By Tim Schumann
After the postponement from last October due to Covid, the most anticipated tour, labeled the Metal Tour of the Year finally came to pass on 24 August here in El Paso as we welcomed Megadeth and Lamb of God with supporting acts Trivium and Hatebreed.
First and foremost, El Paso is not a mecca for music compared to cities in Texas like Austin, Houston or Dallas so when a tour of this caliber comes though our fair city, it’s a pretty big deal and having Megadeth perform for us certainly is a big deal.
Megadeth was born in Los Angeles in 1983 by Dave Mustaine and Jeff Ellefson, considered one of the Big 4 of American Thrash Metal with Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax.
To their credit, 16 albums in 36 years and from 1993 to 2017, 9 awards from Album of the Year to the Golden God award, that’s one hell of a resume.
Co-Headlining this tour is Lamb of God, this makes my second time covering this act and these guys never fail to deliver.
Straight out of Richmond Virginia back in 1994 with 10 albums in 22 years, Lamb of God is no stranger to touring, Ozzfest, Download, Mayhem, Metallica’s World Magnetic Tour and Slayer’s Final World Tour, which is where I covered them at the same venue here in El Paso back in 2019.
The Don Haskins Center on the campus of the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP) holds 12, 200 people, but unfortunately by the looks of it, did not sell out, but sure came close.
Doors were at 5:30 and Hatebreed hit the stage at 6:00, I did question this simply because people were still filing in, finding their seats, if you will, but who am I?
I covered Hatebreed before at Warped Tour back in 2017, great band, fantastic energy by Jamie Jasta warming up this crowd, what a front man, one of the best in my opinion.
Up next, Trivium and again, another act I’ve covered in the past. Matt Heafy has shaved his head to my surprise, but that didn’t matter, this is an act that will undoubtedly blow your hair back each and every time, I have met Matt before, super nice guy and I do really like this band and I’m not alone in saying this, every time I’ve seen them, they do seem to have a dedicated following, hence the 10 VIPS they had in the photo pit I had to contend with while shooting.
On deck is Lamb of God, what can I say about this band, between Randy Blythe and all the pyro, this performance left me speechless and as you may know, Randy is a jumper and I was ready for that, caught him 3 times mid air, he takes great photos.
Songs like Walk with me in Hell, Now, you’ve got something to die for and with an Encore of Redneck, you can just imagine or depict the scene unfolding in the Don Haskins, it was sheer bedlam, not to mention a massive circle pit, and good times were had by all.
Finally, Megadeth hits the stage, what this rabid crowd had been waiting for, waiting since last year, if you think about it.
They opened with Hanger 18 and never stopped blasting us with hit after hit, it’s one of those shows that hits you in the feels, songs like Sweating Bullets, Peace Sells and closing with Holy Wars was just what the doctor ordered.
Dave looked a bit older, hair constantly in his face, maybe on purpose, I don’t know, but regardless of that, its Megadeth, metal at its finest.
James LoMenzo on Bass, no more Dave Ellefson and Kiko Loureiro on Lead Guitar, what a guitarist, hard to not keep your eyes on him, he is a master at his craft.
But this was Dave’s show, Dave’s band and as stated has been for 36 years and hopefully longer, but who knows, age catches up with us all, this could very well be the last time to see Megadeth, time will tell.
I had friends in Austin and Dallas who attended this event, I’ve gotten feedback from individuals here in El Paso on their spin of the show and all have said, Lamb of God stole the show and I too am in agreement, not taking anything away from Megadeth, but LOG puts on one hell of a show, Randy Blythe is one incredible front man, he is the show as far as I’m concerned, but of course you be the judge, this tour is going on until the end of October, so if by chance it lands in your town or city, buy the ticket, get to the show, I promise you, you won’t be disappointed.
Full Hatebreed, Trivium, Lamb of God, & Megadeth gallery below: