Megadeth: Countdown To Extinction - Live (2012)

DVD Cover (Universal Music & Video)
Genres: Concerts, Music, Vocal Music
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James Yukich James Yukich
Chris Broderick Chris Broderick
Shawn Drover Shawn Drover
Dave Ellefson Dave Ellefson
Dave Mustaine Dave Mustaine
Movie Connections:
Band: Megadeth
> Megadeth: Rude Awakening (2001)
> Metallica / Slayer / Megadeth /... (2010)
> Megadeth: Countdown To Extinction... (2012)

8.4 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Crispy
Added: September 13, 2015
Happy birthday to me! And also to Dave Mustaine, the guitarist/singer of my favorite band, thrash legends Megadeth. I knew I wanted to celebrate our birthdays by reviewing one of the band's four concert videos, and I ultimately decided on their latest release: a show celebrating the twentieth anniversary of their Countdown to Exctinction album. Seeing as how that was the album that got me into the band, it seemed only fitting. Specifically, the band captured the December 7, 2012 concert from Pamona, California; at the time, the band's ever-changing line up consisted of guitarist Chris Broderick, drummer Shawn Drover, and of course bassist Dave Ellefson and Dave Mustaine. They played the entirety of the Countdown album, sandwiched in between a collection of their biggest hits. The complete setlist consists of:

-Prince of Darkness (Intro on PA)
-Hangar 18
-Public Enemy
-Skin O' My Teeth
-Symphony of Destruction
-Architecture of Aggression
-Foreclosure of a Dream
-Sweating Bullets
-This Was My Life
-Countdown to Extinction
-High Speed Dirt
-Captive Honour
-Ashes in Your Mouth
-Peace Sells
-Holy Wars...The Punishment Due
-Silent Scorn (Outro on PA)

I've seen the band in concert a handful of times and these guys deliver. All of that is captured beautifully on this release. The energy is through the roof and in true Megadeth fashion, the technical songs are handled with precision. Broderick and Menza may not exactly put the emotion into their parts that Marty Friedman and Nick Menza did back in 1992, but that doesn't mean they're slouching. Ellefson's basslines are much higher in the mix on this DVD than in the album, and you can really hear how intricate his riffs are. I've always been drawn to the low-end, so this was certainly a treat for yours truly. There's no questioning Mustaine's skills on guitar (an amazing feat in and of itself considering he suffered massive nerve damage in his fret arm about ten years ago), but it is worth noting that fifty-one-year-old Dave can't quite hit the high notes that thirty-one-year-old Dave recorded. If nothing else, I feel better that they didn't do a 20th anniversary tour for my favorite album, 1994's Youthanasia. That album has a lot of songs in a higher register, and that would have been ugly. Now, that's not exactly a criticism; if I'm watching a concert DVD I don't want it to sound exactly like the studio recording. All of these differences add the human touches that make the performance worth watching.

The production of both the concert and the DVD had a smile on my face. The band has three screens behind them with videos accenting whatever song they're playing. At this stage in their career, the band has their list of live staples so those particular videos are going to get some mileage. However, Symphony of Destruction and Sweatin' Bullets are the only two songs off of Countdown to Extinction that are consistently played, so the majority of these videos were made especially for this concert. You'd expect them to be phoned in, but some of them were actually really involved. Psychotron's video was notably a good one, and using the actual footage of the machine gun fire that opens Architecture of Aggression was a great touch. Moving over to the footage aspect, I really liked how this was shot. Some concert videos have a habit of jumping from angle to angle every two seconds; your brain doesn't even have a chance to register what you're seeing. Not here. We stick with a single angle for a good ten to fifteen seconds, and we can actually enjoy the show without worrying about epilepsy. Also, a lot of the solos are spent zoomed right into the guitar strings. On paper this sounds like a bad idea, but they used a variety of angles to keep things interesting, and it really drives home just how talented Mustaine and Broderick are.

This is an awesome DVD for Megadeth fans, especially if you have a soft spot for that Countdown album. There's no questioning their metal legend status after watching this one. 9/10. Happy birthday Dave!
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