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[Review] Knotfest @ Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne 24/03/2023

Review by Cassandra Hale

It has been a long time coming, we have been waiting patiently, and now the inaugural Knotfest was upon us. The Maggots were festering and ready to burst, the excitement was palpable, the hoards were bouncing on the balls of their feet waiting for those magical gates to swing open and let them the hell in.  The colour of the day was black, it came in every possible version with only the odd orange boiler suit thrown in for good measure. Masks were plentiful strapped on with precision in various arrays which were laboriously removed for the id checks on arrival. I bet the owners weren’t quite expecting that!  Eager to go hunting for all the hidden gems and scope the lay of the land before Malevolence kicked off the proceedings I set off, and man oh man what a huge area to explore. The trek to the Slipknot Museum and other offerings such as flash tattoos and a cheeky haircut felt like walking between suburbs, the area was vast but did not take long to fill. With plenty to keep you entertained and a massive amount of food options it was a great place to come and chill for those seeking some down time.  There was even a tent complete with a wrestling ring which held some pretty feisty matches over the course of the day if you were that way inclined. But for now it was time to get the party started.

Hailing from South Yorkshire, Malevolence hit the stage running, wowing the masses from the first song. I was blown away by these guys. They were super tight and extremely entertaining to watch, and I did not seem to be alone as they amassed people as far as the eye could see. The circle pit made its first appearance and it was rabid, punters so happy to get amongst it. From the outside it looked to be moving at warp speed with people riding on shoulders while making the crazy annulus. A few that caught my attention were Still Waters Run Deep and Self Supremacy, and I will be looking into their back catalogue pronto, these guys were worthy of a spot much higher up the order and set the bar very, very high for the rest of the day.

Malevolence @ Knotfest Melbourne

Melbourne’s Void Of Vision took their place on Stage 2 and I could not believe the early turn out of people, no one wanting to miss one band. They had thousands in front of them as they blasted out their thirty minute set with, singer Jack Bergin pulling out all the stops. With blackened eyes and studded collar, he led the boys as they opened with Into The Dark and I pondered how far they had come since I last saw them. They crammed a lot into their set including HELL HELL HELL and DOMINATRIX and closing out with THE LONELY PEOPLE.

The weather remained favourable after a brief shower early on, but it did not deter a single person as they flowed back to stage one for Melbourne based superstars Alpha Wolf. Opening the pit up instantaneously the boys flew through their set with Hotel Underground being a standout. I could see how overcome they were with the turn out and they seemed humbled on many occasions during their time on stage.  Sabian Lynch even taking to the speaker tower to get a bird’s eye view of the crowd. Nearing the end of their stage time they punched orange and white Alpha Wolf beach balls into the pit which were happily pounded around for the duration of the set.  I was left well impressed by these guys and if you are yet to check them out get on it stat!

Alpha Wolf @ Knotfest Melbourne 2023

Making a dash to try and find a shortened line at any of the four merch counters proved impossible, they were one hundred deep at every one, disheartened I vowed to try again later and headed back to catch the end of Knocked Loose. This Kentucky based five-piece had a huge crowd in front of them as they ploughed through their set including Dead Ringer and Counting Worms. After being around for ten years they have certainly earned their spot and were eager to entertain, singer Bryan Garris bringing his energy to the forefront.  One that definitely took me by surprise was Spiritbox, this Canadian outfit instantly grabbed your attention and held it for the duration of their set. Singer and founding member Courtney LePlante engaging with fans as they powered through with a set of eight including Yellowjacket, Rule of Nines and Hysteria. I can see why their sideshows sold out in minutes; these guys kicked serious arse.

Story Of The Year were earning their spot on stage 2 as the sets grew slightly longer and they threw in a quickfire 9 songs. The mosh was piping up and fans were surfing across the top with vigour. Hailing from Missouri these guys have been around a while and knew how to entertain the swelling masses treating us to We Don’t Care Anymore, Tear Me To Pieces and In The Shadows to name a few. Closing out he set with Until The Day I Die leaving the fans fully satisfied and ready to mix it up with InFlames. Hot off their sideshow with Megadeth these Swedish megastars had the punters in a frenzy, the mosh circling like their life depended on it.  With a terrific span of songs on their setlist the fans were awash with happiness and had their heads banging in approval as Cloud Connected, Only For The Weak and State of Slow Decay were among the treats provided. The punters more like the walking wounded as they slammed over the barrier, many hobbling for help as they were dragged and dumped. But that is the nature of the beast and if you can’t handle the heat get out of the damn kitchen. It was at this point that a wheelchair was raised in the crowd much to singer Anders surprise, but hell, this is Knotfest so anything goes! It would be a sin not to mention Chris Broderick who was shredding up a storm, it was so awesome to see him having so much fun onstage and engaging with the fans, and while I may have been distracted briefly by his bulging biceps I tried to stay focused as they closed out with Take This Life.

Viking heavyweights Amon Amarth have a following like no other and it would be a sin to miss their set for the spectacle alone. It takes you on a historical journey, their songs forged in time, flying Thor’s flag as they navigated through passages of history with vigour and conviction. Guardians Of Asgaard, Deceiver Of The Gods and The Pursuit Of Vikings turning up the heat. As expected, Put You Back Into The Oar saw the heathen army take a seat and ‘row, row, row’ if you are yet to see this in action please add it to your bucket list it is quite the spectacle. The masses raised cardboard swords and shields which did not go unnoticed by singer Johan Hegg, their dedication unwavering. I did see one man in full Viking regalia complete with fur and I was impressed by his enthusiasm.

Northlane really did bring the heat as they turned it up to 11, our own Aussie bands stacking up with the international superstars with ease. The mania had well and truly descended as they opened with Clarity and Plenty. The stage set with LED screens from which the drum riser nestled in between, creating a terrific stage dynamic. The hoards not messing around as a wall of death was quickly established, leaving the weak to fend for themselves as the craziness arrived. Cypher, Clockwork and Bloodline all worthy additions as these boys from Blacktown were overwhelmed by the scene in front of them. Closing out with Talking Heads the boys were well spent and had earned a cold refreshment, but there was none of that for the punters who were back to it with the mighty Trivium. Anyone who has seen these guys in action knows exactly what is in store, these guys play hard and instantly turned the heat metre to 100. Matt Heafy had a smile for miles, his face ever expressive as they worked through an impressive set including Rain, Feast of Fire and Down From The Sky. The pits were intensifying which each band and they took on a pulse of their own as Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr rang out, it was Trivium’s fourteenth trip to Australia and gauging the crowd response it definitely won’t be the last.

Stalwarts of thrash metal and members of The Big Four, the highly anticipated Megadeth’s time had come. The chants of ‘Megadeth’ started long before they hit the stage, the thrash army pumped and ready to mosh. The intro to Prince Of Darkness got the juices flowing as the band unleashed with Hangar 18, Dread And The Fugitive Mind and Angry Again. Dave Mustaine in peak form and smashing out all the hits with ease. Kiko Loureiro working the stage with ease his guitar shredding exemplary, it was such a joy to watch him at work, he owned the stage and boy can he play a guitar! Their stage also came complete with LED screens and an elevated drum riser giving a terrific view of Dirk Verbeuren as he smashed the skins to within an inch of his life. James LoMenzo is the god of bass and so much fun to watch on stage, his crowd engagement is undying giving every fan an up-close experience. Symphony Of Destruction with its signature intro set fans into a frenzy and made them hungry for more. But would any Megadeth show be complete without a quick appearance from Vic Rattlehead, of course not. Peace Sells was the song when he staggered out and the punters went crazy, taking the mosh up a level and saluting this iconic mascot.  There was only one song the fans wanted to finish out the set and it had to be Holy Wars, a Megadeth classic and one that left an air of contentment across the smiling faces of the pit.

Parkway Drive is a household name worldwide these days, the boys have worked ridiculously hard to forge their place in the music industry and it is now paying off in spades.  Their show is a spectacle to behold and I can not begin to describe the size of the crowd that had amassed, there was literally thousands upon thousands as far as the eye could see.  A sea of people moving as one so eager to regain their lost years of music and soak up every minute on offer. They don’t get much bigger in Australia than Parkway Drive and they delivered a show with every bell and whistle and then some. It had flames, it had pryo, it had smoke, it even had a drone taking in all the action. Winston McCall a born entertainer, had the crowd eating out of his hand as the band worked through their hour and a quarter set, including Glitch, Carrion and Vice Grip to name a few, his graciousness was unending to the fans and his face showed his happiness all night. The addition of strings lifted the show to new heights, the violin and cello setting a sunning scene as the sun set over Flemington Racecourse. Winston returned shirtless to start a few hearts racing as they finished out with Crushed and Wild Eyes, flames blasting off every place possible and warming up the quickly cooling venue.

The time had come to honour the name’s sake of the festival itself, Slipknot. The build-up had been one of gargantuan proportions, selling out every show in Australia, the fans voting with their hard earned desperate to see their musical heroes. It has been a long wait six years in fact, the maggot family reunited and ready to raise hell.  Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 played briefly before the AC/DC classic For Those About To Rock stilled the fans, tension was palpable the giant Slipknot banner waving in the wind across the stage, as it dropped Flemington Racecourse exploded. Disasterpiece, Wait And Bleed, and All Out Life got pulses racing and the collective mosh bouncing. Corey Taylor demanded your attention and every eye was on him as fan fave, Sulfur rang out, the stage a mass of impressive screens and lighting, flame throwers rocking the night sky. The show briefly halted while one bozo tried his luck climbing a speaker tower, but the problem was quickly rectified, and the show went on without a hitch. The stage having the trademark Slipknot drum set up on either side raised high to give everyone a perfect viewing platform while the main kit took pride of place. Psychosocial left the hoards panting along with Duality and Custer which just formed a small part of the blistering setlist.  Spit It Out took the show to new levels as we all got ready to get low and hold until our preacher Corey ‘mother fucking’ Taylor told us to ‘jump the fuck up’ it was surreal moment and one that always brings the chills with it. The hold he had over the thousands was masterful to watch, the power he held in his hands mind blowing.  After a quick trip off stage the night was complete with People = Shit and Surfacing what a way to finish of the most amazing day, Corey constantly thanking the fans for their unwavering support, his appreciation paramount all night.

As the war-wounded and weary made their way from the stage, their faces tired, their bodies feeling every bit their age I know with all certainty they would jump back in the pit to do it all again without a moment’s hesitation. The sound, the lighting and effects made the festival what it was, kudos to all involved your dedication and attention to detail made for a wonderful experience and it did not go unnoticed.

Knotfest Australia 2023 was a resounding success, congratulations to each and every person involved, you brought so much joy to the fans and gave them memories to cherish for a lifetime. Now we wait with bated breath until next time……

Amon Amarth, Trivium & Malevolence will be back on stage at the very first KNOTFEST AUSTRALIA kicking off today in Melbourne!

KNOTFEST AUSTRALIA 2023
LINE UP:
 
Slipknot | Parkway Drive | Megadeth | Trivium | Northlane | Amon Amarth
 In Flames Knocked Loose | Spiritbox | Story Of The Year | Alpha Wolf
 Void Of Vision | Bad Omens | Malevolence

DATES AND VENUES:
Friday 24 March 2023 – Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne SOLD OUT
Saturday 25 March 2023 – Centennial Park, Sydney
SOLD OUT
Sunday 26 March 2023 – RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane 
SOLD OUT

Information available at destroyalllines.com

March 24th, 2023 – Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne

Saturday 25 March 2023 – Centennial Park, Sydney

Sunday 26 March 2023 – RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane 

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[Review] Amon Amarth / Trivium @ The Forum, Melbourne 23/03/2023

With Knotfest raining down upon us downunder after what seems like a quick set of months, The Forum called one last time before the anticipated festival, for all warriors, heathens and thrashers alike banded together as a ferocious unit at the behest of none other than the Viking metal heads themselves, Amon Amarth, joined by the ever so legendary Trivium, and Malevolence. Such a monstrous lineup couldn’t go unnoticed.

Hailing from the UK, Malevolence provided an energetic, enthusiastic warm up to kick off the three set gig, and despite being listed as a support under other heavy metal greats, they shined above that status. The frontman, Alex Taylor, had a coolness that radiated the entire venue that fuelled the powerful screamo vocals he amplified into his mic, and I could not resist pulling a face identical to my expression seeing a gorgeous woman in response to the bands disgustingly filthy breakdowns that could rapture the concrete below us. It was a shame that these beasts only had a 30 minute set, for their performance was a fiery highlight in itself that certainly got the crowd warmed up with veins bulging for the rest of the evening.

Donning a stunning backdrop featuring green dragons and red demons intertwined with the group’s logo, Trivium made their explosive entrance, and the music itself could have been drowned out by the collective roar of the crowd. And let me talk about the crowd for one second, for I have never in my life experienced such a wild, ferocious, and lively mob of metal heads, as the mosh and circle pits never wavered or broke, and every chiropractor in the state will be getting a run for their money with neck appointments. I was long before I was smothered and cramped among huge burley rockers carrying me closer to the barrier, and later to the other side of the stage itself.

The energy that Trivium brings to their live shows, even those on their 14th tour of Australia, is utterly insane, with the ever so charismatic Matt Heafy always being a treat to gaze upon, Corey Beaulieu’s luscious wet hair and glorious unclean backing vocals, Paulo Gregoletto’s forever plucking bass fingers, and Alex Bent’s incredible drumming precision. The Sin and The Sentence blew the venue off the roof, as did other hits such as Like a Sword Over Damocles and my personal favourite, The Heart From Your Hate. Matt Heafy never ceased exploring the stage joint from mic to mic across many lining the front, engaging with each and every section of the venue that fuelled him with overwhelming enthusiasm, causing the legend himself to claim that it was the greatest crowd they’ve experience down under, right before concluding the set with the undeniably monstrous number, Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr, a song that surely came close to destroying my vocal chords.

The glorious artwork of Trivium’s backdrop lowered to reveal yet another stunning piece, not of mystical beasts, but of a Great Heathen army, decked out along with wooden rune-riddled panels and a giant symbol of Mjolnir.  Even the mosh pit began early as the lights dimmed and blasted Iron Maiden’s Run to the Hills, before a melodic Nordic tune filled us all with more anticipation. And just like the thunder Thor blessed our Melbourne weather with that morning, the warriors Amon Amarth took up arms and explosively opened the finale set with Guardians Of Asgard. Johan Heggs ferocious, low growls as his signature vocal technique did not stray from its glory heard in records, for hearing it live provided so much power that you could almost hear Odin’s call among them. Not only this, but the guitar harmonies could in themselves rival the call of the Valkries for the precision and flawless synchronisation was a delight to every ear. 

In only an hour, the Scandinavian band of heathens managed to turn an entire mob of Melbourne Metalheads into a ferocious Viking army, who’s chants, roars, and horns in the air inflates our warrior’s hearts. In this crowd, we all thrashed and pushed each other in joyful jest and laughter.  In this crowd, women did not sit atop men’s shoulders, for it was the shieldmaiden sisters who carried the brothers. And I could not get enough of it. Even to Johan’s amusement and joy, the women out-screamed the men in a short contest, making us mere boy bruisers rather than brothers in that moment. Nevertheless, we all chanted and howled like Vikings all together. We all sat on the ground and simulated the rowing of a longship on a voyage to Put Your Back Into The Oar, with the backdrop now depicting said ship in a vicious storm. We were encouraged to Raise Our Horns and shout “Skal!” to the band as they collectively downed beer from their drinking horns before blasting into the hit tune. We especially did not let them conclude the show without the famous tale of Ragnarok through the number, Twilight of the Thunder God, and before we knew it, Amon Amarth return with Johan raising Thor’s famous tool, Mjolnir, above his head before crashing it down upon the ground kicking off the finale.

I do not remember the last time my hair and shirt were soaked in pure sweat, whether it was mine or others, however I couldn’t expect anything less experiencing the sheer power of these three legendary metal acts back to backs, all returning after years robbed by a pandemic. My soreness and lost voice only describes how much joy I had. Would I do it all again?

…….Yes. In a fucking heartbeat   

Amon Amarth, Trivium & Malevolence will be back on stage at the very first KNOTFEST AUSTRALIA kicking off today in Melbourne!

KNOTFEST AUSTRALIA 2023
LINE UP:
 
Slipknot | Parkway Drive | Megadeth | Trivium | Northlane | Amon Amarth
 In Flames Knocked Loose | Spiritbox | Story Of The Year | Alpha Wolf
 Void Of Vision | Bad Omens | Malevolence

DATES AND VENUES:
Friday 24 March 2023 – Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne SOLD OUT
Saturday 25 March 2023 – Centennial Park, Sydney
SOLD OUT
Sunday 26 March 2023 – RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane 
SOLD OUT

Information available at destroyalllines.com

March 24th, 2023 – Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne

Saturday 25 March 2023 – Centennial Park, Sydney

Sunday 26 March 2023 – RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane 

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[Review] Bad Omens @ Factory Theatre, Sydney 22/03/2023

Review by Megan Milner

Undoubtedly one of the most highly anticipated acts on the Knotfest line up, are American metal band Bad Omens. Hot off the back of a sold out US run, they’ve stopped in early for 2 side shows – mere days ahead of their festival appearance. Last night in Brisbane at the Triffid and tonight at the Factory Theatre in Sydney, will be celebrated as the first every Australian shows for the four piece. Both Brisbane and Sydney performances sold out in less than a minute, leaving many begging for tickets up until show day.  

A last minute addition see’s melodic hardcore band, Bloom kick off the night to a sold out crowd. The Sydney boys played their hearts out, lifting the energy early on, creating many new fans. The line for Bad Omens merch snaked back to the entrance, luckily for those patience folks they had a great show to watch! Each member of Bloom was gracious and spoke of being very fortunate for the opportunity to share the stage with tonight’s headliner. Closing out their set with Cold; dedicated to anyone who knew the band before tonight.  

The energy in the room is electric and tense, each one of the sold out crowd eagerly awaiting the band we all came to see. Bad Omens trajectory in the last couple of years is undeniable. While they may have been an established act, the release of their 2022 album The Death of Peace of Mind saw their popularity sky rocket to unimaginable heights. Minutes before their scheduled 9pm arrival, the lights dim and pre recorded audio fills the room. Lead singer Noah Sebastian appears on stage dressed in a trenchcoat and gloves, wasting no time starting Concrete Jungle, with drummer Nick Folio.  

The volume of the mostly female crowd is immense, we have been impatiently awaiting the arrival of Bad Omens to Australia and we finally have our moment. The stage lights lower again, Noah leading the band back to the stage in a balaclava for Artificial Suicide. It’s one of their heavier songs and one I absolutely adore. Headbangers fill the floor and the pit starts early, packed in nice and tight. Guitarist Joakim Karlsson and bass player Nicholas Ruffilo tower over the crowd on either side of the stage. Their long hair and axes in hand create a menacing image! 

Nowhere to Go gives the crowd a chance to open up those vocal chords and sing along. With a huge chorus, this has been a fan favourite since release and one of their top streamed songs. After three tracks all from their latest album they take a break to speak with the crowd, appreciating each person in attendance for their first Sydney show ever. Noah explains their next track, Glass Houses is the very first they ever released, the crowd sung in unison right to the end. 

The breaks between songs seem to grow longer and longer, while the fans try to fill the silence with chants for the band, and of course, for shoeys. 

The Grey begins acapella, as I look around the room to see multiple fans pouring their hearts into the lyrics, ‘gave you way too many chances, you ran through ‘em all’. 

After yet another long break with no stage lights, Noah walks to the centre of the stage to apologise. He’s experiencing vocal issues and is concerned he won’t be able to perform the show we all came to see. It comes as a real surprise, as he has been sounding fantastic from the first note. ‘We are going to try do one more song and go from there’, Noah reluctantly confesses. As the band throw themselves into Mercy, the energy has altered on stage and in the crowd. Less punters are moving, you can almost see them holding their breath, hoping for the best while Noah has clear signs of frustration. The band get through the song before disappearing once more. 

This time the break is longer than previous, the chants dissipate and our concern grows. The house lights come on as Noah returns to the stage once more to explain that they are here for Knotfest and believes if he continues tonight, he will damage his voice to the point that he may not be able to perform at the festival. Concern for his voice aside, he announces he will play the track ‘most of you came to hear’, Dethrone. The crowd roars, but a few are confused as it is their heaviest track and will not do any favours to a strained voice.  

Regardless, he kicks off Dethrone with the ‘CONCRETE! JUNGLE!’ mantra and makes it through the track before departing the stage. The band delay leaving to hand out guitar picks, setlists, drum sticks and shake as many hands as possible.  

Nobody expected tonight to turn out the way it did. Mixed feelings can be found at the Factory Theatre's bar, including regret over just witnessing 8 songs and an understanding, sympathetic heart for Noah's voice, fortunate for seeing the songs we did get. We definitely anticipated a lengthier show tonight from Bad Omens after waiting so long, especially since all three Knotfests only allowed for half-hour sets at a midday time slot. 

We wish Noah all the best back to recovery and hope he can get up on stage at Knotfest for all 3 performances! 

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[Review] Megadeth / In Flames @ Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne 22/03/2023

As musicians, there are some bands that reached out from the speakers, grabbed us by the souls and inspired us in more ways than they will ever know. On this Wednesday evening, I was humbled and blessed to be in the presence of not one, but two bands who are legends in their individual genres, and whose hold on me has only tightened as the years have gone by. So, without further ado, join me as we lose ourselves in the majesty of In Flames and Megadeth.

In the darkness the sounds of an acoustic guitar and strings played over the sound system, the unmistakable Swedish melodies that In Flames have become renowned for echoed in the stadium in harmony with the roars of the crowd. This was The Beginning of All Things That Will End, and it heralded the appearance of the band that was the soundtrack to my childhood.

They strode out on stage and went straight into The Great Deceiver from their new album, Foregone. Frontman Anders Fridén told us to expect a set list that he called a 10 out of 10 – and my God, did they deliver.

My mind raced with the possibilities of what material from their impressive catalogue they might perform and I was answered with the iconic track, Pinball Map, which was followed by arguably one of their biggest hits, Cloud Connected.

What they played next would have pleased the most devoted of In Flames fans. Taking us all the way back to the very beginning, the song and the album that inspired a whole generation of bands – Behind Space from their debut album, Lunar Strain.

What proceeded was akin to being placed in a time machine as we navigated our way through their discography. Graveland from The Jester Race, The Hive from Whoracle, Only For The Weak from Clayman and My Sweet Shadow from Soundtrack To Your Escape.

I don’t usually go into such intricate detail with regards to the set list but in this case, it was so spectacular that I felt it would be remiss of me not to mention it for all the Jesterheads out there.

We were then returned to the present  with Foregone Pt. 1 and State of Slow Decay.

The current band line up of –

Anders Fridén – Vocals
Björn Gelotte – Guitars
Chris Broderick– Guitars
Bryce Paul – Bass
Tanner Wayne – Drums

– sound incredible together. Tanner and Bryce lock in really well with each other and deliver truckloads of groove to the rhythm section. Chris Broderick adds his decades of experience and finesse as a guitarist to the band and elevates their sound to new heights. Playing complex passages with ease while rocking quite possibly the most impressive set of guns in the industry.

Anders Fridén and Björn Gelotte are without a doubt the beating heart of In Flames and they sound better than ever. Time has aged them like a fine wine, bringing about maturity and complexity, but losing none of the youthful joie de vivre.

The set concluded with Alias, I Am Above and Take This Life. As a man I can only imagine that this is what the fabled multiple orgasm must feel like.

But be still my beating heart, for this is only the beginning. As the Kings depart the stage we braced ourselves for the Gods. Megadeth were about to appear.

Two massive screens flanked the stage with the drum kit set in the middle like a jewel in a crown. Images of flames, death and destruction flashed across the screens as Prince of Darkness played. Megadeth strode out on to the stage with the presence and subtlety of a supernova, and exploded into Hanger 18. The crowd had greatly enjoyed In Flames but this was undoubtedly Megadeth’s family. Any energy that they might have withheld before now detonated through a series of convulsions.

The call and response solo trade-off between Dave Mustaine and Kiko Loureiro simultaneously inspired and discouraged every guitarist in attendance. It seems otherworldly to witness such a combination of technical brilliance and showmanship before your eyes.

They followed this up with Dread and The Fugitive Mind and The Threat Is Real. Dave Mustaine then took some time to regale us with the tale of how the next song came into being.

Arnold Schwarzenegger had wanted a song written for the movie, The Last Action Hero. Dave wrote the lyrics inspired by a dream he had, where ex-drummer Nick Menza had accidentally kicked over one of his beloved guitars and that is how we were blessed with the track, Angry Again. As the band began playing Sweating Bullets the crowd’s reaction can be eloquently described as – going ape-shit crazy. They practically sang the song on Dave’s behalf and made sure that the security worked hard for their pay-checks last night.

To the casual observer these scenes might look chaotic and violent but at a Megadeth show, this is a unique marriage of brutality juxtaposed against brotherhood; a special kind of bonding on an intangible level that is enjoyed and appreciated by the fans.

Another benefit of this environment was that there were a lot less phones out filming in the pit and the audience were able to lose themselves in the music with total abandon.

The freight train of a set continued ploughing through us with She-Wolf, Conquer or Die, Dystopia, Tornado of Souls and Trust. At this stage Dave spoke about getting diagnosed with cancer in 2020 and how when friends heard about this they replied by saying: “ I feel sorry for cancer.”

I’m inclined to agree with that sentiment, for Dave Mustaine is genuinely a force to be reckoned with. Nothing stops this man and his unrelenting will and vision. Through one of life’s most painful and cruel trials he wrote and recorded the phenomenal album, The Sick, The Dying & The Dead, and then he blew us away with the performance of We’ll Be Back.

Megadeth’s current lineup boasts some of Metal’s biggest names.

Kiko Loureiro, who made his name as a part of the Brazilian Power Metal behemoth, Angra, awed us with his fretboard wizardry and firmly cemented his seat alongside the legendary guitarists who have stood in his place. James Lomenzo on bass has a staggeringly impressive resume, having been an integral part of influential bands such as White Lion, Black Label Society and Slash’s Snakepit. Completing the all-star team, is the hard-hitting master of the skins, Dirk Verbeuren – formerly of Soilwork. Each of them are obviously virtuosos at their individual instruments, but together they are a force to be reckoned with. Spell-binding in their performances but always serving the song and Dave’s unique artistic vision.

The set concluded with the epochal, Symphony of Destruction and the thought-provoking, Peace Sells – a song whose lyrics are perhaps more relevant today than when they were first put to paper.

We were physically and emotionally spent by this stage. However, Megadeth weren’t done with us just yet. Dave Mustaine thanked the crowd in a speech that I’ve heard a million times before yet there was a palpable earnestness in the way he said it that I’ve seldom felt.

For an encore they played,

Holy Wars… The Punishment Due.

The audience reaction was a testament to the human spirit and its propensity for endurance as they moshed the hardest they had done all night.

The show ended after two massive hours, but Megadeth will live on eternally in our hearts and minds. Seeing the vast number of young fans who were probably seeing Megadeth live for the first time filled me with a sense of hope that I haven’t felt in a long time.

It’s easy to despair when we look at where music is now and reflect upon the lofty heights from which it fell. Do we push forward with optimism or calculate with pessimism? Perhaps the answer to that is a healthy dose of both and nobody has summed it up better than Dave Mustaine.

“If there's a new way
I'll be the first in line
But it better work this time.”

Megadeth & In Flames will be back on stage at the very first KNOTFEST AUSTRALIA kicking off tomorrow in Melbourne!

KNOTFEST AUSTRALIA 2023
LINE UP:
 
Slipknot | Parkway Drive | Megadeth | Trivium | Northlane | Amon Amarth
 In Flames Knocked Loose | Spiritbox | Story Of The Year | Alpha Wolf
 Void Of Vision | Bad Omens | Malevolence

DATES AND VENUES:
Friday 24 March 2023 – Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne SOLD OUT
Saturday 25 March 2023 – Centennial Park, Sydney
SOLD OUT
Sunday 26 March 2023 – RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane 
SOLD OUT

Information available at destroyalllines.com

March 24th, 2023 – Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne

Saturday 25 March 2023 – Centennial Park, Sydney

Sunday 26 March 2023 – RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane 

Read More