MEGADETH headman Dave Mustaine has said again that there should be at least one more “Big Four” concert.
The so-called “Big Four” of ’80s thrash metal – METALLICS, MEGADETH, KILLER and ANTHRAX — played together for the first time in history on June 16, 2010 in front of 81,000 fans on the Sonicsphere festival at Bemowo Airport in Warsaw, Poland and again shared a bill for six more shows as part of the Sonicsphere series that same year. They reunited in 2011 for several dates, including the final “Big Four” concert, held on September 14, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in New York City. From that moment on, METALLICS, KILLER and ANTHRAX have played a number of shows together, including the 2013 sound wave party in Australia. They also performed at the 2014 Heavy MTL festival in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
mustaine spoke of the possibility of further “Big Four” shows in a new interview with Greg Prato from Song Facts. He said: “I really think it’s time for the boys METALLICS to step forward and give us one last round, see if we can get KILLER to come out of retirement and do a ‘Big Four’ and pass the torch to the new ‘Big Four’. It would be a question of who they are.
“I think symbolically it would be really cool if we did something in, say, the LA Coliseum, even if it’s just one show and that’s it,” he continued. “KILLER is from Los Angeles, so it would probably make it more convenient for them to get home at night. [Editor’s note: SLAYER‘s Tom Araya is a longtime Texas resident while Kerry King currently calls New York City his home. Paul Bostaph and Gary Holt live in Northern California.] I’ve personally been hoping for this for a while, and I keep asking and asking and asking. They just don’t feel like it. But that’s up to them.”
Back in 2018, mustaine talked about “Big Four” in an interview with “Trunk Nation LA Invasion: Live from the Rainbow Bar & Grill” On SiriusXM. Asked if there was a personal highlight of all the “Big Four” for him, it turns out MEGADETH played so far, mustaine said, “No. The whole thing was great. I can’t boil it down to one thing. I do know that looking out in the audience and seeing everyone in black t-shirts before we started and when the rain started and all these rainbow colored umbrellas opened it was the most beautiful thing there was because it went from this monochromatic kind of really ugly place in Sofia Bulgaria in the rain to this abundance of color and just beauty and everyone was dancing and pogoing and wheelchairs over people’s heads going and stuff. They didn’t let the rain bother them at all. I felt like I was out there skating on the deck because it was really slippery.”
Earlier in 2018, mustaine said he would like to play a “Big Four” show where all the bands were “treated fairly” instead of METALLICS play a longer set and get more stage space than the other groups on the bill. “It’s always a bit sour for me when you watch [METALLICA guitarist] Kirk Hammet say on the DVD [‘The Big Four: Live From Sofia, Bulgaria’]when they are praying, and he says ‘we are the great’,” mustaine told SiriusXM. “That just shows what the mindset was there – that it really wasn’t the ‘Big Four’; it was METALLICS and then the three of us.”
mustaine added: “I’d love to see it happen in a way where we were all treated fairly and we all played together, the same amount of time, the same kind of stage situation, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. And it’s cool, because KILLERgoes down in history and they don’t need the ‘Big Four’ to make them even more legendary than they already are. Me neither.”
Hammett said in 2017 that he believed the “Big Four” idea would be revisited. He explained, “I see those shows as a kind of celebration – a real celebration of each other, and a real celebration of the music we’re all making, and a real celebration of the audience embracing each other. [what] We have done. And why wouldn’t you have more of that?”
nine years ago, KILLER frontman Tom Araya said the only thing standing in the way of further “Big Four” shows was “the character politics in a certain band”, with some fans speculating he was talking about mustaine and MEGADETH.
In his autobiography “Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir”, mustaine addressed the question of where his band fit into the “Big Four” order. According to The New York Timeshe assured the reader that he was not offended by falling behind KILLER. But he added an internal monologue: “OK, we’re leading you on this journey, and God willing, we’ll do it again sometime in the near future and we can turn things around.”
mustaine was a member of METALLICS for less than two years, from 1981 to 1983, before being fired and replaced by Kirk Hammet. He continued to form MEGADETH and single-handedly achieve global success.
mustaine arguing with the members of METALLICS for more than two decades before things finally recovered in recent years. He has jammed with his ex-bandmates several times on “Big Four” shows and on METALLICS‘s 30th anniversary concerts in 2011.