Call of the Mosh Pit
Kaleidoscopic lights, bright flapping banners, multiple stages —the Bacardi NH7 Weekender ground in Greater Noida was dressed like a major music festival should be. On Sunday, despite the call of the other stages, most of the crowd firmly made its way to the Bacardi Black Rock Arena, the venue for Megadeth's performance.
Whether midriff-baring or beer belly-concealing, black T-shirts dominated the crowd's fashion sensibilities, with a majority of these bearing the legend 'Megadeth'. There were also a large number of girls, belying the belief that the genre's fan base is the aggressive male. As the sun sank, the archipelago of people became a continent, with a common chant of "MEGADETH". The band, old hands at showmanship, tweaked the crowd's volume like virtuosos, coming out singly, testing equipment, running sound checks and teasing the audience. A video of all of them psyching themselves up in the green room elevated energy levels to a fever pitch.
Finally, at 8.30 pm, the band strode onto the stage and without even a "Namaste" threw themselves into their first song, Trust, from the album Cryptic Writings. Lead vocalist and guitarist Dave Mustaine, bassist Dave Ellefson, drummer Shawn Drover and guitarist Chris Broderick, the team that makes up Megadeth, owned the stage from the first chord. They played a slew of songs from their latest album,Thirteen, which included tracks such as We The People, 13 and Public Enemy No 1. It was only then that Mustaine stopped shredding the guitar long enough to welcome the crowd. He announced that, since 2012 was the 20th anniversary of the band's most successful album Countdown to Existence, they would play every song from it that night. They did just that and the people ate it up.
The music was immaculate — Mustaine and Broderick's chords were razor sharp as they plucked complex melodies, and Ellefson's heavy thrumming bass provided some solid backing notes. Drover's drumming was fluid yet controlled as he switched from staccato drum beats to liberally splashing on the snares. The sound quality, however, tended to drown out Mustaine's vocals at times, a disappointment since Megadeth is (in)famous for its lyrics. A giant video screen behind the band showing montages of war scenes, economic and religious leaders and symbols from around the world, ensured that the audience knew the reference points of the songs.
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