Former Megadeth members David Ellefson and Jeff Young teamed up
this year as the Kings of Thrash, and completed a four city Mega Years tour concluding this week with a date in Las Vegas at The Space. The show centered around the duo of Ellefson and Young, with drummer Fred Aching (Powerflo) and guitarist/vocalist Chaz Leon to round out the touring band. Also performing was former Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland on selected songs on the setlist. The group performed legendary albums Killing is My Business… and Business is Good, and So Far, So Good… So What! in their entirety, and finished off the night with a few cuts from Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying? including the title track, “Devil’s Island” and “Wake Up Dead”.
Ellefson left Megadeth earlier this year, and Kings of Thrash came about after Ellefson gave some thought about a way to perform some classic Megadeth for fans. “This idea had come to me — and it came to me last fall,” he explained. “I was at an autograph show on the East Coast, and people were bringing me ‘Killing Is My Business’ records left and right. And it just reminded me, this record needs to be played; it needs to be performed. Same as ‘So Far, So Good… So What!’ To me, those are kind of these two really special records that — they never went unnoticed, but they didn’t get the big fanfare like ‘Peace Sells’ and ‘Rust In Peace’ and all this stuff. So, to me, I made it my mission. I was, like, ‘You know what? Let’s unearth these things and let’s bring these up on the stage and play them.” (excerpt from Yes! You CAN Play Guitar! interview earlier this year).
Ellefson contributed on all three of the featured Megadeth records, while Young was with the band for So Far, So Good…. Poland was a member of Megadeth from 1984 to 1987, performing on Killing Is My Business... , and Peace Sells... . The combination of these musicians together was a real treat for ‘droogies” in attendance, not only hearing the full classic records again but with three major players from the era on stage. The crowd headbanged and moshed and screamed songs for close to two hours, with a ferocious encore finishing off the night.
We'll be looking out for more from this project, with recordings seemingly in the works and more tour dates on the horizon...? Peace Sells... and we're buying.
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Kings of Thrash photos : Stardogphotos.com / Jo Anna Jackson