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.
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...
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.
LAMB OF GOD
"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.