Dave Ellefson recalls Megadeth playing the song “The Conjuring” live last year for the first time in 17 years
Megadeth bassist Dave Ellefson as recently interviewed by Metal Pulp and Paper, and was asked about Megadeth playing the track “The Conjuring” from the album Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying? (1986) live at the Home Monitoring Aréna in Plzeň, Czech Republic on June 12, 2018.
It was noted to Ellefson that Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine spoke in 2011 about his decision not to include the song in the Megadeth setlist anymore given that the central theme of the song dealt with the occult, something he was not into anymore for a very long time. In his 2010 autobiography Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir, Mustaine wrote that he practiced black magic as a teenager and that the experience, which inspired the song, affected his life for many years after.
Ellefson advised: “That song, despite any lyrical content, has some amazing riffs and groove to it. In many ways it encapsulates Megadeth from the 1980s very well. It seems the fans love it, too! It’s a fun song to play, always has been.”
In terms of why the fans went wild when hearing the song live again, Ellefson opined: “Probably because the fans thought they’d never hear it again. And, it’s one of those very recognizable intro riffs, coupled with the quarter note bass drum intro, which works really well in an arena setting. Even if you’ve never heard the song before, those compositional elements help create excitement in a big concert hall.”
Ellefson was asked what he remembered the most that stands out from the very first time he played the song “The Conjuring” live in 1986, and then in 2018. The bassist replied (with slight edits): “We actually performed it on our very first debut shows in San Francisco back in 1984, when Kerry King was in the band. Dave recited the intro lyrics, and then we played the song. At some point when we performed it, those lyrics were laid over the music to create the haunting crescendo, which is how you hear it now on the “Peace Sells…” album. Fun fact: many of the “Peace Sells…” and ‘KIMB‘ [Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good!] songs were all written in the same period of time, from 1983-84. They were split up to make the two albums, and of course more songs were composed to create the entire “Peace Sells…” album.”
You can read the rest of the interview with Dave Ellefson at Metal Pulp and Paper.
Megadeth performing “The Conjuring” live in Plzeň, Czech Republic on June 12, 2018:
Megadeth plays “The Conjuring” for the first time since the band re-activated in 2004. I have waited a long time for that song.
Megadeth performing “The Conjuring” live in Spodek, Katowice on June 13, 2018: