Earlier this month, Megadeth announced their first-ever headline show at Tokyo’s prestigious Budokan arena, for which they would be reuniting with the band’s former electric guitar player, Marty Friedman.
That show took place last night (February 27), marking the first time Friedman had performed alongside Dave Mustaine and co under the Megadeth banner in over two decades.
Friedman – whose highly successful spell with the band saw the release of some of Megadeth’s biggest albums – was introduced to the stage near the end of the first set, and helped Mustaine, Kiko Loureiro, James LoMenzo and Dirk Verbeuren through three iconic tracks.
Specifically, Friedman donned his Jackson Kelly for renditions of Countdown to Extinction, Tornado of Souls and Symphony of Destruction – three songs from his 10-year tenure with the band.
“Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my dear friend, Marty Friedman,” announced Mustaine at the start of Friedman’s cameo, with whom he shared an embrace after the three tracks had been performed.
Simply seeing Friedman back in the Megadeth fold, even just for one night, will no doubt be enough to satisfy Megadeth fans, but witnessing the band’s former guitarist engage in some ferocious triple guitar action with Mustaine and the band’s current resident shred star, Loureiro, would have no doubt made the spectacle even sweeter.
In the first track, Countdown to Extinction, Friedman rolls back the years for his cameo, nonchalantly strolling around the stage as he warms up for some harmonized face-to-face soloing action with Loureiro at the 3:50 mark in the video above.
More of that same six-string action can be heard in Tornado of Souls and then Symphony of Destruction, with the latter bringing the curtain down on Friedman’s 14-minute feature, which ended with an impenetrable riff wall courtesy of the three onstage guitar heroes.
“Last night at Budokan with Megadeth was so cool on so many levels,” Friedman wrote on social media after the event. “Proud to be part of this band’s history, and the fans mean the world to me.”
There’s no denying it was a historic night for Friedman and Megadeth, particularly when the context surrounding Friedman’s exit is taken into account.
Speaking to Guitar World recently, Mustaine voiced his regret of Friedman’s departure, which was caused by managerial miscommunication regarding a guitar solo in Risk’s Breadline – a solo that had to be rerecorded at the request of Meagdeth’s managers, but whom failed to inform Friedman of the decision.
“What happened to Marty was definitely not okay,” Mustaine reflected. “Our management was supposed to tell him and, for whatever reason, they didn’t do it. I think that was a terrible thing to do to him.”
Now the floodgates for a Friedman/Megadeth partnership have opened up, there’s no telling where the pair will cross paths next – let's just hope it doesn't take another 23 years…