Photos and Review by Chris Besaw
It’s a warm evening in the picturesque city of Rochester NY, but the weather outside doesn’t even compare to the heat that one of the biggest metal shows currently on tour is giving off inside of the Blue Cross Arena. The Metal Tour of the Year 2022 featuring some of metal’s biggest titans, Megadeth, Lamb of God, Trivium and In Flames drew legions of dedicated metal fans young and old to witness this massive show!
Kicking thing off for the evening was the energetic In Flames. It has been a while since I have seen them, and I was curious as to how their sound would translate to the bigger venue. I was not disappointed! With lead vocalist Anders Friden at the helm backed up by Bjorn Gelotte (lead guitar), Niclas Engelin (rhythm guitar), Bryce Paul (bass) and Tanner Wayne (drums) the Swedish metal marauders played a great thirty-minute set. Song highlights for me were “Behind Space “and “Take This Life.”
Coming up next was the Orlando heavy metal four-piece Trivium! From the moment Matt Heafy hit the stage, he did a great job of letting the excited crowd know exactly what they were in for. The entire band is made up of very talented and precise musicians as well! It would be hard to argue against Alex Bent’s incredible and non-faltering drumming skills along with Paolo Francesco (bass) and Corey Beuulieu (guitar). They provided a nice soundtrack to bang your head and raise your fists and yell to! Songs that stood out to me were, the fiery and rampaging “In the Court of the Dragon” and “Feast of Fire.”
The stage is draped in a cloth as a very familiar logo is projected on it, it’s hard to contain my excitement because at any moment Lamb of God was about to take the stage! The intro slowly fades and then BOOM, the cloth drops and Randy Blythe and company kick things into high gear leading off with “Momento Mori.” I am no stranger to seeing Lamb of God in concert and I still attest that there’s a reason why they are so well respected among metal fans. From the moment the curtain dropped to the final reverbing guitar note, Randy Blythe was in constant motion, belting out song after song to the masses. The crowd was fully immersed in the action as well, with raging mosh pits, crowd surfing and singing along. I’m still in awe of the size of the mosh pit that took over the arena floor. Randy Blythe and fellow band mates John Campbell (bass), Mark Morton (lead guitar), Willie Adler (rhythm guitar) and Art Cruz (drums) played a very eclectic mix of songs from their career including “Ghost Walking,” “Ruin,” and “Redneck” to name a few. If you have not seen them live, I strongly encourage you to do so. Their live show is killer.
After the sonic assault, my ears were still ringing and it was time for the evening’s headliner, Megadeth! Heralded as one of the “Big 4,” Megadeth’s performance was nothing short of a metal masterpiece both visually and musically! With nearly four decades of performing, touring and recording music behind them, there is no question as to why they are so successful.
Right out the gate, Dave Mustaine and company went into the lyrically terrifying “Hangar 18” and you could tell the band was not messing around this evening. After several songs Dave Mustaine took a moment to be honest with the fans in attendance stating, “I know that for a lot of you money may be a little tight and things are a little tough these days but thank you sincerely for coming out tonight to spend it with Megadeth and the rest of the bands.” It was really great to see Dave express such sincerity to all the fans in attendance, and you can tell he is very thankful for the band’s loyal fans. Some of my favorite moments from the night was seeing the return of their mascot, Vic Rattlehead, creeping out onto the stage to terrorize fans during “Conquer or Die.” I also was happy to hear them play some of my favorite Megadeth songs, “Angry Again,” Peace Sells,” and “Holy Wars…The Punishment Due.”
This is one of those tours that has a name that matches the energy and lives up to its name. If you have the chance, make sure you check out this tour because it’s the very embodiment of metal music. If you missed the Rochester show, you can always catch Megadeth again with Five Finger Death Punch in Syracuse in September.