November 20, 2007 - A FANCLUB MEMBER'S ACCOUNT OF FILMING MEGADETH IN OZ
A FANCLUB MEMBER"S ACCOUNT OF FILMING MEGADETH"S SYDNEY SHOW AT THE BIG TOP, LUNA PARK.
My fiance Laila handed me Megadeth's CD 'That One Night' as one of my presents for my birthday on the 14th November. As I left for work that morning I said to her "I can't wait to see them again tomorrow night". Little did I know that my inbox contained a bigger birthday present than I could ever have imagined. The opportunity to film Megadeth's show on the 16th November!
I turn up to the Guest List booth with my camcorder in hand to see a group of 10 or so Megadeth fans hauling camcorders of various sizes around with them. I find it slightly surreal to watch rabid crazy metal fans eating candyfloss and squealing with delight as they ride the rollercoaster. Only the ever present Aussie sense of humour would have located a Concert Venue in the centre of an Amusement Park!
Gigantour's management hand out our Meet & Greet Backstage Passes and Video Wrist Tags requesting that we meet at 8:20pm Stage Right for our instructions on the how's, where's, when's and why's of tonight's work. As we're ushered backstage Static-X's mighty bassist Tony Campos high-fives us as we pass by their pre-show warm-up. We congregate in an area surrounded by Devildrivers un-assembled 'The Shining' drum kit and microphones. A watchful Gigantour roadie cheerily yells "Careful near that gear guys!" as we frantically check our batteries and label our tapes.
Megadeth arrive to have a quick chat, shake hands and sign our stuff before we get down to business. Megadeth's Assistant Tour Manager Tracey Weideman asks us to huddle close to Dave Mustaine as he doesn't like to shout before he gets onstage. Dave explains that he'd like us to get out amongst the people and capture the essence of Gigantour. Two things are important to him tonight, our full attention during the duet with Christina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil of A Tout Le Monde and showing the world Australia's metal scene to promote more Metal acts to come Down Under. Out of the corner of my eye I notice Shawn Drover limbering up before he climbs aboard that massive drum kit. Dave encourages us to film in whatever our style is and asks if we have any questions. One Droogie asks "Can we go anywhere we like?", Dave replies "Anywhere you like but not near my microphone!"
So we're off and running, 12 Fans armed with our camcorders spread out amongst the crowd. As 'Sleepwalker's' intro kicks in "Capture the people of Gigantour" is ringing in my head. I dive through the crowd, it isn't until tonight's second song 'Take No Prisoners' that I see exactly what I'm looking for...a 13 year old boy perched on his older brother's shoulders in the middle of the crowd air drumming and singing every word as loud as he can. A flashback instantly transports me back to 1990 growing up in Ireland, placing Rust In Peace on cassette into a walkman, clipping it on my belt and BMXing around Galway's Industrial Estates. I'm quickly brought back to the moment as the crowd surges forward for 'Wake Up Dead', we been given a heads up that 'A Tout Le Monde' will be after 'Gears Of War' so I head back to the bar area to catch some shots of the Gigantour After-Party Posters for the Metal clubs around Sydney. The fans back here are just as enthusiastic if a little more drunk. Tonight's show is an all-ages event, those with ID can only drink in a designated area. Earlier I watched two 11 year old girls chatting with Lacuna Coil's bassist in the crowd while one of their mother's looked on in bemusement.
Laila pushes me towards the Stage left area to get in between the barricade and the stage. Tonight's security are unsure what to make of the "fans running around with cameras" and asked us not to bother the Media for at least the first 3 songs. It's our turn now though and as the first notes of 'A Tout Le Monde' are played I've positioned myself under Glen Drover. The crowd respond to us with such passion, singing every word, devil horn signs, thumbs up and ear to ear grins. I try to capture those little moments, security guards feeding fans water, fans helping each other up in the pit, crowd surfers being safely taken over the barricade, mates arm in arm singing "And they'll set me free!".
Later one of Gigantour's management taps me on the shoulder and with a wink beckons me to follow him, he tags 2 of my colleagues and postions us on raised platforms at the sound mixing desk. From this vantage point we record the crowd, the circle pits and the band interaction with the crowd. As always 'Symphony Of Destruction' has the crowd punching the air with vigour. If my hearing is correct the Australian spin on the famous Argentinian chant is puntuated with a swear word that I won't repeat as some of the younger Droogies may be reading this! That Australian humour again eh?
After the famous line "You've been great and we've been Megadeth. Goodnight!" is uttered I spend the remaining time left filming the fans filtering out, some are old, others are young, some are drunk, others are sober, some are sweaty, others are bloody, all are happy.
We meet Gigantour's crew to hand over our mini-masterpieces after the show. We may not be Scorsese or Spielberg, tonight we felt we were. I'd like to thank Megadeth, the crew, security and the crowd for all their help throughout the night. Through the fanclub I have met Megadeth twice in the last 2 years, once at Download Festival, UK and now at Gigantour Festival, Sydney. I appreciate Dave McRobb and their efforts greatly.