Friday Night: Megadeth At Verizon Wireless Theater
Check out our slideshow of the Gigatour.
No, Motorhead didn't play in Houston Friday night at Verizon Wireless Theater, but the rest of the 2012 Gigantour bill of Megadeth, Volbeat and Lacuna Coil made it to the Bayou City. Lemmy Kilmister and his gang had circled back to Los Angeles for Kilmister to get some much-needed rest and recuperation after battling throat issues for the past two weeks.
But that doesn't mean the show was a wash was by any means. All three bands turned in great sets, despite the sad-eyed men and women in Motorhead tees lingering inside and outside the venue. There were plenty of toasts to Lemmy's health (Jack & Coke natch), as the night went on. Volbeat even managed to plunk in a cameo of "Ace of Spades" into one of their own songs.
First band Lacuna Coil began their set before most of the metalheads in the long line outside even got into the house. The Italian metal band, lead by the stunning Cristina Scabbia, got to enjoy a longer set than they had been able to on previous nights. All three bands got a chance to stretch their legs with the hole in the bill.
Volbeat were a big surprise of the night, a Danish punk/metal hybrid doing a great mash-up of Helmet and Social Distortion at turns. The bellow of lead singer Michael Poulsen was the most infectious thing of the evening, attaching a dashing air to their midnight-flesh-hunting-ready cuts. The hint of psychobilly in their stew was palpable to most everyone, though their roots are in the Danish death-metal scene.
Volbeat's Michael Poulsen
Metal geeks in the know were thrilled to see Mercyful Fate's Hank Shermann on guitar for Volbeat for this Gigantour jaunt, replacing former axeman Thomas Bredahl, though his clean-cut image probably didn't scream "I used to share the same stage with King Diamond".
Megadeth came into Houston with plenty of publicity behind them, though of the more coarse variety, with lead singer Dave Mustaine's Christian political values coming through louder than the band's music lately. Even their newest album, the quality Thirteen, seems to have been forgotten amidst stories of Mustaine's sometimes unpopular religious views.
Friday's set list merrily skipped around the band's nearly 30-year history, opening with "Trust" from 1997's mostly ignored fan favorite Cryptic Writings. Around song three, Rust In Peace's "Hangar 18," Mustaine was pelted with what looked like half of a cup of beer, leading to the band exiting the stage for a few minutes, with Mustaine returning to remind the crowd that beer ruins guitars. A minute or two went by and the band returned to the stage.
Mustaine also welcomed Scabbia back to the stage to join him on "A Tout Le Monde" from 1994's Youthanasia , giving the boys and girls one last glimpse of the metal maiden.