29 March 2015 at The Gov
I have been to many concerts and have seen Megadeth play live but tonight's tour is something really special for me. Listening to the life stories of bassist and co-founder of Megadeth speak about his addictions, recovery and how he and Dave Mustaine went on to have a career and ultimately do what many teens who play music in their bedrooms only dream of. Play on stage in front of thousands of fans repeating lyrics of a song that you wrote on a pizza box while your tour bus is heading to the next gig.
29th of March is the date. The Gov in Adelaide is the location and I'm in the line for my first meet and greet with David Ellefson. I'm not sure how this will all work out but I'm here with about 20 others in the VIP line. We get the call, Dave is ready to meet us. The line is moving fast, we all get 3 items signed and have a photo taken with him. It was faster than I would have expected and would have liked the opportunity to speak with him on a one on one level, but since this is a spoken word gig, I was going to be able to listen and ask questions later.
On the stage is a drum kit that is set up. The band is ALKIRA. These dudes know how to thrash out as well. I discovered when speaking to them all in the front bar just prior to the meet and greet that they are full of nervous excitement. Playing in front of Dave Ellefson is a huge honour for them, and making it even more special is the fact that they were handpicked by Dave himself.
ALKIRA are unrelenting in their performance playing to the seated crowd of only about 70 odd people in the venue, which to me was pretty small seeing as this is a special evening not to be repeated again. I was sitting as well but when the guys started playing I felt the energy and couldn't sit and just watch. I had to get up and head bang! It's in my nature. It's who I am. I'm feeling more than a little self conscious because I am the only one to do this, but I promised the guys I would and really, it's all about the metal. I may be the only one up the front but people know why I'm doing it. Well hopefully they do… I like to support local heavy music in Adelaide. Also ALKIRA are a tight-knit group smashing out bludgeoning riff after riff. Greg is ripping out killer vocals and shredding on guitar, Kyle is matching him on rhythm guitar and playing hard, blood sweat and beers, especially blood. He manages to cut his fingers just about every time he plays. Ryan is brutal behind his drums pounding like there is no tomorrow and Sean, the bands bassist, is on fire too. With Dave standing just off stage it must have been daunting having him watch. ALKIRA decimate the crowd with tunes from their album Juggernaut. It has been a brilliant start to a memorable night.
The MC come on stage to introduce the man who doesn't needs an introduction to this audience. He starts by playing a clip from Megadeth's documentary DVD, Behind the Music. I love this DVD and could almost recite it word for word. It ends and out Dave walks to grateful applause.
Initially reading paragraphs from his book entitled My Life with Deth, Dave puts it down and starts speaking in detail about being on heroin about to play Monster of Rock with a dream line up of bands then announcing to the world that he is a junkie. Well, if you're reading this you already know the stories. He is brutally honest and forthcoming leaving nothing out. Dave has two basses on stage and jams on classic Megadeth tunes for us, starting off with 5 magics from Rust in Peace, followed by Lucretia and the intro to Peace Sells.
After about what seems to be 10 minutes but really over an hour and a half has passed, it comes to the Q&A section of the night. I'm lucky to have been noticed rocking out to ALKIRA (wasn't difficult) but I'm given the honour of asking the first question.
My question tonight was: "If you could go back with all your knowledge and speak to yourself in 1985 as you're about to play, what advice would you give yourself?" He replied that he would be more patient with things, not rush into everything but take time to look around more.
After more questions are asked one dude simply asked Dave if he can play drums and jam with him to Sweating Bullets. Being the nice guy of metal, Dave tells him to head up on stage and have a crack. Definitely a highlight of this guy's life I reckon.
After playing to Holy Wars… the Punishments Due the night has come to an end. For me it was special evening. This was a lifelong dream come true being in the company of a true metal gentleman. I have heard the stories about him being a nice guy, helpful and insightful… it is all true.
Reviewer: Adrian ‘Dren’ Barham
Photocredits: Adrian ‘Dren’ Barham