Megadeth’s ‘Dystopia’ Victory Lap Comes to Boston With Meshuggah + TesseracT
Megadeth have been on the road pretty much nonstop since releasing Dystopia a year and a half ago, but since winning a Grammy back in February -- their long overdue first -- it feels like everything since has been a well-deserved victory lap to showcase a band that continues to deliver electrifying thrash metal 30-plus years into their career.
Sunday night (June 25) in Boston, that was certainly the sense, with a supercharged atmosphere in the nearly sold out House of Blues that intensified when the band busted right out of the gate with the classic "Hangar 18" from 1990's Rust in Peace. The stage setup was a bit more stripped down since Megadeth came through the venue last March, but with hyperactive guitarist Kiko Loureiro a veritable whirlwind and an invigorated David Ellefson on bass, there was rarely any dead space.
Then there's frontman Dave Mustaine, never leaving it in doubt that the show is under his command, growling and grimacing his way through the set heavy on Dystopia tracks but more than amenable to throw in a handful of favorites from back in the day. "Sweating Bullets," "Wake Up Dead" and "Symphony of Destruction" fit in nicely alongside the newer material like "The Threat Is Real" and "Fatal Illusion," which at this point is familiar -- and solid enough -- to seamlessly blend into the set.
Vic Rattlehead seemed to think so, as well, as the larger than life mascot for Megadeth came out during Dystopia's "Conquer or Die!" and set closer "Peace Sells" to harass both the band and the crowd, pointing and stalking about menacingly.
"A Tout Le Monde" from Youthanasia made a return this time in Boston, and as an added bonus, the Gold Medal winning beer of the same name which Megadeth has produced in a partnership with Unibroue brewery last summer was also being served at the venue.
The single song encore of "Holy Wars...The Punishment Due" was preceded by the now infamous story of how Mustaine inadvertently split up a Northern Ireland audience back in the late '80s when he mentioned "the cause" without realizing it referenced the IRA and the then ongoing battle between Protestants and Catholics. And it wouldn't be a Megadeth show without the frontman jawing with the audience a bit, this time the object of his ire was a shirtless, overeager musclebound guy near the front of the stage who kept interrupting the "Holy Wars" tale. "Go f---in' shoot some steroids outside ... I don't care," Mustaine told him, much to the delight of the crowd.
The show featured three openers, with each drawing a substantial audience on their own. Meshuggah were directly below the headliners on the bill and more than held their own, leaning heavily on last fall's LP The Violent Sleep of Reason. TesseracT, on paper perhaps an odd choice for the tour as a prog-metal outfit, but following Lillake's doom stylings that kicked the evening off, it flowed together perfectly.
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