Megadeth to appear at Times Theater

Megadeth to appear at Times Theater

By LIsa Palmeno

By Lisa Palmeno

Staff Writer

Metal gods Megadeth are back on tour with their newest album, The World Needs a Hero. Their intimate, small-club tour includes a Nov. 1 appearance at 7 p.m. at the Times Theater, 234 N. Main St.

The CD, released May 15 on a new label, Sanctuary, seems aptly named. The world does, indeed, need a hero, and the band is giving their fans just that with a North American tour designed to give back to listeners who have made and sustained their nearly 20-year career.

Appearing with a line-up of two original members and two new members, their 24-song shows are being determined online at their web site by the fans in each city on the tour. The World Needs a Hero showcases a title song of the same name along with “Moto Psycho,” a commentary on the rat race, the human condition in the modern world, lost love and rehab. The CD is filled with traditional metal style and hard lyrics about negative influences, oppression of the spirit by society and the results, as discussed in “Recipe for Hate.” Punk loyals and headbangers alike will enjoy this one.

Megadeth appeared on VH1’s “Behind the Music” and were the feature interview on “Rock Show” in April. They have achieved sales in excess of 20 million albums worldwide and seven Grammy Award nominations since lead singer/guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassist David Ellefson formed the group in 1982. Guitarist Al Pitrelli and Drummer Jimmy DeGrasso join the two veterans to complete the fifth line-up.

Bassist David Ellefson was in Boston when he spoke with The Rock River Times. Ellefson likens the new CD to the first couple of albums they put out and said they are touring small theaters and halls “to pull it back a few notches and give one back to the fans and people who got us there. Homage.” They gained popularity through word of mouth, “fueled largely by the underground tape trading in the ’80s,” explains Ellefson.

As for the tour, Ellefson says he enjoys the clubs. “As a bass player, I love playing smaller places because it sounds better. There’s nothing worse than playing the bass in a hockey arena, for sound,” he comments.

When asked about the new line-up and what it means to fans, for the new CD and touring, he says that DeGrasso and Pitrelli “have definitely risen to the occasion.” Degrasso has appeared on two CDs with Megadeth, and Pitrelli debuts on The World Needs a Hero. Ellefson says the new members have the ability to play older songs “with as much ferocity and technical ability,” and that each new formation of the band has made the band better. He noted that there are always higher expectations placed on newer members, but he believes Megadeth is the best they’ve ever been. He attributes their musical development to getting seasoned veterans in the field, but also admits it might just be plain old luck.

Ellefson’s favorite picks on the 2001 release are “When” and “1000 Goodbyes,” “When” because “it’s a long, riffing kind of song. I like the solo in it,” and “1000 Goodbyes” because “it’s heavy.” He thinks he always comes back to the ones which translate best to live performance.

When asked how their new CD differs from Risk and Capitol Punishment, the two previous releases, the bassist says Risk was “capturing Megadeth being as far right as we’ll ever be, as far as songwriting. We went to the furthest extreme with development, melody and hook-style of songwriting” (as opposed to 3-minute hook style and radio-style).

Megadeth finishes the tour in the Midwest by the second week of November before heading to Buenos Aires, Argentina, for a grand finale before returning to the studio to begin recording songs written on the road. Their next release, a live album, is slated for release in 2002.

Their “Behind the Music” episode is available on DVD, and information on the the band can be found at and Tickets for the Times Theater concert are $25 and can be purchased through Ticket Master outlets at 312/559-1212, online at, or at the door the evening of the performance. Tickets are also available now at The Boulevard (next to the Times Theater), 815/964-7702.

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