Megadeth – That One Night: Live in Buenos Aires
Imagine Entertainment (9/4/07)
For many years, Dave Mustaine had wanted to record a live album in one of his favorite cities, Buenos Aires. Megadeth finally decided to go for it in 2001, but before the trigger could be pulled, terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and the world changed. It would take another four years for the band to finally take the stage at Orbras Sanitarias Stadium and record one of the hardest-hitting live metal albums ever put to disc.
That One Night is a stunning collection of tracks, spanning the career of one of metal’s most-loved outfits. That’s not to say that the set is perfectâ€”the two discs must have been recorded straight off the soundboards, but playing in an open-air stadium gives the sound an almost artificial feel (the band’s music isn’t contained by four walls and a ceiling, so it just keeps going). As for the mix in general, Mustaine is just a little too forward in relation to the rest of the band, so he overpowers at times. Also, given the venue, it would be easy for any crowd noise to drift off as well, which almost seems to be the case through the first two songs of the set (“Jet Intro” and “Blackmail the Universe”). Of course, the main reason Mustaine chose to record in Argentina was the fan intensity, and that’s the hidden element that really drives this album in the end.
There’s nothing quite like hearing the crowd lose it once the band plays the opening riffs of “Hangar 18”. And this crowd doesn’t just sing along to the songs, it sings along to the guitar, too, as the hum of the entire stadium rises above the band during many portions of the show, especially during the aforementioned “Hangar 18” and “Symphony of Destruction”.
How about the set list? Fan favorites “Peace Sells”, “Skin of My Teeth” and “Holy Wars” are here. There are some particularly blistering versions of “She Wolf”, “Tornado of Souls” and “Reckoning Day”, too. The two high points would be “A Tout Le Monde” (complete with crowd sing-a-long) and the combination of “Hangar 18” and “Return to Hangar”, which opens disc two.
Overall, this is a perfectly serviceable live Megadeth albumâ€”probably the best the band has ever released. It does, however, lack the intensity of, say, Slayer’s Decade of Aggression set, or the ferocity of something like Obituary’s Dead album (to compare to other notable live metal releases). Megadeth don’t do a lot of experimenting live, as the songs stay pretty true to the studio versionsâ€”not that that is a bad thing, but it just makes this a less than perfect release.
Megadeth has solidified its place in metal lore. Hell, the band is still cranking out killer albums (United Abominations was released earlier this year and is some of the strongest material the band has done in 10-plus years). That One Night has that air of “God, I wish I could have been there,” but it’s as much for the crowd as for the band’s performance. So, in the end, you’re left with a decent set list (there are a handful of songs that should have been on there in place of others), with the band being its usual amazing self, and a rabid crowd. Thumbs in the middle, starting to face up.