Megasonic madness

Megadeth dwarfs the storm outside with 17 songs of pure face-melting thrash metal. (Photo by Sidney Macalinao)

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.

The couple that rocks together

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.

With photos from Dennis Mendoza, Nicole Quintana

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.

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It’s the morning before reckoning day

… and I’m happily headbanging to “Hangar 18” from Rust in Peace. Call it exercise, because tomorrow I might hear this shit live.

It was actually that classic 1990 album that introduced me to the band in 1992. I was starting high school, wallowing in self-imposed juvenile funk, and busy discovering rock music. One afternoon my friend Gerald dropped by our place waving this cassette tape that he said he stole from a neighborhood record store.

“Check this out,” he said. “The singer got kicked out of Metallica for misbehavior.” I thought, How in hell can you get kicked out of a metal band for misbehavior?

Curious, I slid the tape into our old Akai deck, pushed play, and heard something new and exciting. It was loud, abrasive, fast. Really fast. A grand orgy of ripping guitar solos that brought to mind chainsaws gone out of control. It’s a turbo-charged album poised for the kill. My eardrums were impressed.

Tomorrow, July 29, I’m going to watch Manila get thrashed at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. To say that I’m stoked is an understatement.

Something mega this way comes

By now every mega-dude and mega-dudette knows the mega-news: thrash metal titans Megadeth will be performing at the World Trade Center in Pasay City on July 29. Those interested in catching them are sure as hell in a scrimping mode this time, as ticket prices aren’t what you can call cheap. But what the hell, right? It’s Megadeth: One of the so-called Big 4 of thrash, Dave Mustaine, “Symphony of Destruction,” razor-sharp riff-o-rama and wild stomping drum beats. Total blitzkrieg, motherfuckers!

Of course I have all the intentions to catch the group. But owing to my current economic condition I’m not at all optimistic. But in case I fail to watch the show over one reason or another, well, there are far worse things in life than missing the “reckoning day.”

But I’m keeping my fingers crossed. These days, that’s all I can do.