Gigantour at 1STBANK Center, 8/2/13
Brandon Marshall Megadeth on stage at 1STBANK Center during Gigantour.
Newsted, Hellyeah, Device, Black Label Society and Megadeth all have well known members from very big former bands -- even Dave Mustaine with thirty years of kicking ass and taking names after Metallica. This was one of those shows so jam packed with metal talent, like an Ozzfest, that it doesn't quite register what you are doing until you clean the eye gunk from your eyes. The sun rose a 4:30 PM for Gigantour 2013 in Denver. With a small crowd in the wee hours of the concert morn, 1STBANK Center felt more like the best backyard party ever that your best friend hosted, pulling all the strings and booking an impressive impossible lineup.
This didn't stop any of the early bands from playing a gigantic show for a small audience. With devil horns held up high before the first note was even strummed, Jason Newsted's first words were, "I see 112 of my closest friends came tonight." Strapped into a bass like he should be, Newsted ripped into a high energy set starting with "Heroic Dose" -- the first track from the very soon to be released Heavy Metal Music.
Newly formed and all, Newsted played six of the first eight songs off this album, but this didn't stop his "friends" from pulling the band in with open arms. To close the set, Newsted ended with a crack of the "Whiplash," reminiscent of 2000's Summer Sanitarium Tour, in which he sang lead for many songs due to Hetfield recovering from a back injury.
Oh yeah, then Hellyeah took the stage with an attitude of "Fuck yeah!" Straight away, showing the band's southern roots with "Cowboy Way," frontman Chad Gray, with a thick reddish mohawk that cascaded into a rat tail, didn't waste any time kicking over the trashcan. While Vinnie Paul rumbled his motorcycle drums with a bottomless tank of gas, Gray literally beat songs like "Rage/Burn" and "Drink Drank Drunk" out of his head throughout the set. The last song, "HELLYEAH" roped in a stampede set of fuming furrowed brows and "Yee-haw"s.
A drastic change of tone came from Dave Draiman and his killer vocals as Device plugged in and took charge. Disturbed incarnate, Device's musical mechanism isn't much of an upgrade from Draiman's older model of ravishing vocals, a soulless solo-less guitar and a contrasting partnership of feel-good reggae. The band then dropped an out-of-line cut on the conveyer belt, slanting it into the rotating blades of the gathering throng, "Heavy Prey," a collaborative effort by guitarist Lacey Sturm and Flyleaf from the Underworld: Awakening soundtrack. Before closing with "Vilify," Device powered off with the band's newest single "You Think You Know."
When Black Label Society rolled on stage, the transition from alt-metal to a savage beast of southern groove froze the crowd momentarily before they got in the groove of things. But that's all it took. Everyone still knew who took center stage even though you couldn't see Wylde, weeping willow hair over his face, bobbing for a good thirty second before parting lips to sing "Destruction Overdrive." Vinnie Paul could be seen side stage checking out BLS's ride on the open road like a kid at his first concert. Before retreating back stage, Vinnie raised his drink to the headstrong intro.
Keep reading for more on BLS and Megadeth