My Conversations With Megadeth (Rock Cafe, Tallinn, Estonia, 28.06)

Event: Megadeth: TH1RT3EN World Tour 2012
Written by: destroyah
Published: 02.07.2012


Megadeth - Rock Café, Tallinn, Estonia, 28.06.2012 by Ivor (45)
"We came here with zero expectations," Dave Mustaine said to the guilty looking crowd listening to the fifty year old Megadeth frontman. "The last time we played in Estonia, it was just the four of us on stage, and what looked like about four of you out there," he continued with a cunning wink. It was like being chastised by your dad for getting drunk. Kind of serious, but not nearly as serious as mom would wish.

I remember that last ill-fated Megadeth gig. It was in Haapsalu (i.e. the middle of nowhere, for you non-Estonians) in the courtyard of a medieval fortress. Which was cool. The band performed to a crowd consisting - not exclusively, but mostly - of zombies. Which was uncool. I recall the first three or four rows having been the centre of the action, with the rest of the people lazily watching the band from a distance, lured to the show with promises of cheap barbeque, beer, local folk metal superstars and handicraft, of all the fucking things. It seemed as if most people were unaware of Megadeth's significance in the heavy metal scene. I can only imagine how baffled the band must've been at the lukewarm reception they surely hadn't deserved.

This time things were different though. Trading in the castle ruins for a tiny venue in Tallinn, Megadeth had agreed to play an exclusive gig for just 900 fans. Cramping more people between Rock Cafe's walls would've been tricky as the place was packed, admittedly to a lesser degree than the organizers had hoped. But judging by the blood, sweat and Mustaine's (somewhat) elevated mood, it was clear that the Estonian audience had made up for their failure to rock the last time around.

"Hey, you. Yes you - more rocking. Now."

With a venue as small as Rock Cafe and with a band as big as Megadeth, you'd have to suck at promoting pretty hard to fail at filling the house. They had brought in Nevesis as local support, as the Estonian hard rockers are currently enjoying considerable popularity in the Estonian scene. The ticket price had been capped at an agreeable 39 €. By putting Megadeth in a hot little box, the organizers had considerably lowered the risk of failing the event - a strong concern in a country of only 1.3 million.

But to say that the Tallinn show was a mere exercise in risk management would be a grave underestimation of what actually happened that night.

I'm not sure how many people have had the chance to see Megadeth in such an intimate setting but I imagine it can't be that many as the band is, for all intents and purposes, kind of a huge fucking deal. The merits of seeing them perform to what is essentially a handful of people are many. A strange silence filled the room between the songs every now and then as the crowd waned from heat exhaustion and dehydration in the dangerously under-ventilated space. I should add for the record that denim on denim, while super-sexy on me, tends to have a capacity for soaking in sweat not wholly unlike that of a sponge.

Given the hellish conditions, it all felt less like a concert by a rock legend and more like hung over metalheads dying (albeit loudly so) at a bar on a quiet afternoon after a vicious night out, with Megadeth playing in the background, filling the ever-so unappreciated four o'clock slot. Megadeth. At a bar.

What I'm getting at here is that this was cool. This. Was. So cool.

Pictured: my actual distance from Chris Broderick's crotch

More so, it felt personal. Between the songs Dave was telling me how he spent the day in Tallinn taking his wife to expensive shops. Poor Dave. I was about to tell him that he should've gone to that one little shop I know around the corner but before I could get a word off he lunged into another fierce gallop of a riff - possibly "She-Wolf". Or "Public Enemy No. 1". You know, Megadeth stuff. I also wanted to go and get him a beer but that was a little difficult as I always had someone's elbow in my ribs and somebody's hair in my face. "Fine, we'll grab one later," I said and started jumping around to "Hangar 18". He was telling me (as he does) about his President's recent shenanigans. "What? He's sending guns to Mexico!?" someone gasped from the back row. "I mean you all know I have my experience doing drugs, but I never sent guns to anybody," Dave shrugged, almost going on to add "whatever, here's some more metal." Fuck yes there was.

So. Much. Metal.

"Hey, Mr. security boy," Mustaine said, his speech interrupted by a guard telling someone to climb down from his friend's shoulders, "it's OK." He went on to explain the guy, in words I failed to catch, how it's cool that people go to their shows to rock out. Megadeth one, security zero. Good on you Dave, good on you.

I watched a smiling Dave Ellefson bang his head in front of an amp set, completely tuned in to the music. I saw Chris Broderick nodding an approval to a fan in the pit, probably for nailing a chorus dead on. And then it dawned on me - old though as they may be, Megadeth will probably keep on doing this for a long, long time. And why wouldn't they, as there's not a lot of old school stars out there capable of pushing on with the vigor of a crack-fuelled freight train. Flawlessly, and with considerable fury, the band tore through a selection of their classics as well as newer additions, from "Peace Sells" and "Trust" to "Never Dead" and "Whose Life (Is It Anyway?)". And without fail, the crowd followed them to every single note.

What really helped Megadeth channel all that force was the fact that Mustaine came off as a really nice chap as opposed to a raging old asshole, without being quite as family friendly as, say, Metallica. Although he never really dropped that Mustaine gaze of mild arrogance, I think his "thank you" to the attending fans was sincere. And while my conversation with Megadeth didn't extend into the backstage I wouldn't be surprised if, after a small moment of silence, Ellefson, with a towel on his head said "fuck that was good. We need to do a bar tour!" Yes. Please do.


01. Never Dead
02. Head Crusher
03. Hangar 18
04. Trust
05. She-Wolf
06. Poison Was The Cure
07. Sweating Bullets
08. A Tout Le Monde
09. Guns, Drugs & Money
10. Whose Life (Is It Anyway?)
11. Public Enemy No. 1
12. Symphony of Destruction
13. Peace Sells
14. Holy Wars... The Punishment Due

Bonus gallery

I don't think there's a person in Estonia who, either voluntarily or involuntarily, hasn't seen Nevesis live. While nothing revlutionary, they look great and sound good. Although I was somewhat underwhelmed by their performance that night, in part due to high levels of Megadeth-anticipation, they do deserve a small tribute in the form of a bonus gallery (courtesy of Ivor). I mean just look at them mosh! Beautiful.



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D.T. Metal - 02.07.2012 at 23:57  
OMFG ... what a great review
I have seen Megadeth play in intimate club settings as well (long time ago I might add) and while I might not agree with Dave's political rants (especially when he plays here in the US) it is ALWAYS a kick ass experience to see them play.
So glad that Junior is back with them and Chris is just the balance for Dave on guitar.
Sounds like you guys had a great time !!!
AngelofDeth - 03.07.2012 at 02:33  
Good stuff! but im a little confused on what happened that night... did you get one-on-one convo with hin? or are you quoting stuff he was saying to the crowd?
Darkside Momo - 03.07.2012 at 02:34  
Nice report! Seems the setlist was almost the same at Hellfest... Can't say for the new songs, they were boring anyway but at least the classics were there.
And yes, a bar tour all across Europe would be cool!!
Boxcar Willy - 03.07.2012 at 02:50  

Welcome back man
Baz Anderson - 03.07.2012 at 04:29  
As always, a brilliant report destroyah.
Promonex - 03.07.2012 at 04:49  
"Event: Megadeth: TH1RT3EN World Tour 2012"

"Written by: destroyah"
Oh shit... *clickclickclick* Load faster, for fuck's sake!
BitterCOld - 03.07.2012 at 06:51  
Agree with Promo. didn't care much until i saw the author tag... always love yer reviews.
axelx666 - 03.07.2012 at 12:27  
He's 50?!? dang.. i thought he was in his 40's.
Marcel Hubregtse - 03.07.2012 at 12:39  
Written by axelx666 on 03.07.2012 at 12:27

He's 50?!? dang.. i thought he was in his 40's.

So you thought he was still around 15 or so when he joined Metallica?
destroyah - 03.07.2012 at 13:20  
Thanks for the kind words guys! I haven't written anything like this in ages and I had a blast covering this one. Also kudos to Ivor for once again delivering on the photos.

The gig was fantastic. There's just something special about these club gigs, something you don't get at big stadiums. Really cool show by Megadeth.
axelx666 - 03.07.2012 at 13:24  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 03.07.2012 at 12:39

Written by axelx666 on 03.07.2012 at 12:27

He's 50?!? dang.. i thought he was in his 40's.

So you thought he was still around 15 or so when he joined Metallica?

no, i know he was probably around 18 or so, but he looks great for his age. i mean he still looks like he's in his early 40's!
gonna be a shame when he hits 60 and his great hair starts to fall out. . . .
Ivor - 03.07.2012 at 13:32  
Truth be told, I wasn't expecting much either. Twice I've simply walked away from Megadeth playing at a fest because it sounded pretty awful, not to mention not my kind of stuff. I was pleasantly surprised this time, though. Really nice gig, and, as Des put it, there's something to such intimate gigs. And yeah, always fun to take photos.

Marcel Hubregtse - 03.07.2012 at 13:34  
Shame that the setlist is once again god awful.
Kingface - 03.07.2012 at 15:23  
Great review! Made for a most enjoyable read.
K†ulu - 03.07.2012 at 16:33  
Yeah, the author is what sparked my interest in reading the article + its name; and this is an original way of writing a concert review I admit. Good job!
Iron Nostarion - 05.07.2012 at 17:40  
Very well-written review, I am astonished. You are awesome, please keep writing moar.
AngelofDeth - 07.07.2012 at 20:29  
Im surprised the setlist wasnt 13 songs...

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