I have not compared his skills to Mustaine or Friedman. The only thing I said was that I was disappointed with his stage presence. And the fact that Mustaine ended up playing most of the leads. You always look up to ur lead guitarist for style and inspiration but that was lacking in him on that day. That coupled with the pathetic sound systems made it difficult to track Broderick’s guitar.
    I am not too sure about Hangar18. But what the hell! I will take your word for it!

  14. dude the mechanix they played that i remember
    its like the four horsemen only faster

  15. @Saurabh:
    Yeah I got to know that they played Mechanix later. ANd yes, I also know about the history about Four Horsemen and Mechanix. But you gotta admit the sound system was so damn bad, I couldnt make out the song.

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