Copenhell - 2016

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Time for another one of Copenhell’s good friends – Megadeth.
They were first here back in 2010, the one year that Metalmoments sadly missed, and then they were supposed to be back in 2014, but sadly had to cancel due to unfortunate events.
Come 2016, the stars are finally aligned, and both band and reviewer is here at the same tame! So, was it worth the wait?

“How are you doing Copenhell, you alright tonight?”
- David Ellefson (bas)

As tradition would almost have it, we were looking at a partially new band as we looked upon Megadeth. The main core of Dave Mustaine and David Ellefson was still intact, but since last time Shawn Drover and Chris Broderick were now gone, and after going through a few live musicians, Megadeth had now settled on Kiko Loureiro (Angra) and Dirk Verbeuren (ex-Devin Townsend Project) as their new staff. The former on guitar, and the latter on drums, in case you wouldn’t happen to know these gentlemen.
The stage, in a similar way, had changed since our last meeting. The core item with the video-screen backdrop and video-screen stagedrops was still intact, but since last time, the build-up had expanded into a large industrial looking setup, which better incorporated the screens instead of having them stand alone. Just look at the pictures, and you’ll get the idea.

It’s not so much the stage you need worry about when it comes to Megadeth however. As I’ve mentioned before, the band can be quite uneven in its performances, and even though we’ve had a pretty good run lately, with half the band changed, we couldn’t be sure what to expect.
So let’s get this out there, straight off the bat. Megadeth was good. I mean, I was intrigued already when I saw the stage, and then the band comes on, after the Prince Of Darkness intro, and dives straight into Hangar 18. I know it was the same way they started out two years ago as well (we saw them at other festivals), but how can you not love that?
Well, you could not love it, if the band didn’t live up to it of course. Thankfully, it did. Already in the first song, we had guitar duels between Mustaine and Loureiro, a good energy coming from all of the members, and tight playing. This kept up through the entire set, and even though they have begun to look a little worn, they were all still in a good mood, and had the appropriate amount of energy and aggression when blasting out a setlist containing mostly old best of material. There was a little bit from the new album, Dystopia, as well of course, but as I said, mostly classics.

“Thank you for coming out tonight, also to you on the hill! Yeah, we see you!”
- Dave Mustaine (vocals/guitar)

There is a good reason for Megadeth to keep coming back to Copenhell, and that is a massive support from the crowd. Already before the band came on, the ground in front of the Helvíti stage was filled with people, and it didn’t take long after they went on stage, before the headbanging and raised horns went full throttle. And then of course, little by little, the crowd surfers began rolling in, until there was a good and steady flow of them going over the fence throughout the concert.
Of course, we got to sing along as well. At the beginning of Sweating Bullets, Mustaine led us into an “oh oh oh” chant, and through many of the songs, we didn’t even need an invite as we tried to drown out the band during the choruses.
The band had a little bit of extra tricks up its sleeves as well, just to give us a little extra to walk away with. Even though this first example can hardly be called a trick, it was still a nice touch by Mustaine to dedicate Tornado Of Souls to Nick Menza, who had sadly passed away only a month earlier.
The second example can on the other hand, most certainly be called a trick, or a gimmick if you will. I am of course talking about Rattlehead, the bands mascot, who visited the stage during Peace Sells. To standing ovations from the crowd.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!”
- Mustaine (vocals/guitar)

So, was it worth the wait?
It most certainly was! Fair enough, the band performance wasn’t the best I’ve seen, but it was good. Combine that with a great looking stage, and a killer setlist, and you have made the day of this reporter. I certainly don’t mind having Megadeth as a steady feature on the Copenhell line-up, and I know there are many who feel the same way.


Prince Of Darkness
Hangar 18
The Threat Is Real
Tornado Of Souls
Wake up Dead
In My Darkest Hour
Sweating Bullets
Fatal Illusion
Dawn Patrol
Poison Was The Cure
Poisonous Shadows
Symphony Of Destruction
Peace Sells
Holy Wars… The Punishment Due

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