AUSTIN -- Considering they were fresh off their own Gigantour that allowed them to play an hour and 10 minutes July 14 in Corpus Christi, not to mention they've been around for three decades, it would be easy for Megadeth to go through the motions as an opening act.
Stature as headliner or support act be damned, Megadeth delivered the goods again Tuesday night at the Austin 360 Amphitheater on the grounds of the Circuit of Americas Formula One racetrack with a 50-minute set that spanned a bulk of their career and rewarded those who saw them on Gigantour (see SAMME's review here) by changing up the songs (setlist below).
Setting the stage for headliners Iron Maiden, Megadeth's presence signaled a tour that had come full circle since the original Maiden England '88 trek 25 years earlier when Megadeth filled in for original openers Guns N' Roses on select dates. It also officially signaled that Austin was one of only seven U.S. cities fortunate enough to see this pairing on such a short-lived jaunt.
As he did in Corpus Christi, frontman Dave Mustaine informed the crowd he was in the process of moving to Austin toward show's end. As the roars of approval took flight, Mustaine's follow-up sentence -- "the house-hunting didn't go so well today" -- was mostly drowned out by the crowd before he added, "but we'll be back!"
Naturally, Megadeth's stage show and duration of performance were scaled down from Gigantour. But not by much. They still had giant screens showcasing the band among a backdrop of colorful images, including partial lyrics to the only new song performed -- "Kingmaker."
Mustaine brought out a Flying-V guitar adorned with the Rust In Peace album cover (see slideshow, top left) for the encores. Guitarist Chris Broderick, bassist David Ellefson and drummer Shawn Drover were their usual solid selves throughout the set.
Given that Megadeth has played two cities on either side of the larger San Antonio in less than two months, it probably stands to reason we'll see Mustaine walking along the Sixth Street district as an Austin resident before the group is booked in the Alamo City again. That may elicit a few groans among San Antonians at first. But think about it. Having one of heavy metal's icons patrolling Texas streets just a little up the road on a somewhat regular basis would serve as more than a token consolation.
SETLIST: Hangar 18, Wake Up Dead, In My Darkest Hour, Sweating Bullets, Kingmaker, Tornado of Souls, Symphony of Destruction, Peace Sells . . . But Who's Buying?, Holy Wars . . . The Punishment Due
For the SAMME's related Megadeth coverage, including interviews with Ellefson and Broderick, as well as his Iron Maiden review with slideshows, click on the "Suggested" links in blue below.
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