Megadeth wsg Fear Factory and Nonpoint
The Orbit Room, Grand Rapids
Nov. 26, 6 p.m.
$35 in advance, $39 day of show
orbitroom.com, (616) 942-1328
Being a Megadeth fan can be a true exercise in frustration. People either love or hate guitarist Dave Mustaine, the band's founder and creative force. He's a gifted guitarist and a cunning lyricist who's proven time and again to have the chops to create great albums and some of the best compositions of the metal genre. But for years, Mustaine seemed bent on throwing it all away through his constant struggles with addiction. Despite a revolving door of bandmates, he maintained Megadeth as a going concern, driven to new levels of creativity by a sense of frustration stemming back to 1983 when he was fired from Metallica. That drive spawned albums like Peace Sells ... But Who's Buying? (1986), Rust In Peace (1990) and Countdown to Extinction (1992) — all of which endeared Mustaine to his fans. But somewhere along the line, the old Dave got his wires crossed and out came this different personality, one who's constantly drunk on conspiracy serum and colluding with fringe political thinkers. While the impact of this conversion on his songwriting and playing seems negligible, it's certainly made Mustaine the off-stage personality a true car wreck complete with a "New World Order" soundtrack. So resist the urge to click on any of the "Today in Mustaine dumbassery" headlines. Just go relive those halcyon days when bullet belts were in style, and see MegaDave in his natural setting: Live on stage. You just might want to plug your ears and turn away between songs.