Peace sells... but who's buying?

Apparently a whole bunch of Megadeth and Corrosion of Conformity fans, who paid to see the two groups preach about anarchy, chaos, voting with and sweating bullets (literally too!). Corrosion of Conformity opened with Heaven's Not Overflowed(?) from their latest album Deliverance and followed it up with Dance of the Dead (from their previous album, Blind). They then followed it up with Clean my Wounds, Broken Man, Deliverance, and Sleeping on the Wing. They didn't play anything from their first 2 two albums.

"You can call me crazy, you can call me wrong.
 'cause I was born a liar, albatross fly on."
        ---Corrosion of Conformity, Albatross

The highlights of their set were Vote with a Bullet and Albatross. They invited an audience member from the stage to play the last song (Die?) with them and I thought he did a pretty good job. Though the new stuff sounded a lot better live, it still was lame. Pepper Keenan (vocals/guitar) was out wearing a Black Sabbath t-shirt and at one an point I might have thought they were actually doing a great job of making Sabbath-type music, but I no longer think so.

"The view they once knew made our nooses too tight. 
 This justice in swine, this devil in god. 
 So god bless my soul---I've got total control 
 and the crosshairs lined up dead in my sight... I'm voting with a bullet!"
                            ---Corrosion of Conformity, Vote with a Bullet

When Megadeth came on, I was in the middle of the pit. They started off the set with Skin of My Teeth. And then they launched into Hangar 18. At this point, it is hard for me to understand how people could crowd surf or mosh when someone like Friedman is soloing out there. It's tempting to take something sharp along into the pit. I managed to move up front to catch a glimpse of Friedman's guitar wizardry as he played the solos from Hangar 18 and all I could do was stand and shake my head in awe. He is one of the most underrated guitarists I know and probably one of the best the world has seen in the last 10 years or so. And the concert was worth going to simply to see him play. They went to on to play stuff from their new album (Youthanasia) which included Recokoning Day, Train of Consequences, Addicted to Chaos, A Tout Le Monde, and Family Tree. The new stuff is good, but it's more reminscent of Hard Rock (along the lines of a radio-friendly Van Halen record) than mind-numbing thrash metal (notably present in Rust in Peace). They also played other stuff from Countdown to Extinction: Symphony of Destruction, and Sweating Bullets (which the crowd sang to just as well as they'd sing a ballad like Piano Man!).

"Military intelligence:  two words combined that don't make sense.
 Possibly I've seen too much, Hangar 18 I know too much."
                                           ---Megadeth, Hangar 18

Friedman is indisputably a guitar god but Mustaine is no slouch himself, as was evidenced when they performed Tornado of Souls. Both Mustaine and Friedman both play some excellent solos in the song and it was executed flawlessly live. It boggles the mind how they play such intricate melodies and rhythms and make little or no mistakes! They also shredded with accuracy when they played Holy Wars. The songs from Rust in Peace were by far the highlight of the evening.

"Brother will kill brother          Fools like me, who cross the sea
 spilling blood across the land.    and come to foreign lands.
 Killing for religion,              ask the sheep for their beliefs:
 something I don't understand."     Do you kill on god's command?"
                                            ---Megadeth, Holy Wars

A comparison to Metallica is inevitable. Having seen them both, I would have to say that Megadeth are superior in performance. Megadeth play both their older and newer stuff with extreme venom and agression, which is not the case with Metallica (at least when I saw them), though Metallica do vary their songs a bit from the studio versions and tease by throwing odd riffs every now and then. People might argue that listening to Megadeth is like listening to their CD, but it's one thing to do something in a studio and make it sound great, and it's another thing to perform the same thing live with great accuracy. I happen to love technical excellence especially when it's displayed live, and there was a lot of that in this show. The acoustics in the hall (Michael's 8th avenue in Glen Burnie, MD) were okay. Mustaine's vocals came out sounding pretty decent. They came back for two encores which included Peace Sells, but who's Buying..., and finished up with their cover of the Sex Pistol's Anarchy in the UK.

"Up on my podium as the know it all scholar.
 Down in my seat of judgement gavel's bang, uphold the law.
 Up on my soapbox a leader out to change the world. 
 Down in my pulpit as the holier than-thou-could-be messenger of god!"
                                               ---Megadeth, Holy Wars

Mustaine's new found (?) belief in god hasn't made him a nicer person, but it has made him into a bit of a preacher. While he gravitated between being nice and being mean to the people in front ("that guy's gonna break an arm for a sweatband... [why toss it then?]"), he talked too much between songs (crap about staying together and stuff; shades of Corgan!). This was the only downside to an otherwise exceptional concert!

"What do you mean 'I don't believe in god'?
 I talk to him everyday.
 What do you mean 'I don't support your system'?
 I goto court when I have to.
 What do you mean 'I can't get to work time'?
 I got nothing better to do.
 And, what do you mean 'I don't pay your bills'?
 Why do you think I'm broke? Huh?

 If there's a new way,
 I'll be the first in line,
 but it better work this time.

 What do you mean 'I hurt your feelings'?
 I didn't you had any feelings.
 What do you mean 'I ain't kind'?
 I'm just not your kind.
 What do you mean 'I couldn't be the President of the USA'?
 Tell me something, it's still 'we the people', right?"
                                  ---Megadeth, Peace Sells

Music ram-blings || Ram Samudrala || || January 26, 1995