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'Sweating Bullets' in Saskatoon

Walking up to the SaskTel Centre had to be the best feeling this past Thursday. A flock of people in all black & Megadeth t-shirts raced past me to the ticket lines just outside. “Let’s go shoot one of the big thrash four - Megadeth” I thought to myself.

Megadeth hit Saskatoon, SK on May 4th as a stop on their ‘Crush The World Tour’. First off - how sick of a tour name is that? CRUSH THE WORLD. Just from that tour name, you know it’s going to be a killer night. I walked into this show knowing the baseline information of the band itself - knowing a few killer songs, that Dave Mustaine is the frontman who formed the band and that the band as whole is known to have one of the tightest performances out there. This still somehow did not prepare me entirely as I was still blown out of the park.

Entering the pit I immediately noticed that drummer Dirk Verbeuren had double bass drums, one reading ‘MEGA’ and the other ‘DETH’. While aesthetically pleasing, I knew that there would be a large amount of double-kick. Being a large-scale thrash metal band - that checked out. Drum style takes such a profound effect on a band's music as a whole, so I knew this was to be a force to be reckoned with even before anyone hit the stage.

They opened up with ‘Hangar 18’ a song off of their 1990 album release - ‘Rust In Peace’. It had the crowd moving around from the very beginning. Though I couldn’t see past the first few rows of fans - I imagined a circle pit forming already. Something I really liked to see was that the band allowed nine lucky fans to stand in front of the crowd barricade for the first few songs. Being an avid concert go-er, I was so happy for them having that opportunity. Imagine seeing your favourite band IN FRONT of everyone else? Amazing.

I moved from band-member to band-member taking photos as the set went on, man do these fellas know how to act around a camera! Being a photographer you know you are going to get some members who want nothing to do with a camera, but sometimes you get lucky enough that everyone is eager - or is willing to entertain your wishes at the very least. Everyone gave me ample opportunity to capture a variety of styles of photographs and very cool ones at that.

I counted the song number in my head, noticing that it was my final song to photograph. Immediately recognizing “hello me, meet the real me” I knew it was my personal favourite song of the bands. Sweating Bullets. Being right in front during that song had to be one of the most memorable moments of my photo career. The song has always given me a Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde gothic horror feel. The way he talks to himself in the third person, implying some sort of evil alter ego. Incredible song both lyrically and musically.

I finished the remainder of the show from the lower bowl just taking in the music. Sh*t the entire set was tight. Not a note missed, a solo out of time or even a lyric missed. The rumours you hear are 110% true - out of my seven years of concert going I’d never seen such a tight set. When combining Dave Mustaine’s cheeky vocals with the thick guitar tones alternating between Kiko Loureiro and Dave taking solos - this is a jaw dropping band. To the people that say “oH iSn’T tHat bAnD liKe 40 yEarS oLd?” go to a Megadeth show and try telling me that they can’t play circles around anyone to this day.

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