Megadeth has gone through many permutations since their formation in 1983 following Dave Mustaine's dismissal. Their most stable period, and arguably their most successful, was the 1989-1998 lineup of Dave Mustaine, David Ellefson, Marty Friedman, and Nick Menza. Outside of that time, there seemed to be a new permutation of the band every year or two.
Throughout it all, the one constant has been Dave Mustaine, a fantastic singer/guitarist who never seems to be terribly easy to get along with, probably leading to the revolving door of band members. There is one other constant; they have always put out kick-ass metal regardless of who was in the band. Sure, some of the albums are better than others, but still. This show captures the incredible energy of the Argentinian crowd and helps to secure Dave Mustaine as a metal force to be reckoned with.
I have had the pleasure of seeing Megadeth twice, unfortunately not during the Friedman/Menza years. The first time was in the Fall of 2001, shortly before their last DVD was recorded, Rude Awakening, with the lineup that included Al Pitrelli and Jimmy Degrasso. Excellent show, and DVD, it is pretty much the same setlist that I saw and watching it takes me back to that night. The next time I saw them was during the inaugural Gigantour in 2005, which was shortly before this new DVD was recorded, and features a similar setlist.
The lineup captured here includes Glen Drover on guitar, his brother Shawn on drums, and ex-Iced Earth bassist James Macdonough. It may not be my favorite band lineup (a lineup that has already changed with Macdonough out and James Lomenzo, formerly of Black Label Society, stepping in), but it is hard to argue the fact that this DVD is pure metal joy. The energy and technical precision is great.
Taking a stripped down approach, Mustaine and crew take to the stage with a minimal stage setup, a few big lights and a couple of giant monitors is all they have, and all they need. The Argentinian crowd was into it from the start. Watching the camera pan over the fans, I can only wish that I was part of it. There was none of that arm swinging, punch your neighbor "dancing," just thousands of people jumping and banging their heads in unison, it must have been an amazing time. Something else was noticeable that I have not witnessed before, the crowd was singing the guitar part! I had never fathomed such a thing would happen, but there it was, and it was immensely cool.