Megadeth continued their Dystopian Tour in Dallas with opening acts Havok and Children of Bodom.

The crowd of 4,000 filled the South Side Ballroom early and stayed until security moved them out to a pleasantly surpassing warm February evening. No one was going to miss a note of the headlining group, Megadeth. The anxious crowd started cheering, “Meg-A-Deth” as soon as the sound guys started tuning up the instruments.

The members of Megadeth ran out one-by-one starting with precise, unified chords. The group is known for their technical chord arrangements, and it showed through the transition to their opening song, “Hanger 18.” The chord changes in the song had the crowds eyes captivated and gave the group the first of many ovations during the night.

Dave Mustaine sounded great as he sang along to the throbbing beat of “Kingmaker,” which ebbed on the crowd-surfing that continued all night. The song, “Wake Up Dead,” featured David Ellefson on bass and Kiko Loureiro on guitar jamming behind Dave Mustaine before they formed a three-pronged, head-banging riff. Chris Adler, who also drums for Lamb Of God was a driving force behind an anthem-like beginning of “In My Darkest Hour.” The crowd knew every word, just as they did for “She Wolf,” a song Mustaine said was about an evil bitch. Mr. Adler again showed why he can drum for two different bands as he has unbelievable timing and adds so much to every song.

The band’s members each then took the time to take the stage alone for a short solo, before reuniting as a group to perform “Trust,” a perfect song to reinstate the steady crowd surfing. Several style changes in the song were punctuated by surfers landing safely in the pit, aided by the helpful security staff. “Fatal Illusion,” song from Dystopia, their new album, featured a bass beat from David Ellefson that could, quite possibly, restart your heart. The thrash metal song showed their range once again and their desire to expand their music.

Everyone got excited when Mustaine asked, “Do you guys know this song?” and started “A Tout Le Monde.” That seemed to be a ballad with a spotlight solo, but then they changed to hard rock. All three guitarists harmonized and took turns playing solos to everyone’s delight, especially their own as they were having fun putting on the show.

Another short skit preceded Ellefson bass solo that started “Peace Sells” with a piercing guitar solo that flowed through Mustaine and into every member of the audience. The only thing that could make it better then happened as Vic Rattlehead, their mascot, came out to entertain the crowd from one side of the stage to the other. After several minutes, the band thanked everyone for coming out and left.

No one in the audience left, though, as they again shouted for the band to come back. It didn’t take long for the Megadeth members to return with “Holy Wars,” featuring Chris Adler with a prominent drum beat and solo.

The crowd was so pumped that it made a great concert even better. Megadeth has five platinum out of their 15 albums and has sold over 50 million records worldwide. All the musicians looked and sounded to be in great shape and obviously work well together considering the mathematical precision of the chord changes that define the band. Mustaine especially has been inspirational to watch his growth over the years from the conflicts in the early days to how he has grown as a singer/songwriter and musician, but mainly as a person.

Whether it was the technical expertise of their music, the hard-driving beat or the sometimes haunting lyrics that spoke to them, the fans seemed to love every minute of the 16-song concert. Parents brought their young children, teenagers knew every word and the dedicated followers from the creation of the band in 1983 will be sore from headbanging as well.

Havok opened the night strong to the early arriving crowd that jockeyed for position near the stage. Finland natives Children of Bodom were primary support and kept the audience’s attention with their melodic death metal sound.

Special thanks to Fred who was working the sound board for Megadeth for helping supply information to this reporter.

Joe Guzman of National Rock Review was on hand to record the event.

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Children Of Bodom
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South Side Ballroom
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