Written by Nathan Holt
Photo by Nathan Holt
It’s been a long wait for fans of the previous Gigantour, which back in 2008. Now, four years later, Megadeth gathered Motorhead, Volbeat and Lacuna Coil to help support the newest run of dates which made a stop at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Would the four bands be enough to satisfy the craving fans had for the long-awaited tour?
Before the show even started, Megadeth played a short but sweet five song acoustic set for a select few contest winners. For everyone who didn’t get a chance to check it out in person had the chance to watch it streamed live on the internet (and can be found online for those who missed it). The set included “Public Enemy No. 1,” “Angry Again,” “A Tout Le Monde” which featured Lacuna Coil’s Cristina Scabbia, “Symphony of Destruction” and “Use the Man.” As the set came to a close, the doors of the venue officially opened for the rush of people to see the first band up, Lacuna Coil.
The Italian rock band Lacuna Coil isn’t a stranger to Gigantour since it’s their second run with the tour, their first being back in 2007. The band took the stage, giving horns to the crowd, to eerie background music and dark purple lighting. Kicking off the set with the song “Our Truth,” lead singers Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro got the crowd going: “Alright my friends at Aubrun Hills, make some noise!” This led into “Upsidedown” followed by “Fragile” and some songs off their newest album Dark Adrenaline: “Kill the Light” and “Trip the Darkness.” The band sounded pretty good with a good attempt at getting the crowd in the mood for what else was to come with the final song “Spellbound.”
The Danish rockers Volbeat were up next, raising the bar for energy. The band began their hit “A Warrior’s Call” in darkness until lead singer and guitarist Michael Poulsen yelled out the kickoff line “Let’s get ready to rumble!” With that, lights began flashing on and off to the beat. After recently loosing lead guitarist Thomas Bredahl before the tour began, guitarist Hank Shermann of the band Merciful Fate is currently filling in for the role. He definitely fits the part, rocking out with the other members on stage, not to mention playing the part seamlessly. The band itself sounds excellent live, better than on the album mostly because of the tremendous amount of energy that radiates from their stage performance.
Building off of the crowd’s chants, they followed up with “Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood,” “The Human Instrument” and a song dedicated to Johnny Cash “Sad Man’s Tongue.” At one point Michael noticed a girl in the front that wanted a Volbeat t-shirt. After asking her boyfriend to buy her one, the guy apparently didn’t have enough money for one. Michael then pulled out some of his own money to give to the couple for the t-shirt. After “Hallelujah Goat” and ” Who They Are,” “Fallen” dedicated to Michael’s father. Wrapping up their set with “The Mirror and the Ripper,” “Pool of Booze, Booze, Booza” and “Still Counting,” Volbeat gave a final farewell to the crowd with a short snippet of Slayer’s “Raining Blood.”
Motorhead is a perfect example of a rock and roll band, just ask lead singer and bassist Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister. The legendary rock band took the stage while spotlights roamed to the sound of an alarm siren. Beginning with “Bomber” and “Damage Case,” Lemmy raised the sound levels, asking the crowd “if you want us to play louder, put both of your arms in the air! This is Detroit! Now I know where we are!” A forest of arms sprang up as “I Know How to Die” began followed by “Stay Clean,” “Over the Top,” “The Chase is Better than the Catch,” “The One to Sing the Blues” that had a long extended drum solo by drummer Mikkey Dee,”Going to Brazil,” “Killed by Death” and “Ace of Spades.” The band brought out the classic rockers of all ages in the crowd. While the lighting was dark and they were the only band that didn’t use the bright LED strips on the front of the stage, it seemed to make the audience focus on the band’s sound (including Lemmy’s trademark voice). With guitarist Phil Campbell strumming away, the trio wrapped up the set with “Overkill” and one final goodbye from Lemmy: ” You’ve been a great audience like Detroit always is, thank you. We’ll play here anytime. We’re Motorhead and we play rock and roll!”
The classic heavy metal band Megadeth took the stage for the second time of the evening (the first being for their acoustic performance) behind a black curtain that was soon illuminated with bright and sometime strange combinations of neon lighting. First up was “Trust” followed by “Wake Up Dead.” Front man Dave Mustaine then had a question for the crowd: “You guys having fun so far? We couldn’t wait to come out and play for you! This next song is off of Rust in Peace and is about little green men.” “Hanger 18” was up next with “She-Wolf,” “Foreclosure of a Dream” and the bass heavy “Dawn Patrol” played by longtime member David Ellefson.
As soon as the song ended, Dave Mustaine walked the front of the stage egging the crowd to cheer even louder. It work as well as he hoped. All he could say is “…and people wonder why we love Detroit so much.” The night continued with a mix of older and newer songs the band jammed to, with Dave introducing and sometimes giving a bit of backstory before most songs. After “Headcrusher,” Lacuna Coil’s Christina Scabbia came out on stage to sing along to “A Tout Le Monde.”
After three songs off their newest album TH1RT3EN (“Public Enemy No. 1,” “Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)” and “Guns, Drugs & Money”), the band played the popular “Symphony of Destruction” and “Peace Sells.” With the bright lights fading, the band walked off and then reappeared for an encore of “Holy Wars…The Punishment Due.” With the venue packed and fans going off the wall until the last note, there’s only two questions on people’s minds: When will the next Gigantour be and who will be on it?