Metal icons Megadeth rolled into Windsor for a performance at the Colosseum at Caesars Windsor on Wednesday night (July 5) with guests Meshuggah in tow. For local metal fans, it was a special moment. Not only was this the band’s only Canadian date of the summer and just their second scheduled Canuck gig of the year, it also gave 4,000 plus fans a chance to see their conquering heroes on the giant Colosseum stage.
Armed with a setlist heavy on cuts from their latest CD Dystopia and a unique selection of tracks from popular albums like Countdown to Extinction, Cryptic Writings and Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying?, the band was in peak form with leader Dave Mustaine sounding like he still loves the music even after 34 years. He was joined by original bassist David Ellefson (who returned to the group in 2010 after leaving in 2002), guitarist Kiko Loureiro and new drummer Dirk Verbeuren.
Unique to the Windsor show was a back-to-back explosion of Dawn Patrol and Poison Was The Cure from the 1990 classic Rust In Peace, which hasn’t been performed like this on the entire tour. The show seemed to centre around the classic album and aptly opened with Rust In Peace hit Hangar 18 and closed with fan favourite Holy Wars… The Punishment Due.
The band was extremely tight and sounded well together. Loureiro and Mustaine are a great guitar duo and watching Loureiro’s two handed tapping was a special treat.
The stage was a little bare and open with a mini-wall of Marshall amps at the back to the stage, with a two-step riser in front of the drums. The lights and billows of smoke bombs were the real star of this production, with several blasts of smoke covering the stage from time-to-time with brilliant washes of red, green and yellow lights throughout.
The crowd was well behaved for a thrash metal show, almost as if to prove to the casino that metal shows can work in the venue. In an intimate move, select group of fans who purchased $300 VIP packs were treated to a spot on the stage to watch the show.
If this Megadeth show is any indication, the future of hard rock and metal in Windsor is certainly bright.
Sweden’s Meshuggah were a lot faster and darker than Megadeth and held the stage for about 45/50 minutes, performing several tracks from their latest album The Violent Sleep of Reason. The 30-year-old extreme metal band is legendary to fans and most of the tracks they played were from newer albums, even though their catalog dates back to 1991. Vocalist Jens Kidman has a very unique swagger on stage that matches his rhythmic approach to the vocals.
Wake Up Dead
The Threat Is Real
Conquer or Die!
Poison Was The Cure
Post American World
A Tout Le Monde
Symphony of Destruction
Holy Wars… The Punishment Due
All photos by Dan Savoie