So last night was Gigantour in Cleveland, and it did NOT disappoint. Doors opened at 2:30pm, and the show was at Tower City Amphitheater, which neither of us were familiar with... so we got on the road at about a quarter till 11. We made really good time heading up, even with stopping at a DQ for some lunch and got there in time to be very near the front of the line to get in. They let us in around 2:40pm, but then the actual "tent" (the main part of the venue) was roped off until around 3pm.
I checked out the merch -- they had a pretty good selection, including some really choice Megadeth shirts, but I've already blown too much cash on concerts and such this month, so I passed. If they had had a really cool Nevermore shirt maybe...
First up was Bobaflex, which I had heard of, but hadn't heard anything by, other than one song I downloaded from their web site to try and get a preview. I have to say I definitely enjoyed them - the music was pretty good, and they were hysterical -- a very goofy, entertaining set. I think I'll have to pick up some of their stuff - it was fun. After them was Dry Kill Logic, which I hadn't even known was on the tour until we got there. They... weren't so good. They'd have fit in really well with all the craptastic second stage bands at Ozzfest. Then Symphony X -- unfortunately there were some serious time problems and setup problems, and they only got to do THREE SONGS! It was really terrible because not only were the spot on, but the crowd really got into them - they had a great reaction, which was very enheartening. After that came Nevermore -- they were awesome. I've been wanting to see Nevermore live for quite some time, and it was worth the wait... though again, their set got cut a little short and they only did FOUR songs. Bleh. Two of the songs were off their new album, which I really need to pick up. Dillenger Escape Plan is very much a hardcore band, and they weren't really like anything else there... very loud, high-energy, chaotic... noise. Not my thing at all, but they were really energetic on stage, and got a small crowd whipped up pretty well. Fear Factory also had a fairly short set, but they were SOLID. I saw them back in '97 on Ozzfest, so it was cool to see them again. They seemed to win over a lot of folks as well.
Then came the two headliners. Dream Theater, who I was seeing for the second time, came first. They played around 1.5 hours, a really good set with some serious highlights, including "Under A Glass Moon" (during which the singer James LaBrie's pants ripped open pretty wide in the back, prompting the drummer to ask if the song was called "Under An Ass Moon"...), "Home", and some good stuff off their new album as well. They're awesome musicians and it was awesome to watch. Worth noting is that at this point I was only one row back from the front barricades, or about 15 feet away from the bands. AWESOME. After a very solid set, they came back out and did "Pull Me Under" as an encore~! That was so awesome to see live. The thing about Dream Theater is that they change their set lists a LOT, almost never doing the same set two nights in a row... and are definitely NOT one of those bands that play the same 5-10 songs in EVERY show... so seeing them do "Pull Me Under" live was QUITE a treat.
Finally, Megadeth finished off the show. This was really "Megadave", since the rest of the band are all new folks, but they still ripped up the stage with a great show, including some pretty cool pyro. They hit pretty much ALL the Megadeth classics, as well as playing a good amount of stuff off the new album. The only disappointing thing (and in reading some forums, I wasn't the only one who thought so) was that the mix was pretty bad, and the vocals were pretty muddy and overwhelmed by the drums and guitar.
So after the show, we headed out, got back on the road pretty quickly, and made it home around 1:40am. All things considered, not bad at all! Somehow I even managed to get my ass awake and in to work today, and am actually still doing pretty well even now.
For anyone that cares, I'll include all the bands and setlists in a comment, so check the comments.