It was madness alright. Commuting to the World Trade Center — virtually the other side of the planet if you live in Antipolo — one stormy Sunday night when everybody’s advised to stay home and be safe.
But it was beautiful madness, even when on the wee hours of Monday we found ourselves in a Wendy’s branch in Makati City with the place plunged in darkness, and wind and rain battling for supremacy outside. It was a perfect, if not surreal, way to end a night of merry mayhem. Almost a complete week had gone by and I have yet to come down from that natural high.
It was all worth it. The freaky weather, the distance between home and venue, the long line that we had to endure before entrance — they seemed mere trivialities when Megadeth ripped through their 17-song set that consisted of old and new materials. (Noticeably missing were “Mechanix” and “99 Ways to Die,” but they did “A Tout Le Monde” and “Trust” so I’m not complaining.) In fact, the moment the band kicked off with “Never Dead,” everything outside became insignificant.
Minor issues with the setlist aside, the crowd, hungry for a foreign metal act of this caliber, lapped up every note and venom Megadeth unleashed with megasonic fury. All around people were singing, pumping their fist, jumping, moshing, flashing the devil’s horn. Camaraderie was expressed; I felt like part of a big sweaty heavy metal group hug. It was the most energetic and wildly passionate crowd I’ve seen in all my concert-going years. Vocalist/band leader Dave Mustaine couldn’t help but admit being “impressed” by the warm reception, and apologized for not coming to Manila sooner.
Definitely the best concert I’ve been to so far, the memory of which something to chew on for good vibes in the coming days. I’ll be singing paeans to this for weeks to come… or until Metallica or Slayer comes over and dishes out an equal, if not better, hellraiser. Here’s hoping for that.