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NOTES FROM THE OTHER WORLD (#5)
05 June 2003
Taken From: Burrn Magazine (Jun 97) #5

It is just like Megadeth to plan the most high-pressure, high-exposure show of our career as the FIRST SHOW OF THE TOUR! Not one or two months into the tour when the band is really tight and comfortable on stage, but the FIRST SHOW IN ALMOST TWO YEARS! Let me explain. Two days ago, June 13, 1997, Megadeth did the first show of the Cryptic Writings tour at the Mesa Amphitheater in Mesa, Arizona. This show was broadcast live over 75 major radio stations in the U.S. (a first for Megadeth) and also broadcast worldwide over the internet (another first for Megadeth).

Let?s flashback to the middle of May. At this point, we had finished the recording of Cryptic Writings over 4 months ago (in Jan.) and we had spent those 4 months traveling to different parts of the world doing press and promotion. We haven?t played live as a band since Sept. 9, 1995. It?s now time to pick up our instruments again and try to remember what we played every night in every corner of the world. It?s also time to remember what we did in the studio a few months ago on our new songs. We must also decide which new songs to play and which old songs to get rid of. Now that we have 8 albums, this can be a difficult choice with 4 members and 4 different opinions (jyu nin to iro...). Also, we must consider the fact that American radio is not prepared for the fury and power of Megadeth and that if we want to keep the radio stations? support, we have to break them in easily and stick to playing our ?hits? and save our obscure songs for Japan and Europe where people seem to appreciate that stuff.

So we start at the most basic point-relearning how to play our songs. It?s almost like being in a cover band! It all comes back pretty naturally, though. We spent about four hours a day six days a week for two weeks just going over the songs as a band. No technicians, no crew, just the four of us. It felt like playing in a friend?s garage, jamming in a small, LOUD room. Towards the end of the two weeks, our technicians came in one by one to help us with our gear, and to learn the channel switching (lead, rhythm and clean texture) for my guitar and Dave?s guitar.

Then the rest of our crew came to Phoenix and loaded our gear into a small venue called The Celebrity Theater. We did two days of rehearsals there where we played a full set non-stop (well, almost non-stop...) so our sound man could learn his moves for our 1997-98 set. He has to know all the little ?feature? parts like guitar solos, backing vocals, sound effects and he has to make sure they are mixed properly. Our light man is new to our crew and he had never worked with us before so he was there taking serious notes about the way we moved on stage.

After these two days of full crew rehearsal, we staged a ?secret show? at a local club called The Electric Ballroom. We didn?t call ourselves ?Megadeth? for this show, we went by the name, ?Vic and the Rattleheads?. Of course our fans figured this out and the small 1000 seat venue sold out in a matter of minutes. For us this was our last rehearsal before the live broadcast.

This place was sweaty, smoky and full of Megadeth fans who haven?t seen us for a long time. We were glad to play for them, even though the main purpose of this secret concert was to work out our material for the big show coming up. The show was exciting for me because after taking so much time off from touring, it?s great to see the fans again. I believe that all over the world, Megadeth fans are the most loyal. They?ve stuck with us through good times and bad and we go out of our way to bring our fans into the process of Megadeth activities such as this ?warm-up? show. The show went well, without too many disasters. We played five new songs from ?Cryptic Writings? and the fans really seemed to get off on them. The only exception was ?Use the Man? which has a very slow and spacy intro-people were looking at us like we were crazy playing this ?non-Megadeth? style song but when the heavy chorus kicked in they started cheering and getting into the music.

After the show we got together and discussed the audience?s reaction to the new songs and we decided to change the order of the set for the live broadcast show. We also made notes for our technicians for things to improve with our guitar sounds before the big show. I think our crew was more nervous about the broadcast than the band was.

Finally, the big day comes. This was a long, busy day for the band. At about 11AM we did the soundcheck for the mobile recording and broadcasting crew. I received two new guitars from Jackson for the show and I wanted our soundman to hear them both before the show, so he could let me know how they sounded to him. They were fine and they felt great. After soundcheck we met some of the Megadeth Cyberarmy soldiers who showed up to meet us. Many of them were from Japan, so of course I got a chance to speak some Japanese. After that, the band had to do some photo sessions and I shot a new promotion photo for Crate amplifiers. We had press to do and we had quite a bit of hand shaking to do with record company and radio people. It?s good to keep busy this because it takes your mind off the fact that over ONE MILLION PEOPLE will be listening to (and recording!) the concert...

As 8PM comes closer, the audience is shouting, ?Megadeth! Megadeth!? very loudly and it feels like we never left the Youthanasia tour. Little by little, the record company people clear out of the backstage area and it becomes just the four of us in the dressing room. It is an absolutely huge production with many great professionals involved, but now, at 8PM on Friday the 13th, it?s only the four of us. It?s all up to us. It?s the bottom of the ninth inning in the seventh game of the World Series. This is why we started playing music-just to get to this point.

Once the show got started, it was like the Megadeth Machine was started and nothing could get in it?s way. All of our hard work and dedication had paid off and everybody was having a great time. The 90 minutes or so of our concert seemed to go by really quickly and I have to say the strangest thing about the show was looking over to stage right and seeing David Ellefson?s new ultra-short haircut! It was good to see a face on the stage because usually you see three heads of hair flying in the wind. This show was the tightest ?2nd show? of any tour we?ve done yet so I feel that we are inspired to give 1000% to the fans who come to see us on the Cryptic Writings tour. I?m going to show the set lists from the two shows I wrote about, but don?t expect to see these exact shows when we play in your town; we change them almost every day!

June 10th Electric Ballroom, Phoenix, AZ Vic and the Rattleheads

1.Holy Wars
2.Hangar 18
3.Skin o? My Teeth
4.Reckoning Day
5.Train of Consequences
6.Angry Again
7.Foreclosure of a Dream
8.Almost Honest
9.Use the Man
10.She wolf
11.A Tout le Monde
12.Trust
13.Sweating Bullets
14.Symphony of Destruction
15.Peace Sells
16.FFF

/// encore
1.Anarchy in the U.K.
2.Paranoid

June 13th Mesa Amphitheater, Mesa, AZ Megadeth
1.Skin o? My Teeth
2.Hangar 18
3.Holy Wars
4.Reckoning Day
5.Peace Sells
6.Angry Again
7.Foreclosure of a Dream
8.Almost Honest
9.Use the Man
10.A Tout le Monde
11.She Wolf
12.Trust
13.Sweating Bullets
14.Symphony of Destruction
15.Anarchy in the U.K.
/// encore
1.Train of Consequences
2.FFF

Taken From: Burrn Magazine (Jun 97) #5
 
 
 
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