Megadeth, Machine Head, Suicide Silence, Arcanium

Wednesday, December 2, at the Palladium Ballroom

One of the most tragicomic moments in the 2004 Metallica documentary, Some Kind of Monster, features not the band but rather Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine. In a touchy-feely on-camera counseling session, Mustaine reveals some major inferiority issues with Metallica's drummer, Lars Ulrich. He even seems to come uncomfortably close to tears as he recalls how fans in the '80s would yell "Metallica!" at him on the streets.

It seems only more stinging, then, that just a couple of months after Metallica's super-triumphant show at the packed American Airlines Center, Megadeth rolls into town to perform at the significantly smaller Palladium Ballroom. Playing such a venue appears to be a calculated move for this national outing, supporting the band's 12th studio album, Endgame. The rest of the dates bring the band to similarly intimate spots. Well, it's better to have concertgoers clamoring to get into a packed club than to worry about the echo of empty seats in a cavernous arena.

Megadeth should still draw plenty of people, though. Despite all the insults Metallica's fanboys lob at Mustaine and his glorious mane, he remains one of the best guitarists in metal, and perhaps overall. Rivalries aside, Megadeth was indeed among the innovators of thrash, and Mustaine's distinctive playing style remains much imitated but never duplicated.

 
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