Gigantour Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, Toronto ON - September 3, 2005

It's been a summer of massive festival tours, and coming so soon after the much-celebrated Sounds of the Underground run, Dave Mustaine's hand-picked package came across as a tad underwhelming. The Dillinger Escape Plan's unexpected departure (for health reasons) from the line-up further dampened the atmosphere. Nonetheless, those in attendance seemed satisfied, particularly the legions of Megadeth fans delighted to witness an hour-and-half set spanning the group's entire career, including a particularly rousing rendition of "Peace Sells." Co-headliners Dream Theater wowed the crowd with their seemingly limitless technical ability, shredding their way through key tracks from most of their LaBrie-era records, and some less interesting tracks from their last two releases. Fear Factory stuck to a set mostly revolving around older material, coming in strong with "Demanufacture" and wisely keeping songs from their less-than-spectacular Transgression effort to a minimum. Half the crowd singing loud and clear to the "open your eyes" refrain of "Archetype" was a particularly notable moment of the show - witnessing a band schooled on the best of Napalm Death and Godflesh tearing it up in a stadium setting was definitive example of just how far aggressive music has come in recent years. Life Of Agony have consistently failed to revive their career post-River Runs Red, as the crowd's lacking response to their performance clearly indicated. Nevermore, while limited by an offensively short set time, pumped out crowd favourites "The Seven Tongues of God" and "The River Dragon Has Come" with a renewed sense of apparent sobriety and vigour. Especially considering Dillinger's departure, a meatier helping of the group would have been preferred. On the whole, Gigantour was an interesting, diverse package that could have been structured and delivered more effectively.