Aguante – Spanish for Endurance, Strength, Stamina, Grit, Passion, Resistance.
In the context of Megadeth, however it means “Go!” or “Soldier on!” or “We are with you!”
I first came across this unusual chant when we were watching a bootleg concert of one of Megadeth’s concerts at a friend’s place circa 2005. Those were the days of Winamp, bootleg videos and pathetic dial-up internet access. At least where we lived.
Over a couple of hundred beers and what seemed like a million cigarettes, we were tripping on the concert as 20-year-olds do. And, like I said, the internet service was extremely patchy, and the buffering ate up half our trip, so we were all very in between. After a while, the internet somehow held its own, started behaving, and the next song turned out to be Symphony of Destruction, a song we considered to be the Enter Sandman of Megadeth. It was so ubiquitous, and you could either love it or hate it, but you could never ignore it. It was a staple of every Megadeth live show, and we were, kind of, indifferent towards it. I mean it was no Holy Wars or Hangar 18, was it? It was like an appetizer before the entrée.
But little did we know that it would be the start of something beautiful.
As soon as the eerie acapella soundscape that introduces the song came in, we heard the atypical, boisterous crowd letting loose, knowing what song was coming. The opening riff was immediately accompanied by a monstrous chant of “Megadeth, Megadeth, Aguante Megadeth.” It caught us off-guard, and we were left wondering what the hell was the crowd singing over the main riff. Was it a part of the song that we somehow didn’t pay attention to? Or was it localized to this particular concert?
What we also didn’t know then was that this would become an insane, global phenomenon that continues even today and that is point of this post. That is the reason why we absolutely love the energy, madness, loudness, and the all-encompassing brotherhood of live concerts.
Unbeknownst to the 30,000-odd fans who attended the concert that day, and to us living on the other side of the world, their “Aguante” chant would quickly be latched onto by Megadeth Fans world over.
Apparently, it was in 1994 during Megadeth’s first visit to Argentina that the birth of this crazy miracle took place. It didn’t take too long for the phenomenon to be lapped up by so many nations across the world that no matter where Megadeth played, be it Europe, America, Australia or Asia, fans missed no opportunity to sing along with the opening riff of Symphony of Destruction in their own fanatical way. For example, Peru has “Peru es Megadeth” and Colombia has “Que Chimba Megadeth.”
Here’s a picture of Hitler seconding my opinion even before it was a thing.
Hell, when Megadeth toured India for the first time in 2008, the atmosphere was lit and you bet the Indian fans (yours truly included) continued the tradition, screaming our lungs out over what was now one of my top five Megadeth songs ever. Even though the concert was plagued by very bad sound, to me, it was still stunning, and I felt that we shared our solidarity with all the fans in the world. I don’t recall any other band having their trademark chant like the one Megadeth has.
NOTE – “Ole, ole, ole, Me-ta-llica!” doesn’t count. You use that in every football (or soccer if you prefer) match and for every other band. It doesn’t have its own identity. So. Nope.
I found this amazing fan made video which I would love to share with all of you where Mustaine explains this unexpected, but welcome, surprise when he heard the crowd singing over his riff for the first time. In fact, he is so surprised that he forgets the lyric of one of the opening lines of the song. 😛
Costa Rica, Peru, Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Chile, Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela, Paraguay, Ecuador, Canada, the US, England, Belgium, India, Greece, Australia, Turkey, Israel, Russia, Philippines, Romania, Ukraine, Spain, France, Singapore, Croatia, Denmark, Portugal, Norway, Bulgaria, Finland, Italy, Slovenia, Slovakia, Ireland, Switzerland, Poland, Germany, and ARGENTINA! I’m 100% sure there must be many more countries on the list who have taken this chant and made it their own.
En unión y Libertad.
Muchas Gracias, Argentina.
Maradona, Messi, Mustaine, Megadeth.
You deserve the mantle of having the best crowds ever!
Thank you for uniting all of us.