By: Adam Harrison (@AdamRHarrison) -
Heavy metal legends gathered last Sunday at Toronto’s Molson Amphitheatre for the 2013 edition of Dave Mustaine’s Gigantour. Five superstar bands that Mustaine handpicked travelled through North America for most of the summer with a final stop in Toronto. Unfortunately these icons didn’t quite get the audience they deserve, playing to a venue that was less than a quarter full. However the 3,500 metal heads were passionate enough to prove that metal was still alive in the city and banged their heads for more than six hours.
…As the Crow Flies
King of the Underdogs
Whiplash (Metallica cover)
Newsted, the latest side-project of former Metallica bassist, Jason Newsted, kicked off the full day of hell, fire and brimstone, as they showcased a handful of songs like “Heroic Dose” and “Soldierhead” from their debut album, Heavy Metal Music. Newsted led the band on bass and vocals, as he showed off some aggressive and raw vocals, while the rest of the band pounded out some heavy and grungy riffs. The band crushed through their 30 minute set, ending with a cover of “Whiplash” from Metallica’s debut album, Kill ‘Em All, which ironically didn’t involve Newsted.
Matter of Time
War in Me
Drink Drank Drunk
Band of Brothers
You Wouldn’t Know
Following Newsted was heavy metal supergroup, Hellyeah, which featured members of Mudvayne, Nothingface, Damageplan and Pantera. Probably the heaviest act on the bill, Hellyeah ripped through a 40 minute set, as they played tracks spanning their three-album discography. They based their set around their newest album, 2012’s Band of Brothers, including singles “Band of Brothers” and “Drink Drank Drunk”. Lead singer, Chad Gray, worked the stage, as he jumped off stands and bent over speakers, yelled his guts out and thrashed his giant purple Mohawk. He declared to Toronto, “we’re not here for a concert, we’re here for a fucking party!”
2. A Part of Me
5. Out of Line
6. Close My Eyes Forever (Lita Ford & Ozzy Osbourne cover)
8. You Think You Know
11. Wish (Nine Inch Nails cover)
Industrial metal band, Device, the newest project of Disturbed frontman, David Draiman, marked the midway point of this extravaganza. The three-piece band, which didn’t include a bass player, is currently touring in support of their self-titled debut album, which was released on April 9th. Despite being the strongest vocalist on the bill, Draiman met some mixed-reactions from the crowd, including one fan who managed to get Draiman’s attention during the first song. Draiman responded by throwing water at the disrespectful hooligan. “You’re lucky it wasn’t full of piss,” Draiman stated. “Whether you like us or not, you will respect us,” he continued, “there is always one bad apple that ruins it for everyone.” In spite of the incident, Draiman happily continued through their 50 minute set. The singles, “Vilify” and “You Think You Know” resonated the best, the latter with a chorus so catchy that it stuck in your head for the rest of the night. The first guest appearance of the show came when Black Label Society bassist John DeServio joined them as he filled in for legendary Black Sabbath bassist, Geezer Butler’s album part for the song “Out of Line”, and appropriately transformed the heaviest song on the record into captivating live performance. The set list also included several cover songs, including the Lita Ford & Ozzy Osbourne duet of “Close My Eyes Forever,” performing both his and Lzzy Hale’s part, which showcased Draiman’s strong vocals, and a set closing cover of Nine Inch Nails’ “Wish”.
Black Label Society
1. Godspeed Hell Bound
2. Destruction Overdrive
3. Bleed for Me
4. The Rose Petalled Garden
5. Forever Down
6. Guitar Solo
7. Parade of the Dead
9. Suicide Messiah
10. Concrete Jungle
As the sun went down, and Toronto fell under a blood-red sky, Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society hit the stage. It was nothing but swaying hair, heavy riffs, pounding drums and screeching guitar solos for the next 60 minutes. The heavy metal veterans out of Los Angeles split their set between their hits and their back catalogue spanning their nine albums. But it was hits like “Bleed for Me”, “Concrete Jungle” and “Stillborn” that aroused the audience the most. Wylde wailed out vocals in a way only the ex-Ozzy Osbourne guitarist can do. No doubt, there were hundreds of cases of whiplash and migraines the next morning caused from the extreme head banging during this set.
2. Hangar 18
3. Wake Up Dead
4. In My Darkest Hour
5. Sweating Bullets
6. Skin o’ My Teeth
7. A Tout Le Monde
10. Dance in the Rain (with David Draiman)
11. Cold Sweat (Thin Lizzy cover)
12. Phantom Lord (Metallica cover) (with Jason Newsted)
13. Symphony of Destruction
14. Peace Sells
15. Holy Wars… The Punishment Due
16. Silent Scorn
After hours of carefully selected support acts, Megadeth kicked off their 90-minute set with the epic drumbeat of “Trust” from 1997’s red-hot album Cryptic Writings. Mustaine appeared with his signature crooked snarl as he echoed the raspy lyrics, “My body aches from mistake, betrayed by lust. We lied to each other so much, that in nothing we trust.” Then for a while it was just slew of classics. “Hangar 18”, “In My Darkest Hour” and “Sweating Bullets” had fists of the enthused crowd punching the air like their life depended on it, as their heads thrashed so hard they nearly hung by a thread.
They introduced their new album, Super Collider, which was released on June 4th, with the leading track “Kingmaker”, a frantic, heavy, fast-paced melody that’s become more familiar to Megadeth on their last few albums. The politically heavy “Dance in the Rain”, followed it, which had Draiman return to the stage to sing his part on the track.
Megadeth also threw in a couple of cover songs into their set, including Thin Lizzy’s “Cold Sweat”, and “Phantom Lord”, from Metallica’s Kill ‘Em All, which featured Newsted on vocals, which was specical because it was said that this was the first time since Metallica sacked him that Mustaine chose to play one of his former band’s songs. However the result was disappointing as the sound was so loud and distorted that it was nearly impossible to make out any of the retro metal tune.
Megadeth ended their main set on a high note with the simple but brilliant “Symphony of Destruction” followed by “Peace Sells”, with the whole audience singing what is likely the best chorus in Megadeth’s thirty year history, “If there’s a new way, I’ll be the first in line, but it better work this time.” But of course, the boys returned for an encore because they couldn’t just leave without doing the legendary “Holy Wars… The Punishment Due”, and they sent everyone off with a fit of flailing guitar solos.
Gigantour 2013 was nothing short of a solid day of heavy metal. It successfully bridged the gap between the old and new of the heavy metal scene and Mustaine never falls short when it comes to gathering the best metal acts to form the tour. However, as he fights the relevancy of his music and struggles to fill amphitheaters, it is worthwhile for Mustaine to think about moving Gigantour to a smaller venue next year to make it easier for the extremely passionate fans to interact with the bands and each other. Nevertheless the fans that made it out were nothing but satisfied.