It's called Gigantour, and it's the brainchild of MEGADETH frontman/guitarist Dave Mustaine.Set to launch in late July, Gigantour is a six-week festival trek co-headlined by MEGADETH and DREAM THEATER, who'll be accompanied by other main-stage acts FEAR FACTORY, THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN and NEVERMORE. Artists for the second stage will be announced in the coming weeks. Gigantour follows MEGADETH's sold-out 2004 "Blackmail The Universe" tour in support of 2004's "The System Has Failed" — MEGADETH's tenth studio album — which debuted on the charts at #18 and was critically hailed as a brilliant return to form. Bandmates Glen Drover (guitar), James MacDonough (bass) and Shawn Drover (drums) will once again join Mustaine on the road. Gigantour — whose moniker was inspired by the classic 1960s cartoon "Gigantor" — will criss-cross North America, with stops in amphitheatres and arenas in cities including Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Detroit, Toronto, Montreal, Washington, Philadelphia, Boston, Denver and Minneapolis, among others. The tour is implementing the "fan-friendly" ticket price of approximately $35 each. Mustaine notes: "I think people may want an affordable alternative to the choices out there — along the lines of a pure music festival — like Monsters of Rock or Clash of the Titans." Mustaine handpicked the bands for Gigantour, with a focus on musicianship. "There are few very successful tours out each summer and in order to be significant, I knew the first Gigantour had to make an impact with top bands like DREAM THEATER, FEAR FACTORY, THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN and NEVERMORE." Mustaine wanted to "put together a festival that consisted of positive bands that play heavy music in a high energy environment." Mustaine comments on the other bands he's chosen for the Gigantour main stage. "I think that the variety of playing styles and the credibility of the different players is really exciting. I'm looking forward to spending time with DREAM THEATER — including my friend Mike Portnoy — while on the road. I think DREAM THEATER is unbelievably talented. I can't wait to see what their set list is going to be for this festival." Mike Portnoy from DREAM THEATER comments on the band's perspective on the tour: "I think we probably bring some diversity to the bill, because we're kind of like chameleons — we can fit into a lot of different situations. We've done shows in the past with IRON MAIDEN, SLAYER and PANTERA, and then we've also done shows with ELTON JOHN, YES and DEEP PURPLE. I think our fan base is very diverse like that too." Portnoy sees Gigantour as a "kind of a meeting of musicians and metal-heads." He adds: "I've been listening to MEGADETH since day one and always admired them and Dave as an artist — he constantly stuck to his guns and stuck by the music he believes in. MEGADETH are one of the pioneers of the genre." Gigantour marks the first U.S. leg of DREAM THEATER dates in support of their forthcoming release "Octavarium", due out June 7 on Atlantic Records. Mustaine first toured with FEAR FACTORY in 1994. "I think FEAR FACTORY and THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN are really going to add something different to the tour and bring some new people in." He continues, "The frontman of NEVERMORE [Warrel Dane] used to be in a band called SANCTUARY and I produced their first record." Mustaine is excited to hit the road and has a positive outlook for Gigantour. "I look forward to watching this develop over the years and seeing how we can turn this into something that's going to stand the test of time. And if this works, and it really works, maybe we'll take it elsewhere." Stay tuned for tour dates, venues and information about the second-stage bands to be announced soon.
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