Nottingham Rock City

July 8 1997

Well, if there was a support band, as there should've been, then they were on bloody early and for a short time. Doors supposedly open at 7.30, I was there by 8 and nothing. Which given ticket price etc, is not on. I've seen a few bands do this, Ministry, Queensryche, Metallica. If it says in advance, fair enough, but it's a bit of a rip off otherwise.

Mind you, it was hot. Let's get that clear from the off. Rock City isn't noted for it's refreshing odour and interior. And on a hot day in summer, when they cram people in, it gets stupidly hot. Air conditioning - wasatthen. And then you have to stand around for about an hour waiting for the band to come on. You driving, so you can't drink, which is what conditions in the place tell you to do, and if you did, it's expensive and watered down. Point to all this, well, a support band would be nice. Ticket price + conditions + crap beer + no support band = not a good start.

So it had better be worth it right! And was it? Mmmmmm. Yes and no. My history and Megadeth. Peace Sells ... - great. So Far ... - great. Everything else, I can take it or leave it, and usually have left it. So you know where I'm coming from in terms of songs I want to hear.

Holy Wars starts things, which admittedly has a great riff. So it should be a nice start. But, and here's the but. There seems to be no energy on stage. Ok, I know that the other times I've seen them, and it's only been on the more recent tours, they didn't really come to places I lived on the early tours, they've not moved much and shown much energy, but it really seemed to show up this time. Mustaine was to later point out that heavy metal isn't dead, and all those forsaking it now should basically be told to fuck off when they try to return. Fair enough in some respects, though I think he's missing things which I'll waffle on about later. But the newer bands are doing stuff with a lot more energy. Those riffs are made for energy. When you listen to the albums, the first time you listened to a decent speed, thrash, whatever riff, the image is energy. There's intensity. But it was all missing. That's where they have become the old school. I compare now with a lot of hardcore bands, who essentially seem to have a similar kind of energy, and basically Megadeth would be blown away. It seeps through to the crowd as well.

Sure, the response is there in that everyone claps and whoops it up. But there's no energy. That I admit could be due to the conditions in the place I mentioned earlier, but I don't think it's entirely down to that.

Anyway, you want more of the songs. So, given that I really don't know a lot of the new stuff well, there was, Hangar 18, Darkest Hour, Symphony of Destruction, couple from motion picture soundtracks which I guess means Go to Hell and / or 99 Ways to Die. The first track off the last album, (I think), the French lyrics one, A Toute Le Monde I believe. They played a few new songs. Way too pleasantly introduced we'd like to play some music off our new album. I heard someone near me say 'is it Oasis'. Well, obviously not, but in a way yeah. It jarred with the old stuff. Pretty much like I'd guess Metallica's new stuff did on the Load tour (I didn't bother to see that one). The new stuff was just there, plain old hard rock, or heavy metal. Call it what you will. But it's not inspired me to want to go and get the new album.

Predictably enough, Darkest Hour was the best of that lot, though I must admit a liking to Hangar 18. The crowd seemed up for it, wild applause. But it just all seemed lacking in a real atmosphere to me. I can't quite put my finger on what it is.

Mustaine had a little rant about being told that there's no point coming to the UK cos heavy metal is dead there. Sentiments are ok, but here's the rub. He's basically saying what a lot think, that people are into dance now, and bands are denying their heritage. I agree on some levels. But, didn't Megadeth deny being a thrash band years ago. And weren't they really a punk band at some stage. See, Mustaine's done it himself. Times have changed. Metal still exists, but certain elelments have changed. It's why I like a lot of hardcore and the new metal it has elements of many things. And didn't Megadeth do remixes of Symphony of Destruction a few years ago, industrial style remixes. Maybe ahead of their time, but they did it. And seeing them so static on stage, but with bobbing heads, did make it look a little silly. That's not that they are silly, but things are changing, we're moving ahead. And no, I'm not anti metal. I've probably been listening to it for about 18 years, and to look at I am typical heavy metal - t-shirts and jeans. None of the combat shit, or grunge style, or newfound gothness, or shell suits. I am heavy metal as far as people who don't know me, or initially meet me are concerned. But that's their pre-conceived notions on image. My musical tastes and listening are much wider than all that. Which I think is good. So I agree with what he's saying in some instances, but not all of it.

I made a fuss of that cos he did, leading as it did into a new song called Fight for Freedom, which was probably the best of the new stuff on offer. Encores were Peace Sells, still a great song after all these years, and the singalong version of Anarchy in the UK. Still think he's missing the point on this. I did when I saw them a few years ago doing it in Leeds. The whole thing wasn't about people singing alone. It the opposite. Anyway, that was the gig, save for a final rant about bands and magazines who've abandoned metal. Like I said, nice sentiments, put coming directly after finishing the gig with a punk cover? Hmmm.

Not the greatest gig by a long shot. I mean, he didn't really even say anything controversial, but still got me on about shit, so maybe that's something good. But ultimately, Rock City have to sort it out, otherwise the Rock will become an Island, surrounded by liquid - everyones sweat. And that wouldn't be nice at all