The thrash metal veterans are currently on the Metal Tour of the Year with co-headliners Lamb of God and supporting acts Trivium and Hatebreed. Before launching into their final song, “Holy Wars … The Punishment Due,” Mustaine took time to address the crowd.
“I just wanna tell you how great it is,” the 60-year-old singer and guitarist said. “Look around you, guys. Look to your right, look to your left and look how wonderful this is. We’re all here together. We’re not in fucking bags. We’re not freaking out, and we’re not yelling at people, ‘Where’s your fucking mask?'”
Amid chants of “U.S.A.!” from the audience, Mustaine continued: “Listen, it starts with this kind of a sensation that we feel right now. We feel together, we feel like [there’s] strength in numbers. We feel like we are invincible. People will not be able to stop us.”
You can watch Mustaine’s speech below.
“The thing right now that’s going on is tyranny,” Mustaine added. “This is called tyranny. Look it up when you get home. And tyranny isn’t only in government. Tyranny right now is in the schools, and tyranny is in the medical business. We have the power, especially us … heavy metal fans, we have the power to change things.” He concluded his address by saying, “If you look what happened in the Middle East right now … I said it a long time ago with this next song, ‘Holy Wars.'”
Lucky for Mustaine, Megadeth played at Camden’s Live Nation-operated BB&T Pavilion less than three weeks before the company begins requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination for all U.S. employees. The new rule goes into effect Oct. 4, and Live Nation is also “encouraging” artists to require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test from fans.
This is far from Mustaine’s first controversial sociopolitical stance. The bandleader was roundly condemned in 2012 for peddling the conspiracy theory that then-president Barack Obama was staging mass shootings around the U.S. in order to pass anti-gun legislation and claiming the country was “turning into Nazi America.” These comments earned Mustaine public criticism from Motley Crue‘s Nikki Sixx, who called Mustaine a “fucking asshole” and told him to “move the fuck out” of the U.S. if he didn’t like it.
Around that time, Mustaine also guested on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ radio show, where he echoed the racist conspiracy theory that Obama was born in Kenya and compared Michelle Obama’s appearance to that of a black widow.
In ostensibly less-polarizing news, Mustaine also told fans that the Metal Tour of the Year will return next year, although it may feature a new and bigger lineup.
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