Megadeth to play its most popular album in Utah concert

Music • Metal band led by Dave Mustaine to perform "Countdown to Extinction" in Utah.
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Megadeth's "Countdown to Extinction" came out in 1992. In 2012, fortunately for us, extinction hasn't yet arrived.

Nevertheless, the California metal band is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the album with a tour that includes a stop at Saltair on Saturday.

"Countdown to Extinction" remains the best-selling album by the band launched after frontman/guitarist Dave Mustaine was tossed out of Metallica in 1983. Debuting at No. 2 on the Billboard album chart, the 1992 record featured the band's most recognizable song, "Symphony of Destruction," which became an unlikely MTV hit.

Despite touring to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the album "Rust in Peace" two years ago, the decision to tour and play "Countdown to Extinction" wasn't as clear-cut as it might seem, said Megadeth guitarist Chris Broderick.

"It wasn't like a no-brainer," Broderick said. "We had talked about doing a [1986 album "Peace Sells… but Who's Buying?"] anniversary tour. A lot of times we'll look at what people are talking about on the Internet."

And fans, Broderick said, were clamoring for a "Countdown to Extinction" tour. That's despite how in 1992 many metal purists scoffed at the record as an attempt by Mustaine to gain more commercial appeal, much like Metallica.

Broderick, the youngest member of the band, said he became a fan of Megadeth with 1990's "Rust in Peace." He said he didn't immediately warm to the idea of album anniversary tours but was converted after he saw the reaction from audiences on the 2010 "Rust in Peace" tour.

"I think I got more into it when I saw the fans get into it," he said. "Once you release an album, it no longer becomes yours — it becomes the fans'."

Broderick, a 42-year-old Colorado native, said his favorite vacation spots are the snowboarding hills in northern Utah and houseboating at Lake Powell. He relishes the success that has come his way since Mustaine plucked him from Colorado metal band Jag Panzer four years ago.

"Who would want to change this?" Broderick said. "I'm in a iconic metal band that's known for its guitars."

Megadeth has brought fellow Californian metal band Kyng (often known as KYNG) on tour. "We're big Megadeth fans," said singer and guitarist Eddie Veliz. "We look at each other all the time and say, 'This is special.' "

This will be Kyng's first show in Utah, after a tour with Seether was canceled earlier this year. The band likes calling its music "California heavy."

It performed as a quartet until the band booted its singer. Now, it is proud to set itself apart as a metal trio. "It wasn't working," said Veliz, who was raised in east Los Angeles. "He was a singer who screamed, with a really throaty voice. But it wasn't working. If we get a fourth member, we'll be just another four-piece."

He added: "There's not many bands doing what we're doing."

Maybe extinction is on the rise.

Twitter: @davidburger —

'Countdown To Extinction' 20th-anniversary tour

Megadeth will play its popular 1992 album at this Utah concert. Also on the bill: Kyng.

When • Saturday, Dec. 1, 8 p.m.

Where • Saltair, 12408 W. Salt Air Drive, Magna

Tickets • $35 at SmithsTix