While not quite equaling the iconic staying power of pioneering thrash contemporaries Metallica and Slayer, Megadeth nonetheless remains an extreme-metal touchstone with an impressive, still-loyal following. These days, 'deth principal (and original Metallica guitarist), Dave Mustaine, is focused on giving back to the metal community. Now in its second year, his traveling metalfest, Gigantour, serves as a platform for well-known acts, an introduction to up-and-coming names, and a true-metal alternative to OzzFest's trendier tendencies.
Last year's inaugural outing featured a decidedly hit-and-miss bill, but Gigantour 2 seems not only packed with well-known bands both new- and old-school, but also committed to the something-for-every-metalhead ideal. In addition to Megadeth (touring in support of its upcoming 12th album, United Abominations) and heavily buzzed breakthrough act Lamb of God, the slate also includes back-in-the-day peers Overkill; atmospheric, classically inclined Swedish doom-metal combo Opeth; killer female-fronted Euro death metal outfit Arch Enemy; tech-y prog-death unit Into Eternity; rising American retro-thrash purveyor Sanctity; and visceral Brooklyn rock-core crew The Smash-Up.
Gigantour 2, 4:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6 @ St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa; $36.75.