7 Feb 2012: General Moters Centre Oshawa, ON
When it was announced that General Motors Centre would host the ninth date in the 2012 Gigantour run, the grumblings from would-be attendees was immediate. Not only was the concert featuring Lacuna Coil, Volbeat, Motorhead and the tour’s founder Dave Mustaine with Megadeth, happening on a Tuesday night, it was also in Oshawa, a small city 60 km from Toronto. Perhaps the venue wasn’t the number one choice from a ticket sales point of view, but it did accomplish something more important. It attracted the die-hard fans of the bands willing to go the extra mile (literally) to see them.
With my regular work day ending at 5 o’clock, I was very hard pressed to make it for the show’s 6:30 pm sharp start time; in fact I missed photo call for the evening opener Lacuna Coil. Fortunately, I was able to catch most of the Italian goth-metal band’s performance and was impressed with what I saw and heard. Vocalists Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro have an obvious magnetism on stage and the enthusiasm displayed by the scattering of fans up front was proof they have a loyal following.
Next up was the Danish metal band Volbeat. This was my fourth opportunity to see and photograph the band and they just continue to get better. Front-man Michael Poulsen, looking much like a tattooed Elvis, treated the growing crowd to awesome versions of “Sad Man’s Tongue”, “Fallen” and “Pool of Booze, Booze, Booze”, but it was the thrash heavy “Who They Are” from 2010’s Beyond Hell / Above Heaven that really got heads moving and the devil horns in the air. The solid 10-song set was finished of with fan-favourite “Still Counting” and a craze-inducing cover of the intro to Slayer’s “Raining Blood”.
By now, the floor and stands of General Motors Centre were filling in with excited fans eager for the legendary Motorhead to start rocking. To the crowd chants of “Lemmy, Lemmy” the larger-than-life front man strolled casually onto the stage, his signature Rickenbacker bass strapped across his chest.
“We’re Motorhead… and we’re a rock and roll band!” he yelled at one point during the show causing an eruption of cheers. What Motorhead lacks in stage movement, they more than make up for in what pours from the speakers. For a three-piece band, they are unbelievably loud and their songs such as “Killed by Death”, “The Chase is Better than the Catch” and the instantly recognizable “Ace of Spades” are masterfully played. For a man pushing 70 years old, Lemmy Kilmister shows no signs of slowing down.
The main event of the night involved some stage prep, but the wait was worth it once the black curtain dropped to reveal Megadeth. Thrash metal guitar god Dave Mustaine alongside bassist Dave Ellefson, guitarist Chris Broderick and drummer Shawn Drover launched into “Trust” followed by “Wake Up Dead”. It’s a real treat to be in the photo pit close enough to Mustaine to watch his hands work the guitar. To say the blur of his fret work is impressive is an understatement. Megadeth rocked fans with flawless versions of “Hanger 18”, “Guns, Drugs & Money”, and fan-favourite “Symphony of Destruction” before ending the evening with the highlight encore performance of “Holy Wars… The Punishment Due”.
Although distinctly different in style and sound, the four bands gelled together beautifully for Gigantour. With another fifteen stops to go, the opportunity to see the lesser known Lacuna Coil and Volbeat as they gain some much deserved exposure and two very well renowned acts like Motorhead and Megadeth, is one not to be missed.
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