Once again two of the world’s great metal bands join forces and hit the road on the Metal Tour of the Year – the mighty Megadeth and the unstoppable Lamb of God. Joining these two legendary bands on this second run of the tour are special guests Trivium and In Flames. On Friday, April 29th, this heavy metal juggernaut made its way into Kansas City’s T-Mobile Center, and it was a face-melting sonic assault on the senses.
Sweden’s melodic death metal pioneers, In Flames, kicked off the evening with “Cloud Connected,” off their 2002 release, Reroute to Remain. Frontman Anders Fridén prowled the stage while the guitar duo of Björn Gelotte and Chris Broderick unleashed a flurry of guitar wizardry throughout the set. A personal favorite of mine was “Where the Dead Ships Dwell” from the 2011 album, Sounds of a Playground Fading. It’s been three years now since the band released their most recent effort, I, the Mask (2019), and we got to hear two tracks of the album, “Call My Name” and fan-favorite “I Am Above.” In Flames closed out their set with the cherished gamer track, “Take This Life,” off their eighth studio album, Come Clarity – the song was also featured in the Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock video game.
Hailing from Orlando, Florida, heavy metal champions Trivium are currently touring to support their tenth studio album, In the Court of the Dragon, released in 2021 via Roadrunner Records. Matt Heafy and company launched into the title track and quickly followed with “Like a Sword Over Damocles.” “Feast of Fire”, another track from the latest album, was also included on the setlist. Other notable highlights were crushing performances of “Beyond Oblivion” and “Throes of Perdition.” It’s been several years since Trivium last performed in Kansas City and they brought with them an energetic performance that raised the energy for the remainder of the evening.
Lamb of God, the metal juggernaut out of Richmond, Virginia, were next to take the stage. I’ve seen them perform live several times over the years and they never disappoint. Frontman Randy Blythe is an unstoppable force on stage, in constant motion pacing the stage like a caged animal, leaping off risers as the pyrotechnics light the stage with flames during “Walk with Me in Hell” from their 2006 release, Sacrament. The setlist was full of some of their best and most loved tracks, such as “Now You’ve Got Something to Die For”, “512”, and “Ghost Walking.” Other highlights included “Laid to Rest,” which was cut short at first when Randy spotted an injured fan that needed medical assistance. Once the patron was cleared out of the area by medical staff, the band restarted the song from the beginning. They closed out the set with a crushing rendition of “Redneck,” with a massive whirlwind circle pit amidst the audience in front.
Last but certainly not least, one of thrash metal’s “Big Four”, the legendary Megadeth took the stage and opened their set with a blazing performance of “Hangar 18” from their 1990 studio album, Rust in Peace. The guitar duo of frontman Dave Mustaine and Brazilian virtuoso Kiko Loureiro offered a flurry of arpeggio-laden exchanges throughout the entire setlist. The set offered several of the band’s most memorable tracks from earlier albums, such as the title track off of the classic 1986 album Peach Sells… but Who’s Buying?, as well as “The Conjuring” from the same release. Other highlights included fan favorites “Sweating Bullets” and “Symphony of Destruction.” Mustaine and crew wrapped up the evening with one of my favorite Megadeth tunes, “Holy Wars… The Punishment Due,” featuring some phenomenal guitar playing from Loureiro and Mustaine.