Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

DVD: Megadeth ~ Rust In Peace Live

(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: thrash, heavy metal
Label: Shout Factory!
Year: 2010
Home: Arizona

Concert location: Palladium, Hollywood, California
Year Recorded: 2010
Length: 90 minutes
Bonus Features: pre-show behind the scenes footage, non-album bonus tracks

Members: Dave Mustaine ~ vocals/guitar
Chris Broderick ~ guitar
David Ellefson ~ bass/b. vocals
Shawn Drover ~ drums


There's really no surprise in what type of show Megadeth put on ... only the thrashiest best. Frontman Dave Mustaine opens the show by coming on stage walking slowly, a nice clean cut shirt & looking no different than a kid brother, nothing particularly metal about him, & saying "You all know why we're here right?" The band then appears just as unassumingly as the music rips into the air with heavy abandon & an array of now certifiable classic thrash riffs. Some people say that modern bands feel they need flash & a floor show to get attention. Some bands have made a career out of it. But, unpretentious & unflashy is the name of the game with Megadeth, titans of heavy metal. The flashing lights are minimal & so is the stage theatrics, though there is one of the best stage sets Megadeth has ever had with a giant of Vic Rattlehead the skeleton looming over them. The music speaks for itself & doesn't need any help, pounding fists, leather pants or any of the typical metal cliches, which is almost ironic considering how influencial & iconic & influencial Megadeth is to the metal community. & it doesn't need to be made commercially palatable as Capital Records once believed. In honor of the 25th anniversary of their classic album Rust In Peace the band, with two members remaining from the release, decided to perform the entire album live. The result is a sold out concert, as might be guessed, with the energy high & the music powerful & as great as when it was created. The follow-up Countdown To Extinction might be the album that brought many new fans to the band & gave them an arsenal of new classics with its stream-lined yet cutting edge sound that would change thrash forever, but is predecessor Rust In Peace got the gears rolling & put everything in place with its rush of technically & rhythmically challenging arrangements that successfully brought together everything that Megadeth had struggled to accomplish before. Countdown To Extinction is almost like the calm after the storm. The music is so powerful that Mustaine is already taking a solo before even singing a line. Who opens a song with a solo? Whose got such trust in what they are performing that you don't even need to warm-up the audience other than with a weak hello? Rust In Peace also served as the debut for guitar virtuoso Marty Friedman & drummer Nick Menza, who along with founding members bassist Dave Ellefson & Mustaine, are considered the classic & largely the best line-up. But, three guitarists later is Friedman's absent noticeable? Mustaine has mellowed & matured a lot since he left in 2000 & the band has gone through many changes. The angry young men that composed the songs are gone. Successors Al Pitrelli, Glen Drover & Chris Broderick don't have the glam rock quirkiness of Friedman & certainly all have different styles, but for the more mature band Broderick might be the best fit at this stage in their career & creativity. He's mature & strong as a musician, let alone physically as a person, providing a nice counterpoint to kid brother Mustaine, plus has a more growling tone versus Mustaine's speedy flights of finger stretching fancy high on the neck. It also helps that he's part of a band with a legacy not a band trying to create one. It's a gig he can have fun with. & so many guitarists have now gone through the ranks that some pressure is off. Megadeth have nothing to prove at this point in time. Only those super critical will pick apart Broderick's choice of notes in the solos or be disappointed by how he isn't Friedman. There's even a chance that new fans might even prefer this line-up of Megadeth over the original, while finding the angry young band of 25 years earlier a strange sight. The other criticism regularly hurled against Megadeth has always been Mustaine's singing, or lack of it. Here he's raw & not so well-oiled as the studio, but his voice is distinctive & with anyone else Megadeth would not be Megadeth. The concert includes some additional tracks outside of Rust In Peace of which no Megadeth concert can ignore. As always the band goes through them with abandon as they've been seen to do on many other videos. Bonus material include pre-show video footage & conversations with fans standing outside waiting in line plus footage of the band inside at the same time. It's the standard array of bonus footage, seen on countless DVDs, & a single viewing situation. Enjoyable parts include a ponytailed Mustaine, looking more his age than the kid brother he is like on stage with his flobby bangs, ordering food & grinning it up during a photo shoot. A classy moment is when he asks for the techies to take a moment so he can meet & thank all of them personally. How many musicians do this? There's also a warm-up by the band in the dressing room with amps blaring showing how tightly they are in sync.

Track listing: Holy Wars .. The Punishment Due
Hangar 18
Take No Prisoners
Five Magics
Poison Was The Cure
Lucretia
Tornado Of Souls
Dawn Patrol
Rust In Peace ... Polaris
Holy Wars - Reprise


Bonus Tracks: Skin O' My Teeth
In My Darkest Hour
She-Wolf
Trust
Symphony Of Destruction
Peace Sells







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