The blistering sounds of Megadeth, Lamb of God, Opeth, Arch Enemy and Overkill overloaded all ears under the blistering sun at the main stage. The second stage held the talents of the Smashup, Into Eternity and Sanctity (I could have sworn that was Jack Black on guitar).

Overkill is back in the current metal game as was evidenced by its live show and the crowd's reaction. Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth's unique operatic screech was in perfect pitch as the band chugged on behind. Overkill's live show superceded studio recordings and, next to Megadeth, was the standout performance of the show.

Arch Enemy vocalist Angela Gossow is an incredible presence, taking charge of her stage with a death growl. The musicianship is powerful; however, her growl gets rather monotonous after a few minutes.

Opeth has a very strong cult-like following, which was represented in full. New drummer Martin Axenrot, handled the percussion as though he was born into it. Opeth songs often go back and forth between a death metal grind and an almost pretty lullaby serenade. The band's song selection this evening had too much of the mellow orchestrations rather than the heavy.

Once again, the members of Lamb of God prove their domination in today's death metal scene. Singer Randy Blythe is as intense as ever, and acts out like a violently tempered little boy. His vocals were rather shoddy though as he tore his vocal chords apart more and more each song. By the end of the set he failed to even manage much of a speaking voice.

It was a mildly hot day, but the guys slammed out all the old favorites and some new ones as well. The band's fan base increases every year and LOG may stand out among the death metal masses as one of the “real” groups on the scene; but the vocals need professional evaluation. The rest of the band was tight and reflected a bit of Pantera-like rhythms.

Megadeth brought a delicious and familiar rage as the band fed its fans rabid angst and politics. Frontman/founder Dave Mustaine's political ramblings were old even in 1987 – now they're just annoying.

The wonder of Megadeth is how Mustaine can combine songs from the band's entire history so consistently. Some albums have an overproduced feel, so it's always nice to hear the songs live and raw. The emotional “In My Darkest Hour” was perhaps the strongest moment of the set. But “She-Wolf,” “Hangar 18,” “Peace Sells …,” “Can't Die Dead Enough,” “The Reckoning” and “Sweating Bullets” were all incredible. —Kerr Seth Lordygan