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Road Reports

Who: Megadeth, Testament, Exodus
Where: Norfolk, VA
When: 03.19.10

As soon as I heard about the Megadeth "Rust In Peace Anniversary" tour I immediately purchased tickets and signed my buddies up. Not only would Megadeth play the entire "Rust In Peace" album from opening lick to closing riff but also "select" choices for the night. If that wasn't the greatest news since the $5 foot long, Testament announced they were playing their entire "The Legacy" album as well as an opening set of Exodus. Wham..bam...let's hit the road!!

I must say that the five hour car ride from southwestern Virginia to Norfolk (east coast of VA) was rather excruciating. The traffic was just absolutely insane and at a gridlock at the Hampton tunnel. Highlights on the long ride was jamming the new Unleashed, Outshine, Guillotine and Motorjesus EP as well as eating at the mother of all taco shops, Chipotle.

Due to traffic we got to the Norva rather late into the Exodus set. The band sounded tight and vocalist Rob Dukes was very energetic and commanding on stage. Dukes gave it the old college try in motivating the masses to mosh it up but the crowd was still shopping for tees and beer. I enjoyed the band tearing through "War Is My Shepherd" (dedicated to the troops), "Strike Of The Beast" and oldie "Brain Dead". The band sounded studio perfect with Holt and Altus seemingly entertained throughout by the audience and Dukes' stage antics. The band also mentioned their new album this summer and asked that anyone looking to download it for free get punched. Lights out.

Testament hit the stage next and had quite possibly the greatest backdrop of all time; Skulls and graves! The band came out with a blistering run of "The Legacy" with Chuck Billy in trademark pose playing air guitar with the mic stand. Interesting to see Glen Drover fill in for Alex on second guitar. Drover nailed the leads and really showed off with Peterson on the twin melodic portions. Loved the band's tight performance on "Over The Wall", "Raging Waters" and my personal favorite "The Legacy" track "Do Or Die". I think Chuck Billy used some voice-box effects for the clean parts of "Alone In The Dark". Let's face it, Billy can't sing like that anymore so the added assistance was certainly not frowned upon. The band nailed a couple of surprises in the set before last song "Apocalyptic City". The group threw in "Into The Pit" to please the crowd and created instant fan craziness with the smashing "Souls Of Black". Amazing set from an amazing band and I was impressed.

Megadeth had a tough act to follow and in reality actually came a bit short in my opinion. The band started with the surprise cut "Skin Of My Teeth" followed by "She-Wolf" and "In My Darkest Hour". The crowd was a bit puzzled honestly because most just felt the band would start with the "Rust In Peace" selections first. After the third song and much difficulty with the mic Mustaine finally said "This is what we are here for" and started that famed opening chop for "Holy Wars". The group burned through the first half of the album and I noticed that Mustaine was having problems with his vocals and microphone. Also it looked like he was consistently going to the back hallway to blow his nose...allergies can be a beast in Virginia during Spring. Ellefson mentioned something to the crowd and starting playing the opening bass lines to "Lucretia". Overall the band NAILED the "Rust In Peace" album live and Chris Broderick is a madman on stage with great lead work and played off of Mustaine really well on stage. Dave came back out and thanked the crowd and the act hit "Peace Sells", "Trust", "Headcrusher" and "Symphony Of Destruction" (possibly in that order) before closing with the last riffs of "Holy Wars".

I was impressed with the show and surprisingly felt Testament was probably the best of the night. What a great event and probably the only time we'll see "The Legacy" and "Rust In Peace" played in that fashion. It was truly a memorable and historic evening!



--EC



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