Megadeth @ Store Vega, Copenhagen (DK)


Date: 02nd August, 2017
Venue: Store Vega
Tickets: 450DKK (€60/$70)
Photos: Erika Wallberg

It was really long since the last time I saw MEGADETH doing a headline gig, so there was no doubt that I was going to attend this one - a decision that was made as soon as it was announced. Then, the fact that METAL CHURCH was added to the bill soon after, came as a very pleasant addition. To my surprise, the show was completely sold out weeks before the event was supposed to happen. I know Thrash is big in Denmark but it's not that often where shows are packed out to the last spot - at least, not this long in advance.

So, it was definitely going to be a sweaty night at Store Vega, so the decision was made to take a spot on the balcony watching everything from above which also gives a bit of a view on what's going on behind the stage and that is always interesting. METAL CHURCH kicked off in the same grand way as they did at 'Sweden Rock Festival'; with "Fake Healer" from the fantastic "Blessing In Disguise". It's a little funny how I react from time to time though. This song and record has apparently become a classic nowadays but I've failed to see that when I was waiting for it to be released back in the late ‘80s. Sometimes it seems that classics are only the records before your time, and with METAL CHURCH these are the self titled debut and "The Dark". It's great to see the crowd's reaction to this song though and the same can be said for "In Mourning" from "The Human Factor". The latter got the same treatment too, so I guess I need to adapt to the fact that these are to be counted as the classic albums these days…

That METAL CHURCH wouldn't get the same generous play-time here as on 'Sweden Rock Festival' was no surprise but I was a bit disappointed with them cutting so many of the new songs. Only "Needle And Suture" got to represent the fantastic "XI". On the other hand, it's hard to pick which ones they should have cut instead.

Another thing I really like with METAL CHURCH is their accessibility, after "Badlands", before wrapping up the show an announcement was made that the band will go to the merchandise directly after the show and do singings, photos or whatever. No VIP tickets needed which is very common these days. Final song of the set, "Beyond The Black", sounded fantastic and ended a great set. Mike Howe sounded even better here than on 'Sweden Rock Festival' and the intensity in the music was higher too, which is natural since this was an indoor show. But also, the band’s energy felt better that night which made this a great start of the evening.


01. "Fake Healer"
02. "In Mourning"
03. "Needle And Suture"
04. "Start The Fire"
05. "Gods Of Second Chance"
06. "Badlands"
07. "Beyond The Black"

Some took the opportunity to get to the merch and meet up with METAL CHURCH, so the venue emptied out quite quickly after they ended their set. Or perhaps it was to get air and a beer-refill before MEGADETH was about to start. Beer definitely, as the cups came flying all over the place throughout the set. Why throw it? Drink it! And no shit, sold-out it was. People was liked packed herrings down on the floor and I felt really confident that I made the right decision to distance myself a little bit from the frenzy that was going to happen downstairs. It sure started immediately with "Hangar 18" one furious scream from the crowd and the mosh-pit was off. The crowd-surfing didn't really hit off until "The Threat Is Real" though, but after that, the security sure had to work hard for their money. I felt a little sorry for the people in the absolute front though as they got kicked in the head and being crushed by flying surfers the guards didn't reach in time. Everything escalated through "Trust" and "Fatal Illusion". It all sounded amazing, the band was really on fire and Dave Mustaine seemed to be rather pleased with the situation these days. He still appears a bit grumpy of course but when the result sounds as good as it does and with his history, I guess that's as cheerful as it gets.

Having the position I did, made us see most what was going on onstage and a green glow-in-the-dark duct-tape cross caught my attention. Apparently it was important as the light-setting prior to show start focused on that spot on the stage. It all got its explanation with "Conquer Or Die!" when Kiko Loureiro served an acoustic guitar for the instrumental track from latest release "Dystopia". I love the harmonies in that song and it really shows how damn good Kiko is. Dave has always surrounded himself with fantastic lead guitarists as Marty Friendman, Chris Poland, Jeff Young and most recent Chris Broderick. Kiko's star shines bright though and the ease which he played with the acoustic part of song was stunning. This song also works as an intro to "Lying In State" from the same album, which also "Poisonous Shadows" follows. The set contained a lot of new material which I think is very cool and the crowd seemed to enjoy it very much as well as the intensity in the pit and from the crowd-surfers just increased. And when "Tornado Of Souls" was kicked off, it all became crazy; people were really squeezed towards the fence and tossed around in the continuously growing pit. It's cool to see though that when someone falls, a lot of people are there to pick up the person and make sure he has the feet on the ground again.

The craziest moments were for "A Tout Le Monde" which was followed by "Sweating Bullets" - after these two, it calmed down a bit. It's very cool to see the reception of these songs by the crowd. It was a mixed one but definitely a lot of young people seemed to know every note and word of these songs. I was eagerly waiting for both "Countdown To Extincion" and "Youthanasia" to be released back in the day, while the most energetic part of the crowd probably was conceived to these records. I think that is super-cool and I'm still waiting for MEGADETH to release new records nowadays too, of course.

The downside with MEGADETH is Dave's voice these days; he can't scream/sing the way he used to, and that's not new. He still sounds very good on record though, but even for the new songs, it felt he was taking a simple way out and mainly talked through the songs. This take makes the music lose some of the fantastic melodies MEGADETH is known for. But apart from that, it sure is perfection to the max.

"Symphony Of Destruction" and "Mechanix" closed the main set and a bit ironic is that half the crowd sung METALLICA's "The Four Horsemen" to "Mechanix"...

Then, it was really fascinating to see and hear the crowd’s response for "Peace Sells"; the bridge was almost as loud as the music coming from the stage, the band was silent throughout that part, so the response was massive. And then, the scream when Dave kicked off "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due" was so cool! And I can't but agree with the crowd, the song is fantastic and all of MEGADETH's music has stood out the test of time in a very good way.

Dave looked very delighted after the song finished and the band said “thank you and goodnight”. He thanked god for everything too, but of course that's his business. I'm really glad I got to see this show though; MEGADETH has been very good for the last decade(s), the sound has been good most of the time. I still carry some very odd setups from the ‘90s with me where it was hard to make out what song they were playing even. Luckily, that's not the case anymore, and with all enthusiasm in the music nowadays, it sure is a good thing to catch MEGADETH live.

MEGADETH setlist:

01. "Hangar 18"
02. "Skin O' My Teeth"
03. "The Threat Is Real"
04. "She-Wolf"
05. "Trust"
06. "Fatal Illusion"
07. "Conquer Or Die!"
08. "Lying In State"
09. "Poisonous Shadows"
10. "Tornado Of Souls"
11. "Post American World"
12. "A Tout Le Monde"
13. "Sweating Bullets"
14. "Dystopia"
15. "Symphony Of Destruction"
16. "Mechanix"
17. "Peace Sells"
18. "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due"


Megadeth @ Store Vega, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Megadeth @ Store Vega, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Megadeth @ Store Vega, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

(click to enlarge)