Bloodstock 2023 – Sunday. Closing out Bloodstock for another year, old favourites Megadeth rolled into town. You know with Dave Mustaine and his band that you can’t go wrong, and you’re going to be in for one helluva night.
Bloodstock – Megadeth
With Bloodstock completely sold out on Sunday, including day tickets, it was very clear that there was only one draw in town, and the Metal Masters, one of the founders of the Big Four Thrash Bands, was clearly the ticket to get.
Even if, over the years, Megadeth have veered away from some of their thrashier moments and have become a more invigorated Classic Metal band, they are still a band who know only one way to perform, and that is at the top of their game.
So as the night closed in and the lights dropped, the backing tape rolled, and the crowd roared. Bloodstock stood as one in anticipation.
To the familiar opening chords of Hangar 18, the crowd surged forward and ninety minutes of pure brilliantness began.
The set itself encompassed songs from across their vast career and was a total triumph. It was exactly what a festival set needed to be, hit after hit. This was a set of pure professionalism, virtuosity and intensity.
With old favourites such as Sweating Bullets and Wake Up Dead interspersed with newer songs such as We’ll Be Back from their latest album, The Sick, the Dying… and the Dead!, which came out a year ago, there was great variety. Yet, in the end, Megadeth are crowd pleasers, and they give Bloodstock exactly what they wanted.
Dave isn’t always the chattiest of frontmen, but on this occasion, he was more than accommodating with the crowd. In fact, unlike their last visit to Bloodstock, where we got little more than a good night, on this occasion, there was a great rapport with the crowd.
Like many bands who have stood the test of time, they have got better as they have aged and are now a really tight and accomplished unit. Dave still is the driving force behind the band. With no Dave Mustaine, there is no Megadeth, yet he marshalls his band mates into a well-oiled machine unleashing an open-throttle, full-force aural assault.
The stage set itself is relatively sparse though they make good use of the backing screens with their traditional apocalyptic settings. But the band are about the music, and they live and die by that. Quite simply, they have the tunes, they fired them out, and the audience was lapping it up. You could find no fault at all.
Yet like Killswitch Engage on Friday night, Megadeth kept the best to last with a final flourish of A Tout Le Monde, Tornado Of Souls, Symphony Of Destruction and the inimitable singalong of Peace Sells, putting the audience into rapture. One after the other, they followed, with the crowd surfer numbers rapidly increasing and security certainly earning their money.
If that wasn’t enough, the first encore took us right back to the very start, with a dive back to the very first album, Killing Is Our Business and a storming version of Mechanix.
With time running out and the Bloodstock clock ticking down, there was only one way to finish, and that was with Holy Wars… The Punishment Due. Quite simply, the perfect end to a perfect set.
Bloodstock Festival 2023 is held over the weekend of 10-13 August 2023. MetalTalk’s Paul Hutchings and Adrian Stonley report from Catton Park.
All MetalTalk Bloodstock Festival 2023 coverage can be found at MetalTalk.net/tag/bloodstock-2023.
Weekend early bird tickets for Bloodstock 2024 will be available to purchase at the box office on-site for £165. This is the cheapest way to buy a 2024 ticket, minus any online booking or admin fees.
Bloodstock 2022 can be relived at MetalTalk.net/tag/bloodstock-2022.