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Gigantour 07.23.05
Cricket Pavilion, Phoenix Arizona
Main Stage – Nevermore, Fear Factory, Dream Theater, Megadeth

As a seasonal Arizona monsoon storm rolled in to Phoenix Saturday night, Gigantour – Dave Mustaine’s answer to Ozzfest – hit with a fury. By the end of the night, Gigantour proved that its brutal force was one to be reckoned with. The monsoon storm subsided long before Gigantour did, but not without first delaying Dream Theater’s set.

Nevermore started off the headbanging fury of the main stage with Narcosynthesis. The small crowd that gathered in front of the stage was dismal – that’s to be expected when a show starts at 5:30 pm at an outdoor venue during the monsoon season in Arizona. Nevermore’s short set was brutal regardless. The set continued with Fault of the Flesh, and then the new one from This Godless Endeavor (which was released July 26th) titled The Final Product. Do yourself a favor and check out a few tunes here. from This Godless Endeavor. This is just a taste of what was unleashed on the Phoenix crowd. Finishing off the performance was River Dragon and Enemies of Reality. By the end of their performance, the crowd had grown in number and was definitely in to the performance.

Nevermore is: Warrel Dane – vocals, Jeff Loomis – guitars, the recently added Steve Smyth – guitars, Jim Sheppard – bass and Van Williams – drums.

It seemed that before you had an opportunity to recover from Nevermore, Los Angeles’ Fear Factory hit the stage. The crowd responded enthusiastically. Their set list included Replica, Transgression, Demanufacture, Cyberwaste, Acres of Skin, Shock, Martyr, Archetype and the closer Edgecrusher.

Fear Factory is: Burton Bell – vocals, Raymond Herrera – drums, Christian Wolbers – guitar, and Byron Stroud – bass.

Being Mustaine’s baby, he should feel proud of this accomplishment. The pure metal on this maiden tour of Gigantour asks the profound question – “Metalli-WHO?”. Its really a shame that talented bands like Nevermore and Fear Factory are being overlooked nowadays while bands like Metallica are getting all the attention regardless of what they put out. Now before you fire up the keyboards, listen to St. Anger again. Whether you want to admit it or not, you know what I am talking about.

The frenzied crowd finally got to take a breath as the Arizona monsoon caused Dream Theater’s set to be delayed. Ultimately, they needed to cut two songs from their list. The storm first made its presence known by causing a power outage towards the end of Fear Factory’s set. The electrical problems continued in to Dream Theater’s time slot. Personally, I don’t think writers should get on a soapbox in their reviews, but for a brief moment I have to. A large section of the audience felt the need to chant “Bullshit! Bullshit! Bullshit!” at the longer than normal set change between Fear Factory and Dream Theater. If you dumb asses would have bothered to look around, you would have seen the lightning that was in the Arizona night sky. Anyone in Arizona knows how much rain can be dumped in a mere matter of minutes during one of these storms. Watching the nightly news will show you just how many fires are started because of lightning strikes in just one storm. You think the band should chance electrocution to keep your pathetic asses happy? Get a clue. The bands want to have as much fun as you’re having, but they are not going to risk safety to achieve it.

That being said, Dream Theater took the stage with The Root of All Evil. They followed that up with Honor Thy Father, Under A Glass Moon, Fatal Tragedy, Panic Attack, Just Let Me Breathe, Lie, As I Am and finishing off the vibrant performance with the still popular Pull Me Under/Metropolis medley. The crowd ate up every minute of it.

Dream Theater is: James LaBrie – vocals, John Myung – bass, John Petrucci – guitars, Mike Portnoy – drums, and Jordan Rudess – keyboards

With the triumphant return of Megadeth with The System Has Failed and now Gigantour, Mustaine should feel freed from his demons. He has proven he is still a vital influence in the metal world. Metallica can’t even lay claim to that, they can only live off of – and ultimately continue to cheapen – their legacy. Mustaine has finally surpassed his old bandmates.

With fire and explosions Megadeth commanded the stage. With a fury they launched in to Blackmail the Universe. With the last two years of success for Megadeth, the appropriately titled Set the World Afire was next, followed by Skin O’My Teeth, In My Darkest Hour, Wake Up Dead, Die Dead Enough, She Wolf, Angry Again, Hangar 18, Trust, Sweating Bullets, Tornado of Souls, Kick the Chair, Symphony of Destruction, The Scorpion, Peace Sells and Holy Wars/Punishment Due. Definitely a jammed packed setlist that any Megadeth fan would appreciate. However, if they had to drop/replace one song, it would have to be Trust. The setlist seemed to have lost a little momentum here, but it was quickly regained.

While no longer a valley resident, Phoenix once again showed Dave Mustaine that Megadeth with always be welcomed home with open arms.

Megadeth is: Dave Mustaine – vocals, guitars; Glen Drover – guitars; James MacDonough – bass; and Shawn Drover – drums.


Band Photos:
ALL Photos 2005 David Svendsen

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