Photo by DYLAN LONG
If the excitement for an evening with thrash metal behemoth Megadeth wasn’t enough for the 2000 strong at the Electric Factory last night, the newest addition to the Suicidal Tendencies live act most definitely tipped the scales. Dave Lombardo, the epic maestro of thrash metal drummers and former member of Slayer, recently joined Suicidal Tendencies as their official drummer on tour. Back in 2013, after being stiffed with barely any payment after a year of touring and a gag order against him, Lombardo was cut from Slayer after speaking up about the increasing deductions from Slayer’s tour income. However, he found himself a new home with a new set of heavy hitters, and got back to doing what he does best: kicking ass behind the kit.
Opening acts Havok and Children of Bodom kicked off the night with riffs manufactured to melt brains, endless double bass drum kicks that beat my chest into oblivion and screams seemingly coming from the abyss. It was now time for the brand spanking new drummer of the Suicidal Tendencies live act to make his Philadelphia debut with the band. Once Mike Muir and the rest of the dudes bounced up on stage, cheers of “DAVE! DAVE! DAVE!” echoed throughout the venue as soon as he stepped behind the kit. After a wonderfully loud introduction for Mr. Lombardo, Suicidal Tendencies dove into a high energy frenzy. Some of the mightiest classics were played, including “Subliminal,” “Cyco Vision” and, of course, “Institutionalized.” Heads could barely keep up with banging to the beautifully speedy tempos, except for guitarist Nico Santora who maniacally threw his head in every which direction while shredding the musical gnar.
With a massive dystopian metallic stage set featuring various mechanical contraptions and the aura of a post-apocalyptic landscape serving as backdrop, Megadeth took the stage to a sea of cheering fans. The spotlights shone far brighter than any previous act as frontman Dave Mustaine glided up to the front of the stage. After an epic opening one-two punch consisting of “Hangar 18” and “Threat Is Real”, Mustaine addressed the crowd, saying a nice hello to the Electric Factory before tearing the place to the friggin’ ground. These old-but-still-got-it metal vets scorched through a set that pleased the ears of everyone in attendance, from the 8 year-old kiddies to their middle-aged parents to the senior citizen diehards. “Post American World,” “Sweating Bullets” and “Fatal Illusion” were just a few of the heavy doses of metal that Megadeth gleefully injected into the crowd as the mosh pits seemingly multiplied. After a long night of intense riffs, devil horns gestures suspended in air by too many hands to count and enough heavy metal to last a lifetime, Megadeth closed out the night with the classic and hellish tune, “Holy Wars… The Punishment Due,” to a sea of screaming, satisfied metalheads. — DYLAN LONG