Watch: KIKO LOUREIRO Plays First Solo Concert Following Departure From MEGADETH

Kiko Loureiro played his first show since exiting MEGADETH last night (Friday, December 8) at Sesc Avenida Paulista in São Paulo, Brazil. The 51-year-old Brazilian-born-musician, who resides in Finland with his wife and kids, performed a set of songs spanning his entire career, including his eight-year run with MEGADETH. Fan-filmed video of the concert can be seen below (above image courtesy of Brazilian music journalist Igor Miranda).

Last month, Kiko discussed his decision to leave MEGADETH during an appearance on the “Amplifica” podcast, hosted by his former ANGRA bandmate Rafael Bittencourt. According to Loureiro, the reason he decided to exit Dave Mustaine‘s band was “freedom”. He described himself, as transcribed by the Confere Rock web site, as someone who “needs freedom,” explaining that he went to the United States for the same reason in the early 2000s, and that having freedom after more than eight years with MEGADETH was “important.” “And now, due to circumstances in my life, I have taken the liberty of choosing not to be in MEGADETH,” he said. “Because it’s my option. Because freedom is having the choice between two viable options; that is freedom.”

Kiko also revealed that at this point in his life, he will prioritize his family over everything else. He mentioned that he almost missed his daughter Lívia‘s birth after returning home from an appearance with ANGRA at the Rock In Rio festival in 2011. In 2016, he left for a MEGADETH tour just 10 days after his twin sons were born. If he was faced with the same circumstances today, he “wouldn’t be on that stage, risking missing the moment of Lívia‘s arrival,” even if Rock In Rio was the reason he started playing guitar. He also confirmed that there is a situation that requires his attention at home, but he did not disclose any more details about it.

Kiko said he felt “comfortable” as a member of MEGADETH, explaining that it was very easy to be in that position, as there is a team of around 20 people who prepare everything so the bandmembers just arrive and play. Kiko said that the circumstances surrounding his departure were openly discussed, and that he had already been talking to Mustaine about it since June of this year. He noted that he was responsible for finding his replacement in MEGADETH, Teemu Mäntysaari (WINTERSUN, SMACKBOUND),and revealed that he sent videos to the Finnish musician and met up with Teemu in the weeks leading up to the band’s late summer/fall 2023 tour to make the transition more seamless.

Earlier in November, Kiko announced his decision to “extend” his absence from MEGADETH‘s touring activities, explaining that he didn’t want to “hinder any of the band’s plans or the hard work of all the incredible people involved in the tour.”

Kiko revealed in September that he would sit out the next leg of MEGADETH‘s “Crush The World” tour in order to stay home with his children back in Finland.

One day after Kiko‘s announcement that he was “extending” his absence from MEGADETH‘s touring activities, Mustaine released a statement in which he said that he loves Loureiro and respects and fully supports Kiko‘s decision. He described Kiko as “a top-notch professional, a maestro” and thanked the guitarist “for his dedication and hard work these past nine years, helping us to achieve a Grammy on ‘Dystopia’ and the additional awards we have received on this latest record ‘The Sick… The Dying…And The Dead’.” Mustaine added: “I could not have done this without Kiko Loureiro.”

In early October, Mustaine told Shaggy of the 94.9 and 104.5 The Pick radio station in Idaho Falls, Idaho about Teemu‘s addition to MEGADETH: “People are losing their minds over how things are going right now ’cause we have a really good chemistry together.”

In September, Mustaine was equally full of praise for Mäntysaari, telling Wes Styles in a separate interview: “He’s really great. And I’m super excited with what Teemu has brought. And it’s uncanny because he plays a lot like [former MEGADETH guitarist] Marty [Friedman]. And it’s really exciting. At certain times I just close my eyes during the set and I just hear these songs played, whether like Kiko in the past or Teemu now, it just sounds really magic because these guys have learned these songs and they’re not just going out there and just banging their guitar around; they actually learned the solos from some of the virtuosos that I’ve played with over my career.”

MEGADETH played its first concert with Mäntysaari on September 6 at Revel in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The 36-year-old Mäntysaari was born in Tampere, Finland and began playing guitar at the age of 12. In 2004, he joined the band WINTERSUN. He has also been a member of SMACKBOUND since 2015.

Loureiro officially joined MEGADETH in April 2015, about five months after Chris Broderick‘s exit from the group.

Shortly after Loureiro‘s addition to MEGADETH, Mustaine called him “definitely the best guitarist we’ve ever had.” His comments echoed those he made about Broderick during the latter’s tenure in the band. Back in 2013, during the making of MEGADETH‘s “Super Collider” album, Mustaine wrote in a tweet that Chris was “without a doubt the best guitarist I’ve ever played with.”

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 added that Kiko 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.”

In addition to Mustaine and Mäntysaari, MEGADETH‘s current lineup includes former SOILWORK drummer Dirk Verbeuren and bassist James LoMenzo.

Kiko Loureiro apresenta repertório que trafega por diversos momentos da carreira do guitarrista, da música brasileira ao…

Posted by Paulistano on Saturday, November 25, 2023

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