Whatever this country’s impending military reaction to last week’s terror attacks may be, it’s a safe bet that the apocalyptic heavy metal of Megadeth will serve as musical accompaniment for many of the GIs who answer the call, just as it did during the Gulf War. And with such songs as “Holy Wars – The Punishment Due,” “Symphony of Destruction” and “In My Darkest Hour” filling the packed Sunset Strip club, it was nearly impossible not to apply singer-guitarist Dave Mustaine’s lyrics to the current situation.
“Brother will kill brother, Spilling blood across the land, Killing for religion, Something I don’t understand,” Mustaine growled during “Holy Wars,” from the band’s excellent 1990 album “Rust in Peace.” Needless to say, the male-heavy crowd responded with extra fervor to every song and every prescient lyric.
Nearly the entire crowd (many were dressed in red, white and blue) spontaneously erupted into a chant of “USA! USA!” during the brief downtime between two songs while Mustaine changed guitars. “That’s right,” responded Mustaine.
The title track from 1986’s “Peace Sells – But Who’s Buying” (arguably the band’s best album) was wrapped around Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid,” providing one of the evening’s many high points, along with a tight take on the 1994 ballad “A Tout le Monde” (“Moving on is a simple thing, What it leaves behind is hard”) and the always ferocious “Killing Is My Business – and Business Is Good.”
Megadeth, which formed in 1983 after Mustaine was fired from Metallica, also played a few songs from their decent new album “The World Needs a Hero” (their first release for indie Sanctuary Music after a long association with Capitol Records), including recent single “Moto Psycho” and intense show opener “Dread and Fugitive Mind,” a song of unbreakable strength during times of distress.