Most thrash bands don't put on much more than jeans and a T-shirt. Megadeth goes much bigger.
"We've talked about what would make a great show since we started out, every single detail," said Dave Ellefson, who formed the band in 1983 with former Metallica guitarist Dave Mustaine. "And now, all these years later, it's something we've been able to do."
They've brought in an onslaught of heavy metal heavyweights for the semi-annual tour, making its way on Tuesday to the Comcast Arena.
"It's this big, traveling summer festival with a collective experience that's greater than the sum of its parts," Ellefson said. "If you're going to go see a metal gig, this is the one."
Sharing a spot on the multi-artist bill are Black Label Society, fronted by former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde; Device, featuring Disturbed frontman David Draiman; Hellyeah featureing Pantera co-founder Vinnie Paul; Newsted, former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted's new band; and Death Division, featuring Jerry Montano, former Danzig bassist.
Since 2005, Megadeth has made its Gigantour rounds about every two years, right around the release of a new record. This time it's "Super Collider," the band's 14th studio album.
And each time they tour, they want a set list that represents what fans want to hear.
"Fans have come into the Megadeth fold at various points during the decades and as much as we are promoting a new record, we also have this 30-year legacy." Ellefson said.
And so they play everything: breakout songs from earlier records, hits from what Ellefson calls their "big MTV popularity of the '90s," a few songs from their new albums and others in between.
They swap out songs from show to show and even try to look at the set list from their last visit to an arena to give fans a new experience each time. That's a lot of ground to cover considering they've been around since hair bands reigned and classic artists such as Ozzy Osbourne and Ronny James Dio were just starting solo careers.
Throughout the years, they've had to work hard to stay in the game, Ellefson said.
"If you don't continue to create, you just sort of died somewhere," he said.
And create, they have.
Fans can look forward to ambitious imagery, from video to lighting techniques, at this year's show.
"It's definitely the biggest Megadeth show ever as far as presentation," Ellefson said. "You have to do more than just stand out there and shake your head and play the tunes, and that's something we've been building on over the years.
"It's big, just big."
Gigantour 2013 will perform July 30 at Comcast Arena in Everett. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. and the show starts at 4:30 p.m.
Tickets are $25 to $45 at 866-332-8499 or www.comcastarenaeverett.com.
For more information about the tour, go to www.gigantour.com.
Ashley Stewart; 425-337-3037; firstname.lastname@example.org.
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