Written by Abel Carmona
May 01, 2007 at 08:00 PM

When I left my house at 6:00pm I figured an hour was plenty of time to make it to the Woodlands. But turns out I was wrong when you add in construction and traffic. I ended up getting to the Woodlands late missing opening act Machine Head, which I was really looking forward to. As I walked in the back gate I was told to hurry up because Megadeth was just walking on stage NOW !

As I hurried to the stage I could hear the sweet sound of true heavy metal. I got all set up just as Dave Mustaine walked out and began playing what was to be an epic set of songs I hadn’t heard since my high school days. Fans couldn’t get enough of the grinding guitars or the hard pounding double bass drums as Mustaine lead Megadeth into the sounds of any metal heads dreams.  With rock in its current forms it was really great to see it what was once the staple sound that ruled the 80’s and early 90’s and gave the musicians of today the ideas that became the music of today.

Watching Mustaine play guitar was awesome you could almost feel every cutting riff as he laid down great rhythm and lead guitar work, he also killed on some solos during a few songs.  With their now 11 albums to choose from Megadeth’s set list contained stuff from every year of work you could think of. Some of the songs played included ‘Peace Sells’, Holy War, ‘Symphony of Destruction’ and one of my high school favorites ‘ Sweating Bullets’.

A friend that went to the show with me was telling me how he had seen a show on Mustaine and how he fell asleep one night with his hand propped up on a chair. When he awoke he couldn’t feel anything in his right arm and had to have a few surgeries done to fix what the nerve damage that had been done. Afterward having rehabbed himself into relearning to play guitar, but from what I saw tonight Mustaine was playing just fine.

Megadeth’s history is one that is well know by metal heads, way back in 1982 Mustaine was the lead guitarist in a little band called Metallica. After battling Mustaine about his alcohol and drug use, Metallica woke Mustaine up one morning and told him to pack up he was out. Fueled by his anger Mustaine vowed to start a band and become greater than Metallica would ever be. Six months later Megadeth was formed.

Throughout the years Megadeth has gone through countless lineup changes with the only thing staying the same was Mustaine. Megadeth has always been considered one of the “big 4″ of metal, the other three consisting of Slayer, Anthrax, and Metallica. Megadeth went on to become one of the best selling metal band of all time only falling second to Metallica.

Back to the show, Megadeth’s set was nothing less but hard straight up metal and I loved every minute of it. Mustaine’s trademark snarling vocals and guitar work was outstanding. In the end I was glad to have gotten to see Megadeth; it made me think back to the time when I found my music. The thing that my parents hated and probably still hate call it what you will heavy, trash or speed. But at the end of it all it’s still…metal.

Heaven and Hell

In my almost two years here at HMR, I have never once truly been in awe of someone. Where in the back of your mind you can’t help but think ‘holly shit I’m right next to…” well that very thought hit my mind tonight. As the lights went out and Heaven and Hells back set lit up with a dark purple glow, from the darkness a figured appeared with guitar in hand. As he walked in to the lights the fans roared at the mere site of Tony Iommi. This was my first time to ever see him live, as I never got to see him playing with Ozzy as Black Sabbath.

He stood on stage alone for a minute or two and as he began slicing away at his guitar which brought out bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Vinny  Appice. As they began playing “Neon Knights” Ronnie James Dio walked out from behind the drums and lead Heaven and Hell with his remarkable vocals. Now I have heard Dio on the radio and CD before, but I will say this there is nothing like hearing this man’s voice live.

Between Dio’s vocals and Iommi’s guitar playing I was truly awe-inspired by the two. As my attention went back over to Iommi I remembered the story of how he lost the tips of some fingers in his youth, but still pressed on to become one of the greatest rock guitarist ever. Watching Iommi play felt like watching a god at work, as he seamlessly strummed his strings creating this massive array of sounds.

After I got over by bit of awe, I noticed how bad ass drummer Vinny Appice’s drum set was, it had an oversized bass drum and was covered in cymbals, four of which were in the shape of an iron cross. Throughout the first song fans never once calmed down until Dio finished the song and spoke to them for a minute or two. Afterward Heaven and Hell went through a set list that could in no way leave any fan there disappointed.

Songs like ‘Mob Rules’, ‘Children of the Sea’, and ‘Die Young’ were brought  back to life and delivered with a greatness that couldn’t have been imagined better. Towards the end of the third song as made my way over to the other side of the stage where Geezer Butler was and watching him play bass was just as impressive as watch Iommi. With many of today’s bands bass lines are very simple and looping, but watching Geezer, he played some of the most complex bass lines I have ever seen live.

Heaven and hell or Sabbath if you will have had one of the biggest impacts on rock since the late 60’s and 70’s Back when there were Black Sabbath and fronted by Ozzy.  Their style of rock was something that had never been heard here in the states, some people thought the band to be devilish or evil because of the dark tones their music took. But if not for bands like Sabbath we wouldn’t have nearly the amount of metal and hard rock bands that we have today. Almost any hard heavy band will say they were in one way or another influenced by Black Sabbath.

After taking my photo’s I went out to the lawn and still stood there in amazement. Getting a full sense of how awesome this was to be able to say I was there and saw heaven and Hell. And while in my heart I kind of wished it would have been Ozzy up there doing songs that I know and love. Dio did not disappoint me at all, from the looks of the fans he left them all with a great night that climaxed with the song “Heaven and Hell”.

As of now the last things I had read said something to the fact of, if the tour went well there may be a new Heaven and Hell album in the coming year. If you’re interested in hearing some music by Heaven and Hell, there was a new CD called “Black Sabbath: the Dio years” that was released right before the tour began. It has three new songs on it that were written by Dio and Iommi. So it gives hope to the thought that there could indeed be a new album coming for one of metals founding fathers…