Megadeth Muffled In Beijing

The latest Western pop artist to be censored by the Chinese authorities appears to be Megadeth, though this time there is a notable difference. The group actually managed to take the stage.

Megadeth was performing at the  in Beijing in the middle of October when its set abruptly ended after one hour. But even before that, according to local English-language website The Beijinger, the band played a lot of instrumentals and extended guitar solos, which were obviously meant to make up for lack of singing.

Then, before the group left the stage, frontman Dave Mustaine said to the audience, “Thank you for leaving so that we can come back and play again.”

There was no confirmation, official or otherwise, that the show had been censored. Ahead of the group’s Oct. 8 concert in Shanghai, Mustaine commented on a live video streaming app that the Beijing show was “a little interesting because of the lyric content. We had to play some songs instrumentally and some songs we just had to plain avoid, but in the end love of music always conquers love of power.”

The songs played as instrumentals were about things like suicide, air pollution and drug abuse.

If the show was censored, it wasn’t the first time Megadeth has run into trouble in China. A concert scheduled in 2012 in Beijing was canceled supposedly because of problems with the venue license.

According to reports, the Oct. 8 Shanghai show went ahead without any censorship problems, though Mustaine did joke from the stage that the band couldn’t play “Holy Wars.”

In other Chinese censorship news, 

Megadeth was performing at the ‘s Dominic Howard recently told the South China Morning Post that his band was forced to drop two songs from the setlist when they played Beijing and Shanghai.

“There’s certain things that if the authorities feel aren’t necessarily in line with some Chinese culture then we’re not allowed to play it,” he told the paper. “You know, I get it. I understand if things are a bit sensitive over there.”