Megadeth Sonispher Knebworth 2011
After Anthrax's irrepressible Sonisphere performance, the second of the 'Big4' bands, Megadeth, get their turn on the stage.
As the opening bars of 'Trust' begin the first member to appear on stage is drummer Shawn Drover, followed by original bassist Dave Ellefson, who recently rejoined the band's ranks, Chris Broderick is next on the stage and finally Dave Mustaine himself appears holding a slightly OTT twin-necked guitar. The weather so far has been pretty crappy but, as he takes his spot on the stage the sun briefly and blindingly appears to give the stage, and in particular Mustaine's fluffy ginger barnet, a golden glow.
Whilst Megadeth are the most technically proficient of the Big4, and are tighter than a duck's arse underwater, their idea of putting on a show has always been more about a head-down and balls-out, accurate live rendition than running about the stage or audience involvement.
The setlist is an impressive greatest hits selection; they had me at 'Wake Up Dead', but also include 'In My Darkest Hour', which features a lightning-fast solo from Broderick, which he manages with casual insouciance. Fan favourite 'Hangar 18' is performed, as are the obligatory 'Peace Sells' and 'Holy Wars'.
Alongside the classic Megadeth tunes, they also performed new track 'Public enemy No. 1' from forthcoming album 'TH1RT3EN' (the title made public for the first time at this show), which, on first listen, suggests the new album could well be a corker.
Though he has his detractors, there's something oddly endearing about Mustaine and his ability to open his mouth without fully engaging his brain, and when, seemingly unaware of the lack of seating numbers at festivals, he asks 'How are you people at the back?' shortly followed by 'I bet you wish you'd bought your tickets earlier', several people scratch their heads in amused bewilderment.
They may not have been the most exciting band on the bill visually, or have resorted to a few sputtering pyrotechnics or oversized balloons unlike certain bands, but musically, as always, Megadeth take no prisoners.