Megadeth were joined onstage by former lead guitarist Marty Friedman for the first time in 23 years during the band’s February 27th concert at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo.
Tens songs into the set, a video montage played showing footage of Friedman, before frontman Dave Mustaine introduced his former bandmate to the stage during the opening to “Countdown to Extinction”: “Ladies and gentleman, please welcome my good friend and lead guitar player, Marty Friedman.”
Mustaine, Friedman, and current lead player Kiko Loureiro then formed a triple-axe attack, barreling through Friedman-era staples “Countdown to Extinction,” “Tornado of Souls,” and “Symphony of Destruction.” As if no time had passed, Friedman was a seamless fit in Megadeth’s current lineup, unleashing the many riffs and solos he originally wrote for those songs.
A particularly poignant moment occurred during the extended instrumental section of “Tornado of Souls” — often considered Friedman’s finest achievement with Megadeth. As Mustaine stepped back from the mic, he faced up to his old bandmate, and the two shared giant smiles as they riffed in unison once more.
The Budokan concert marked Megadeth’s first appearance at the legendary Tokyo venue. The occasion was properly celebrated with a livestream that can still be purchased for on-demand viewing here. Fans can also catch Megadeth in person this week in Osaka, followed by an Australian tour in March, a handful of US festival dates, and a UK/European trek this summer. Pick up tickets to Megadeth’s upcoming shows here.
After establishing himself as a Shrapnel Records-approved shredder in the ’80s, Friedman joined Megadeth in 1990 and worked on alongside Mustaine and company on some of the band’s most celebrated albums, including 1990’s Rust in Peace and its 1992 follow-up Countdown to Extinction.
Friedman eventually exited the band following 1999’s Risk, and settled in Japan, but he has remained active as a solo artist. He is currently slated to support Queensrÿche and play a number headlining shows in 2023. Get tickets for most of those dates here.
Below you can see fan footage from Megadeth’s Budokan show with Marty Friedman, followed by the setlist.
Dread and the Fugitive Mind
The Threat Is Real
Conquer or Die!
A tout le monde
Countdown to Extinction (with Marty Friedman)
Tornado of Souls (with Marty Friedman)
Symphony of Destruction (with Marty Friedman)
We’ll Be Back
Holy Wars… The Punishment Due