I have been a fan of Megadeth since first hearing Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying way back in 1986, I had never had the chance to see them play live. Nowadays they only seem to play big venues and festivals, but with four bands on the bill I decided to make the four and a half hour drive to the Birmingham 02 Academy. Luckily the venue was easy to find and I arrived in plenty of time and headed off into town for something to eat. My email had told me that doors open at 7:30 so at 7:10 I joined the long queue of people outside the venue. The queue moved very slowly and as I neared the front the reason for the slow moving queue became evident. As a result of the events in Paris a couple of days before the security had increased and people were having their bags searched as well as everyone being frisked. This was good and reassuring to see and although it slowed things up it’s better to be safe than sorry.
I could now hear loud music coming from the venue and as I joined the line to collect my pass I assumed that a local band had been added to the lineup to keep people entertained whilst they waited for the main bands. On entering the venue I was amazed at just how busy it was and very disappointed to find out that the music I had been hearing was not a local band but the third support band, Children Of Bodum. I got to hear about two of their twiddly high pitched guitar and keyboard songs before they left the stage. I then found out that the doors had opened at 6:30 and I had missed the opening act completely. The only good thing about that is that Sylosis who I had missed are playing just up the road from me in a few weeks time so I can catch them then.
As I stood with the masses waiting for the joint headliners, Lamb Of God I was expecting quite a long set and they didn’t disappoint. They hit the stage at around 7:45 and the metalheads around the venue went berserk and I’m sure the floor moved as they leapt around.
This continued for most of the set until, with just a few songs to go Lamb Of God frontman, Randy Blythe, suddenly stopped the show. With everyone shocked and wanting to know what was happening he asked fans to stand still and make some room. As it turned out someone in the mosh pit had fallen over and broken their leg but thanks to Randy, they had gotten help at once rather than being stuck in the middle of the crowd.
As the unlucky fan was removed on a stretcher Randy and the band made their way back onto the stage and Randy then made the announcement that they had to cut a song from their set. This upset many fans but at the time I could fully understand why. They played what was to be their last song then thanked the crowd before making their way off the stage.
Next up were the mighty Megadeth and the thing that still baffles me is why Lamb Of God cut their set short but we then had to wait for the best part of forty minutes for Megadeth. This was soon forgotten as Dave and the boys made their way onto the 02 stage for the biggest cheer of the night. They hit the ground running and played some of their many classic tracks to a thrilled audience.
As I looked around their was hair flailing everywhere and hands were pumping in the air. The place was well and truly alive and the energy feeding back to the band was amazing. The hits kept coming with the occasional new song thrown in for good measure but the ratio was perfect. Megadeth even has a new drummer in the form of Lamb Of God stick man Chris Adler but you would never have known he wasn’t in the band since the beginning. The band were tight and the mix was perfect making this a night to remember for a long time to come. I had heard many stories about Megadeth gigs in the past and after having the pleasure to witness one in the flesh I will keep an eye open for their next visit to the UK. As I left the venue I thought to myself how lucky I had been to see such a great show and even though I had missed half of it I had seen the main event. I also felt sorry for the poor chap who was stretchered out before Megadeth’s set having been one of the lucky ones to get a ticket to this sold out show.
This was my first trip to the Birmingham 02 Academy and like the 02 in Bristol it has some great staff who were very helpful and friendly. The venue has a good layout and I like the raised seating setup where I ended up watching the best part of the gig from. The overall view of the stage and the crowd made for a lasting image and I would like to have had a seat at the front but I guess this is why people queue up so early for shows here.
See full gallery here.
Catch them on tour:
|Dec 05||Centro Dinamico Pegaso||Toluca, Mexico||Tickets||RSVP||Share|
|May 26||Badlands Pawn||Sioux Falls, SD||Tickets||RSVP||Share|
|Jun 11||Download Festival @ Donington Park||Derby, United Kingdom||Tickets||RSVP||Share|
|Jun 17||Graspop Metal Meeting @ Festivalpark Dessel||Dessel, Belgium||Tickets||RSVP||Share|
|Jun 25||Copenhell @ Refshaleøen||Copenhagen, Denmark||Tickets||RSVP||Share|
Lamb of God:
Sylosis – http://sylosis.com/
Children Of Bodum – http://www.cobhc.com/site/
Lamb Of God – https://www.lamb-of-god.com/
Megadeth – http://system.megadeth.com/