Megadeth became a five-piece for the first time in their career at Download 2016, when they were sensationally joined on stage by former Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx. Nikki, who earlier in the day performed with his band Sixx:A.M., joined his former rivals for a cover of The Sex Pistols' 'Anarchy In The U.K.’
Megadeath’s performance came on the second day of the annual Midlands' event. Kicking off on Friday (10th June), Download 2016 had already seen show stopping performances from the likes of The Wildhearts, and Germanic industrialists Rammstein, who had closed the first night of the event with a pyro-heavy spectacle.
Taking to the stage shortly before 6pm, Megadeth wowed the crowd with an out-of-this-world ‘Hangar 18’, before taking into a flurry of tracks from this year’s ‘Dystopia’ release, with a show that proved a thrash metal masterclass.
It was midway through their hour long set however, that front man Dave Mustaine introduced their unexpected “special guest”. Welcoming Nikki Sixx to the stage, Mustaine recalled the rivalry between the thrash and glam metal scenes of the early 1980s. Said Dave: “Back when Megadeth were starting out we lived in L.A., and there was a lot of rivalry between the big bands”.
However, he added: “with this guest it’s a coming in together of both sides”, as the former Mötley Crüe bassist ambled onto the stage.
With the four-piece becoming five, Sixx joined Megadeth member David Ellefson to double up on bass guitar duties, as well as handling backing vocals on ‘Anarchy In The U.K.’. The punk rock classic was covered by Megadeth on their 1988 release ‘So Far, So Good... So What!’, while Mötley Crüe released their version in 1991, as part of their 'Decade Of Decadence' collection.
Acknowledging the unlikely union, the performance prompted Mustaine to quip: “Well, hell has frozen over, hasn’t it?!”
Download 2016 continues, with Saturday’s line-up being headed-up by Deftones, who are due to appear on the main stage ahead of headliners Black Sabbath. The festival comes to a close on Sunday right, when Iron Maiden bring their ‘Book Of Souls' show to the event for their first Download appearance since 2013.