Megadeth and Lamb of God Brought the Heat to a Molten Metal Show Sunday in Saint Louis

Dave Mustaine of Megadeth performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

 

–by Sean Derrick

 

After a postponement for over a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic veteran metal stalwarts Megadeth and Lamb of God finally are completing a co-headlining tour titled “The Metal Tour of the Year”. If the show at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis is any indication it is a title that has lived up to its billing.

The supporting acts for the tour were originally scheduled to be Trivium and In Flames. However, In Flames had to bow out before the tour began and in stepped Hatebreed to fill in the gap.

Matt Heafy of Trivium performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Hatebreed kicked off the show with a 35 minute set including their spot-on Slayer cover “Ghosts of War” and, of course, “Destroy Everything”.

Trivium held the next supporting slot and came through with an energetic 40 minute set. After a revolving door of drummers it seems the band (vocalist/guitarist Matt Heafy, guitarist Corey Beaulieu, and bassist Paolo Gregoletto) has made the right choice in Alex Bent who has fit in nicely on the last three albums, including the upcoming In the Court of the Dragon which drops October 8.

Corey Beaulieu of Trivium performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

 

While Hatebreed and Trivium did their jobs ramping up the fans for the headliners Lamb of God completely took it to the next level. With a new album, 2020’s self titled Lamb of God, released after the shutdown last year the band hasn’t been able to tour in support yet, and the anticipation to get back on tour showed.

Lamb of God performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Vocalist Randy Blythe was in top form hitting every corner of the stage and then some, while adding to his frequent flyer miles jumping off the drum riser, and growling through songs like “Walk With Me Through Hell” with intense 20 foot flames burst from multiple points of the stage.

Lamb of God performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

The rest of the band (bassist John Campbell, guitarists Mark Morton and Willie Adler, and drummer Art Cruz) were tight, providing the concussive complex arrangement the Lamb of God is known for. The set was short (only about 65 minutes) but when bands co-headline with multiple openers that is largely the outcome to satisfy the curfew requirements of most major cities.

John Campbell of Lamb of God performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Megadeth, too, had a short set, only about 60 minutes, and cut down their set list from twelve songs earlier on the tour to ten songs Sunday night. This has followed a trend of the last five shows where the setlist has been reduced from the peak of 12 songs earlier in the tour. One could assume the toll vocalist/guitarist Dave Mustaine has placed on his voice after recovering from throat cancer. With Sunday’s show it was hard not to think that was the case.

Dave Mustaine of Megadeth performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Mustaine’s voice was very low, gone are the guttural wails and belting during songs like “Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying?” (that could be why songs like “Take No Prisoners” was taken off the setlist).

Megadeth performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Regardless, I’ll give a pass to Mustaine due to his battle with throat cancer, and what he lacks in vocal range he makes up for in heart. The rest of Megadeth (bassist James LoMenzo, guitarist Kiko Loueiro, and drummer Dirk Verbeuren) were spot-on.

Kiko Loureiro of Megadeth performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

The usual Megadeh theatrics were in play, as well, including an appearance from not one, but two Vic Rattlehead’s (Megadeth’s mascot). During “Conquer or Die” a regular sized Vic came out with a gadget like he was trying to take scientific measurements but soon turned towards the speakers adorning the drum riser. With a flick of a switch Vic “opened” the speakers and out walked a larger, more menacing Vic parading around on stage to the delight of the fans.

James LoMenzo of Megadeth performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

But just like that Vic was gone too soon, much in the same way Megadeth’s set was, as well.

The tour ends tonight in Minneapolis. If you missed it, well, that is all on you.

Check out the rest of the photos after the setlists below.

 

Lamb of God Setlist:

Memento Mori

Ruin

Walk With Me in Hell

Resurrection Man

Now You’ve Got Something to Die For

Set to Fail

New Colossal Hate

512

Vigil

Contractor

Laid to Rest

Redneck

 

Megadeth Setlist:

Hanger 18

The Threat is Real

Sweating Bullets

She-Wolf

Trust

Conquer or Die!

Dystopia

Symphony of Destruction

Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying?

Holy Wars…The Punishment Due

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