Akira Takasaki, guitarist for the Japanese heavy metal band LOUDNESS, joined MEGADETH on stage last night (Monday, October 19) to play "Symphony Of Destruction" for the group's encore song in Osaka, Japan. MEGADETH dedicated the track to LOUDNESS drummer Munetaka Higuchi, who died on November 30, 2008 after a seven-month battle with liver cancer.
An audience recording of the performance can be heard below (audio only).
MEGADETH's setlist for the Osaka concert was as follows:
01. Set The World Afire
02. Wake Up Dead
03. Hangar 18
04. Skin O' My Teeth
05. Head Crusher
07. In My Darkest Hour
08. Tornado Of Souls
10. Devil's Island
11. Kick The Chair
12. Sweating Bullets
13. Take No Prisoners
15. Peace Sells
16. Holy Wars/Mechanix
17. Symphony Of Destruction (with Akira Takasaki)
In a November 30, 2008 online posting, MEGADETH drummer Shawn Drover, who is a big LOUDNESS fan, stated about Higuchi's passing, "I just found out that one of my favorite drummers passed away — Munetaka Higuchi from the band LOUDNESS. Munetaka had been diagnosed with liver cancer less than one year ago and lost his battle, which makes me very sad. I have been a LOUDNESS fan since 1983 and have continued to follow them throughout the years. Every time we tour Japan, I would always ask our promoter if it was possible to get in touch with the LOUDNESS guys in hopes that they may attend one of our shows. Akira was rumored to swing by at one of our shows in 2005, and though it didn't happen, Glen [Drover, former MEGADETH guitarist and Shawn's brother] and I sure were excited about that possibility.
"This is once again a reminder to enjoy life and be thankful for what I have."
Higuchi was diagnosed with liver cancer (Hepatocellular Carcinoma) in April 2008. He had reportedly undergone two rounds of chemotherapy treatment and an operation to remove part of his liver.