This past week Gigantour rolled through the Big Apple. And after seeing Black Sabbath just a few days prior I didn’t know how much more rockin things could get. Thanks to Justis Mustaine I was able to add Gigantour to my schedule and luckily I still had plenty of rockin in me it just took Gigantour to raise that to the surface with an amazing line up despite being only half the line up.
Before I get to details on the show allow me to explain why it was half the Gigantour line up at The Hammerstein. Dave Mustaine announced on Thursday that it was a technical issue between the venue and promoter. The original plan was for Gigantour to play two nights allowing each night to highlight different bands along with Megadeth. But due to low ticket sales the first night was cancelled. This resulted in a one night show that the venue and promoter couldn’t agree on a better time frame so all bands could perform. So Device and Hellyeah were not part of the NY date. And while it was disappointing to hear that the show still was one if the best line ups I’ve seen in recent years.
The night opened with Jason Newsted and his self named band Newsted. This was no surprise to me that they were kept on the line up considering his full length album “Heavy Metal Music” was released the day before. I was very anxious to see Newsted live after all the great things I had heard from those who saw him tour after the “Metal EP” was released earlier this year. Needless to say I was not disappointed. For the first time in longer then I remember I heard a band live sound exactly as they album sounded. The pure, raw vibe that you get from the album is exactly what you get from Newsted live. Heroic Dose was the perfect song to start the set as it also starts the album, a “prepare for more of this” kind of song. Each song showing that Jason Newsted has more in him than what Metallica allowed us to see from him. King of the Underdogs could definitely be his anthem for those counting him out but to me he is no underdog. Especially when they closed their set with Whiplash. And dare I say a better live version that Metallica.
Then came another live first for me with Black Label Society. Yes I know, those who listen to my radio show regularly are probably surprised that I haven’t seen BLS live until now with how often I play them but its true. Every time they come around this area it’s always something that doesn’t for my schedule so when I heard BLS was on this years Gigantour I was excited for sure. I can surely say I have reached an new level of fandom for BLS after their performance. Just pure metal from the opening riffs of Godspeed Hellbound a the way through the set. Zakk Wylde’s guitar solo midway through their set was possibly one of the best I’d seen since I attended my first rock show back in 1998 (Kiss’ Psycho Circus Tour at MSG). You sensed the fun they were having as one complete band throughout the set. I almost blew my voice out singing along with Overlord and Suicide Messiah until I remembered that there was still one more band to go and I had a radio show to do the next day. So
I just dialed it back to head banging for the remainder of the set.
Then of course there was the monster behind the machine that is Gigantour, Megadeth. And for those keeping track it is the 4 time since and including The Big 4 at Yankee Stadium that I’ve seen Megadeth live. Of course when you see a band that many times in such a short time frame you wonder if the latest will be a let down. But that was not the case at all. Megadeth put together a setlist that seemed was just right. A mix of the obviously well known songs that everyone expects like Peace Sells and Sweating Bullets and ones that aren’t known to the masses through mainstream radio. I actually can’t remember the last time Iistened to She-Wolf on my stereo let alone hearing it live. I also like that they focused more on their entire catalog instead of loading the setlist with songs from their newest album “Super Collider“. Essentially just tossing in Kingmaker and their cover of Thin Lizzy’s Cold Sweat as if they said “hey don’t we got a new song or two to play” when they sat down to put together the setlist.
All in all, Gigantour rocked even though it wasn’t the full line up. I didn’t feel cheated in anyway cause all three bands gave their best and held nothing back. That is what a great show is all about.