Kiko Loureiro says that one of the most memorable experiences he has had as a member of MEGADETH was the very first concert he played with the band, which took place in July 2015 at the Festival D’été De Québec (also known as by its acronym FEQ, or Quebec City Summer Festival in English), in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.
In a short video posted to MEGADETH‘s official YouTube channel, Kiko said: “The first show I played, in Canada, we were not on tour — it was just a one-off. So I had to learn all the songs — 18 songs or something like this — for one show. And then it was not a small show — it was a huge festival for 70,000 people, in Quebec, summer festival, open air. And one day of the festival — it was like a summer week — it was THE ROLLING STONES, the other day it was FOO FIGHTERS headlining, and then the other day MEGADETH, with me, for the first show. And it was really challenging to be prepared and ready for that. So I went for three days of rehearsal. But during the rehearsals, you’re not only playing. Because I learned the songs by myself, and then I was showing the way I was playing the songs for Dave [Mustaine, MEGADETH frontman], so on those three days, Dave was showing me some different, new stuff that I had to play three days after. And also checking out the equipment — everything was new. And then suddenly, no soundcheck, because it was a festival, straight to the stage, 70,000 people, Canadian TV and all that. And it was raining, so it was kind of slippery on stage, and I had to play, for the first time, all those songs. It was really difficult. So this I will never forget. It was really challenging to be ready for this gig.”
Last year, Kiko told Loud Trax that he initially had a difficult time figuring out how to plays the MEGADETH songs his own way while still staying true to the way the original guitar players recorded the tracks.
“When it comes to the rhythm parts, I play with Dave [Mustaine], so I have to match the way he plays, which is really hard, because he has his unique way of playing the rhythms, the riffs,” he said. “That was the toughest part, I have to say. But now, I’m playing way better — the rhythms and the riffs now. I’m learning with the master, so it’s great for me. And the solos, I don’t play much [along to the albums] — I just listen and I try to get the vibe of the solos of the song, and then I keep listening and listening, and then I get the instrument and then I try to play. I’ve been playing guitar for many, many years, so I think it’s just a combination of the feeling that I get from the song and then the way I play.”
Mustaine told Revolver magazine that finding Loureiro “was really a mind-blower. It was the first time since Marty Friedman joined the band that I was really intimidated as a player,” he said. “He’s such an amazing talent, and he’s been coming in with all of these fresh ideas.” Mustaine has also called Loureiro the “best guitarist we’ve ever had,” adding that he was a good fit personality wise. “Chris [Broderick] and I had a good chemistry, but we weren’t really as close as I would have wanted us to be,” Mustaine explained. “Kiko, I feel like I’ve known him for years.”
Loureiro made his MEGADETH recording debut on the band’s 15th studio album, “Dystopia”, which was released in January 2016. A follow-up effort is tentatively due later this year.