Gigantour @ Nassau Coliseum: 09-28-06

Wearing the "Metal Guy Uniform" of baggy cargo pants and my Decibel Magazine t-shirt (free with subscription!), I made my way to the Nassau Coliseum, home of the New York Islanders, to see roughly 1000 acne-ridden kids, fat guys who hadn't bathed in weeks, men wearing women's jeans, and other assorted oddballs thrash and headbang through the 8 bands playing at this year's Gigantour Festival, headlined by Megadeth.

The premise was actually pretty cool. All the bands were hand-picked for their guitar proficiency, and all the bands were readily available for free (believe it or not) autographs and pictures either before or after their set. The festival was also specifically designed to allow all types of people to attend. Want to mosh? No problem - there were HUGE pits going on (especially during Overkill and Lamb of God). Want to just chill and bang your head? No problem. There were plenty of people there to ensure those of us who just got out of surgery were perfectly protected where we were without being relegated to a spot 10000 feet away from the stage. Want to take pictures? It was actually encouraged, and no one there threw bottles or screamed at those of us snapping pics in between head banging.

Best part? The stages were on opposite ends of the arena. With the number of bands playing (everything started promptly at 4:30 PM), basically you had one band on stage A, and as soon as they were over, you had this mad dash of kids running towards Stage B in order to get to the front for the next band, who played immediately after. You had to be there. Words just don't do justice to the hilarity.

Anyway, on to the pics/reviews:


I missed the first band, The Smashups, but got there in time to see retro-thrash band Sanctity midway through their 5-song set. No records out yet, but they have one due in early 1997. Pretty decent - they have a strong early Metallica vibe, and their lead guitarist looks like Jack Black. You can click here for a link to their Myspace page, which has a demo and video of this song, "Zeppo."


Fat man with guitar - Hells yeah! This was the reason I got here so early! I missed Into Eternity the last time they were here touring with Opeth - this time I made it to see Tim Roth (fat guy - not the actor) kill on guitar. They only played 4 songs, but completely killed. And since it was early I got to beat the little kids running to the stage to be up front.

Their set closer, "Beginning of the End." Yeah, they're playing in front of Overkill's backdrop.


For such a high-profile band, Arch Enemy were pretty unexciting in my opinion. It may have been because it was still early (although I did hear a lot of kids exclaiming, "C'mon! We can't miss Arch!"), but the show was pretty standard. The only exciting piece was...

...Lead singer Angela Gassow, who is smokin' hot! Yeah, my camera phone kinda sucks, but it may have been because I was shaking with the joy of watching her scream so loud she almost burst her shirt. Hubba hubba!


Holy crap! Is that Overkill? They're still around? And still alive? And that f@ckin' good? This is unbelievable. I remember listening to Overkill almost 20 years ago when Under the Influence came out - it is insane that they sound this good and control the crowd this well after so long. So far the best band here.


Is the 3rd time the charm? Not quite, but that's only because, despite being 3rd billed and getting an hour to play, the length of the songs means they only play four, but all four are great, and once again Mikael Akerfeldt is hysterical; the calm, dry, English-by-way-of-Sweden humor was as good as ever.

Closing with "Deliverance." As receptive as the crowd was, Opeth are a much different band energy-wise than Overkill or the next band, which proved to be the best of the evening.


"Walk With Me in Hell." I think I just crapped myself. Lamb of God was by FAR the best band here. The band completely ripped each song, people everywhere were screaming, thrashing, body-surfing and moshing. Complete chaos. I actually pulled a muscle in my neck/upper back head-banging to this.

"Let's get crazy Strong Island!" Yup, he said that. Yup, we got crazy. Did I mention they also had the best light show of the evening? Even better than Megadeth. This is "Redneck" off the the new album Sacrament, which so far is my favorite metal release of 2006.


Metal vets Megadeth unfortunately got the award for "Most Boring Band of the Evening." Maybe it was a mistake to go on after the devastation that was Lamb of God, but there was simply no way Dave Mustaine and co. could possibly have upped the wattage. I stayed for about 5 songs, leaving after an admittedly sweet "Wake Up Dead."

Sweet show, and besides the disappointment of Megadeth, well worth the $40 bucks I paid. Certainly much better than the $100 for the crap at Ozzfest.