House of Blues, Dec. 6

Megadeth rocked. Period. They commemorated the release of their 1992 best-selling album, Countdown to Extinction, with a 20th anniversary tour bearing the same name. Megadeth performed Countdown in the exact track order sprinkled with a few of their classic hits such as “Hangar 18” and “Holy Wars … The Punishment Due.”

The band’s musicianship and performance was second to none. They pummeled their way through a high-energy 90-minute set accompanied by lots of head banging. Completing the experience, three large digital backdrops flashed images of Marshall stacks and band pictures spanning their career.

Lead vocalist and guitarist Dave Mustaine, 51, still has what it takes to pull off his form of thrash metal. From his signature vocal snarls and growls to trading off lightning-fast guitar solos with Chris Broderick in a dual ax-attack shred fest, the appreciative Mustaine showed no sign of slowing down. The audience took over vocal duties, as they sang the entire first verse to “Sweating Bullets,” a song about schizophrenia, which starts with the line, Hello me … meet the real me. The skeletal Megadeth mascot, Vic Rattlehead, walked onstage during the encore song “Peace Sells,” sending the audience into testosterone-filled frenzy.

Megadeth’s thrashing metal madness is still alive and well. For them, there really is no such thing as a countdown to extinction. ★★★★☆



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