Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A Gigantic Queue For A Gigantic Tour

Gigantour: Sydney 22 October 2006

This Sunday past I was counted among a fearsome throng of bogans, munters and generally feral metal heads that descended on the quiet Hordern Pavilion for a night of vigorous moshing, guttural screaming and wanky guitar solos. Young and old alike were united in their desire to drink too much beer and get covered in one another's sweat. It was time for Megadeth's Gigantour, not quite as big as the U.S. version (I would have wet myself if Opeth had stayed on for the Australian bill as well), but it was still one of the most metal-mungus nights out I've ever had.

The lineup was Caliban, Arch-Enemy, Soulfly and Megadeth. Due to a long wait in the line to get inside, I only caught the last two songs of Caliban's set. The parts of their performance that I caught were good, although their last song contained some ill-advised misadventures into balladry.


They were followed by Arch-Enemy, who started seriously rocking out immediately with some catchy 80s style thrash but even though it sounded great I wasn't paying any real attention until a song or two into the set, when I finished my important business in the drinks queue. “Ha! Their singer looks just like a chick!” I laughed when I first got a look at the stage. I then performed several consecutive mental double takes as I realised that the brutal death metal grunts were being produced by the little blonde chick on the stage. I don't know if I'd enjoy Arch-Enemy so much recorded, as thrash isn't really my thing, but live these guys rock out something awesome, best set of the night.


Featuring Small But Loud Blonde Chick

Next up, Soulfly! The band I was there to see. Unfortunately I don't have many photos of them as I spent almost the entire set deep in the moshpit excising some existential rage. I have to say that even though they were good, the band seemed to be kind of tired. I suspect that (considering that Prophecy and Dark Ages came out quickly in succession) the Sydney show was the second to last date in a very very long touring schedule. Even though their musicianship was stellar, they didn't quite bring the fire that I was hoping for. Of course they were still great, Marc Rizzo in particular was totally amazing. His flamenco guitar solo during 'Mars' was easily the highlight of the night. It was just a pity that my enjoyment of it kept getting interrupted by a bunch of munters trying to open a circle pit that they didn't even use properly. Some day I'll have to get around to writing a post on moshpit etiquette. Having said that, any lack of energy on the bands part was more than compensated by a what was for the most part a fun, enthusiastic moshpit.

Max Cavalera does this cool thing where he goes all blurry

The setlist was very much a greatest hits kind of deal (Disclaimer: this list is pulled mostly out of my mosh addled arse and is probably highly inaccurate):

Dark Ages
Roots Bloody Roots
Seek and Strike
Chaos A.D.
Execution Style
Arise Again
Back to the Primitive
An Eye For An Eye

Marc Rizzo: Hey, it's hard to take photos in a moshpit

Finally, Megadeth. To be honest, I couldn't have bought to mind a single bar of this bands music before the show began, but within a few songs it was apparent that a passing knowledge of generic 80s thrash is more than enough to make one familiar with Megadeth's music. They were decent performers, handled a competent wank solo or two and Dave Mustaine's intersong banter was at least somewhat witty and went a long way towards improving my opinion of him (at least after putting up with those idiots from Killswitch Engage last week). They also really rocked out while playing 'Holy War'. It's interesting to see how some bands manage to turn their most popular songs into a chore to be gone through at every show and others (such as Mustaine and Cavalera) can still do them justice even though they've had to play them every other night of their lives for ten years. It must be hard to tour for months and months and still bring passion to your music when performing every other night is your 9 to 5 job, so I guess it's understandable when not every set is a scorcher, and when a smaller band like Arch-Enemy outrocks a bigger (and better, at least on record) band like Soulfly.

Somehow it figures that the only decent picture I took all night was of Megadeth


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Sydney review and the photos I saw the Melbourne show and I thought Arch Enemy were great! Soulfly the sound was softer (wished they were louder) they were very good opened with "Prophecy" ended with "Eye for an Eye" jumdafukup was only the opening verse then it seemed more like a medley (I like the song and wished it was like the CD)

Megadeth were the stars of the show had the audience in the palm of their hand and the volume was nice and loud.

There are some videos about 20 minutes with a couple of songs each as mpg's on www.dimeadozen.org
filmed from the back half of Festival Hall
I don't have any photos but there was some snapshots in a JPG of the mpg's on dime posted on imagshack that's the best I can do !


Like I said thanks for the Sydney review :-)

Jon said...

Nice photos... much better than mine!