Photos and review: Megadeth at the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver - Reverb

Live review: Megadeth @ the Fillmore Auditorium

“Welcome to 3/4 of Gigantour” snickered Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine about halfway through his band’s headlining set at the Fillmore last night. He was referring to the cancellation of veteran rockers Motorhead (also scheduled on the bill) due to Rock God Lemmy succumbing to illness.

This is the second no show from Motorhead in recent years. One has to wonder: does Lemmy have something against the Mile High City or is the seemingly indestructible living legend just getting to old to growl in the thin air? Regardless, it was a HUGE disappointment to long-time fans who specifically went to the show to see Motorhead, including this reviewer.

As Megadeth was the headlining act, no refunds would be offered to any disgruntled ticketholders. So the sold out event went on as planned and in the end thoroughly satisfied the throng of metalheads packed throughout the auditorium.

An international set of openers included Italy’s Lacuna Coil performing a brief set of its sleekly, stylized, yet largely forgettable gothic metal. They were followed by Denmark’s Volbeat who presented its set of psychobilly meets Metallica-infused thrashy pop and offered a nod to the missing Motorhead by teasing the crowd with a bit of “Ace of Spades” before closing the set with another tease — an unfinished run-through of Slayer’s “Raining Blood.”

After an extended break, Megadeth started weakly with “Trust” and “Foreclosure of a Dream.” Fortunately, the band tightened up with a searing rendition of “Hangar 18″ from its lauded 1990 LP “Rust in Piece” and the crowd responded in kind with pumped fists, banged heads and at least two mosh pits.

From there, the band ran through a set of mid-to-late career-spanning hits that offered strong versions of “Sweating Bullets,” (which had fans snarling along to lines like “Hello me, it’s me again”) “Polaris,” and “Symphony of Destruction,” as well as a limp duet with Lacuna Coil’s Christina Scabbia: “A Tout Le Monde.” They also served up an impressive three-song run through cuts from its latest LP “Th1rt3en” highlighted by “Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)”

Regardless of what you think of Mustaine’s erratic beliefs (some of which have made headlines recently), you have to admit he does rock. This was awesomely apparent as he traded leads with shredding Denver-native Chris Broderick on tunes like “Ashes In Your Mouth.”

And, he does take care of his fans. In addition to giving away one of his guitars on stage to a radio contest winner, Mustaine got into it with a security guard who had been roughing up concertgoers at the front of the venue. He later dedicated a cover of Motorhead’s “No Class” to the roughneck employee and at the same time thanked the disappointed Motorhead devotees who stuck around.

The band closed out the evening of their extended set with two gems, the signature “Peace Sells” and and incendiary take on “Holy Wars … The Punishment Due.”

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Michael Behrenhausen is a Denver-based writer, musician and regular Reverb contributor. The worst crime he ever did was play some rock ‘n’ roll.

John Leyba is a Denver Post photojournalist and regular contributor to Reverb.

  • Tshlong

    The security guard was only doing his job. He wasn’t “roughing up” anyone, he was breaking up a fight and taking them out so no one else gets hurt. It may look like that way because when the guard was pulling him out that person was trying to punch the guard. Dave Mustaine thinks nothing happens in the “pit” at the front of the stage, but there are fights,pushing, elbowing and anything else someone wants to do to get to the front row or worse on stage. They take away the security at concerts like this and all hell will break loose.

    • Mbehrenhausen

      I’m in full agreement regarding the need for Security, and that it can get a bit hairy up at the front, especially if there’s a pit – no question there. It’s gotta be a tough, often thankless job.

      I was standing in the middle of the floor towards the soundboard, so didn’t have the vantage point you must have had to see what was occurring up front. And I have to admit, as it was happening I had the sneaking suspicion that part of Mustaine’s rant was just to amp up the crowd and get them more into the show.


    • Chris

      No, the security guard wasn’t just doing his job.  I had box seats right on top of the stage and saw the whole thing.  The kid got surfed up to the front and dumped into no man’s land.  That guard had been pretty rough with a few of the kids but started really muscling this kid around.   Dave was doing nothing more protecting the fans.

      I’ve been to many Megadeth shows in the last couple of decades.  First time I’ve seen Dave stop a show like that.  The suspicion of Mustaine wanting to amp up the crowd is pretty unfounded.

      • AG1

        That is funny considering “The Kid” You are refering to was a 39 year old man about 5’10” and 180 to 200 lbs. Trust me I had to deal with the jack wad after the incident. The patrons  immediately around the guy were damn glad he was gone when he got pulled out. I would suggest thinking about the safty and well being of 4,000 fans before admiring the actions of a ego driven Dave Mustain showing off his true immaturity in front of his fans.

  • Kmartini

    we were offered a refund at the door before we walked in.  the people working the door were very vocal that Motorhead had canceled and refunds were available at box office.

    • Mbehrenhausen

      Hi Kmartini,

      That’s good to hear and I hope any upset Motorhead fans who didn’t care to see the other bands were able to receive a refund. Before I entered the show I asked the woman at the ticket counter and she said there would be no refunds because technically Megadeth was the headlining act.

      I’d be interested to hear if any one else was offered a refund.


  • Sheila Carr

    love you guys