Or at least that's what I'd call it. Anybody who has followed Megadeth for any length of time knows that Mustaine = the band and vice versa. He's pretty much spent the last 20 years making sure of it. Just ask any of his former bandmates.*
Fair enough. But after all that time can Dave still not share the spotlight with anyone? Literally? That was certainly the case last night.
After much to-do about reuniting with original and long-estranged bassist Dave Ellefson for the current tour celebrating the 20th anniversary of 'Rust In Peace,' those in attendance barely even got to set eyes on him. Or current guitarist Chris Broderick for that matter. The culprit? Mustaine's evident insistance that the only fully-illuminated follow spot in the building be trained exclusively and continuously on him.
Broderick's soloing? Spot's on Dave. Ellefson's kicking off a song? Spot's on Dave. Dave leaves the stage? Spot's on no-one! That's right, even when he's completely removed from sight, no-one else is illuminated. For accuracy's sake, the other two each had a spot trained on them as well. But if it was illuminated at more than 30% power I'd be stunned. They were barely enough to make Broderick and Ellefson visible in complete darkness and couldn't be detected at all through any sort of stage lighting.
I like getting to watch a band play their music when I go to a show. I couldn't do that at this one. The whole thing got so distracting that by about two-thirds of the way through I had already punched out. I was still sitting there. But I didn't give a shit anymore.
It's a drag, but I have seen Megadeth for the last time. Good work Dave. In your quest to make sure everyone knew you were 'the man' you instead dropped a big steaming pile on yourself.
PS - I'm also pretty sure Mustaine manufactured a stage-invasion about two-thirds of the way through the set so he could simultaneously act all 'hard' and invoke Dime's name. Two dudes suddenly appeared from the extreme back right corner of the stage, from behind the backline...from behind everything. They kind of loped aimlessly across the stage, then got 'apprehended' by security. Barely any physical exertion on anyone's part at anytime.
I've been to thousands of shows, including dozens at this venue, and based on these experiences have the following observations. I have never seen a security detail react as lethargically to an actual invasion, especially coming from a locaton as random as the back of the stage. In this particular building it's next to impossible for an audience member to access the part of venue from which these two dudes strolled. If they were real, I'm happy Dave's OK. Really. But it sure looked hokey.
PPS: Both Testament and Exodus killed.
*Chris Poland, Gar Samuelson, Chuck Behler, Jeff Young, Nick Menza, Marty Friedman, Jimmy DeGrasso, Al Pitrelli, Shawn Drover (current drummer), Glen Drover, James MacDonough, James LoMenzo.