Megadeth’s Rust In Peace is easily in my top five thrash metal albums of all time. It might even be in my top three if I were to sit down and hash them all out. So I was stoked when I found this live CD used at Deja Vu Discs for a whopping $8.
In 2010 they went on tour to celebrate the album’s 20th anniversary and played it straight through. This recording is from the Los Angeles show on March 31st, where the band originally began their Rust In Peace Tour in 1990. The show was recorded on video as well, which of course is somehow just hanging out on YouTube without any copyright take downs since 2013:
As far as band members go, we hit the jackpot as Megadeth’s revolving door lands on one of their best line ups.
Dave Mustaine – of course is present as lead singer and on 1st guitar. Megadeth’s Lemmy, Angus, Keith and Mick.
David Ellefson – returns on the bass after an eight year hiatus from the band. Very appropriate since he contributed to some of the writing on Rust In Peace.
Chris Broderick – Chris was with the band for about eight years on 2nd guitar and he was one of the best they had. He does a solid job recreating Marty Friedman’s licks and arpeggios like a rock ‘n roll beast.
Shawn Drover – A Canadian boy who was with the band for a solid decade from 2004 to 2014. He left Megadeth the same day Broderick did so they could together form Act of Defiance. His double bass can sound a little clicky for me at times, but it is a very minor complaint.
The concert itself is solid. Dave’s voice is twenty years older but it more than holds up. It sounds great, in fact. All of Rust In Peace is recreated faithfully including Vic Rattlehead’s laugh to kick off “Lucretia” and the mole-man sucking sounds in “Dawn Patrol” (Although, I’m pretty sure Ellefson and Drover are playing to pre-recorded vocals here).
Three of the original album’s 1 through 9, “Five Magics”, “Poison was the Cure”, and (shockingly) “Rust In Peace… Polaris” are played live for the first time. All are attacked and shredded to… deth. There isn’t much frackery happening with the songs too. There is a bit of a longer than normal pause in “Rust In Peace” but that might be the only noticeable change. The songs are played straight up like you’re listening to the album. I suppose some sour puss could argue, “What would be the point then if you could just listen to the original record?” Well, these cuts do have a different swing to them and it is cool to hear the more recent band rip through them like they’re new. You can tell Dave is having a grand time performing them and the show makes for a nice celebration of what made those songs great.
Once the main event is done, I thought “Return to Hanger” from their 2001 album The World Needs a Hero would have been a novel inclusion here, but I guess that would be a little too inside baseball. “Holy Wars (Reprise)” wraps up the show instead, which is basically them jamming on the Holy Wars riff while Dave thanks everyone for showing up.
The bonus tracks (“performances”) are up next and they are a solid lineup of Megadeth’s better known tunes:
Skin O’ My Teeth
In My Darkest Hour
Symphony Of Destruction
These are played straight too with the only crowd interaction being to sing the chorus to “Peace Sells”. I like this. I find the whole audience participation thing fun when you’re at the show, but boring to listen to on records. (Freddie Mercury is the exception. He made that an art form in and of itself.)
Overall Score (4/5)
I love this project and I’m glad it was preserved in CD form. Some of my favourite albums are when bands go back and rework/cover their old tunes. Sometimes it is a newer version of the band covering the classic tracks, like when 2004’s Anthrax reworked some of their ’80s tunes on The Greater of Two Evils. Or like how when Eric Clapton did acoustic covers of some of his tunes from the ’70s and late ’80s on Unplugged.
Rust In Peace-Live is a bit more cut and dry, but it works for what it is. Considering you get almost 75 minutes of worthy content and three tunes that have never been performed live before, it makes for an easy recommen-deth-tion.