It's as simple as this - If you want to see guitar mastery at its best, you need to see Megadeth live. As evidenced by numerous interviews over the years, not to mention what's seemingly been a revolving door of band members, Dave Mustaine is an unwavering perfectionist in regards to his craft. As a result, metal-heads all over regard the musician as a self-centered jerk, and although this would normally turn people away from any given artist, this hasn't affected the numbers in Megadeth's fan base in the least. At the end of the day, all that really matters is the music that's on the record, and how that material is ultimately performed live. Considering the fact that Mustaine and Co. have been delivering some of the most impressively complicated solos since Killing Is My Business... And Killing Is Good, fans have been able to overlook the behind-the-scenes drama for the sake of the art. With passion and perfection being the main selling points of Megadeth though, I'm a little confused as to why Megadeth's That One Night- Live In Buenos Aires ended up being an inferior home video product since its release in 2007. Not only were the technical aspects off the mark, but the content in general was somewhat of a letdown as well. With the announcement of One Night making its way to Blu-ray, I hoped it would be given a treatment worthy of redemption... but it unfortunately falls into the category of 'blatant cash grab' instead. Furthermore, this release is also too little, too late.
On October 9, 2005, Megadeth once again took the stage, but the energy in the air was a bit different that night, for fan and band alike. Argentina is absolutely batshit crazy about Megadeth, and to say they were ready to bang their heads to some of the more memorable riffs and solos ever to be released by, well, anyone, would be an understatement of criminal extent. Megadeth had released 10 studio albums up to this point, up to and including The System Has Failed (or, 11, if you should include Hidden Treasures, which you shouldn't), so there was ample opportunity for the Argentineans' to only hear the best of the best. One only needs to watch the first few minutes of That One Night - Live In Buenos Aires to get a feel for what kind of crowd awaited pure metal - As the music begins, the entire crowd is bouncing up and down in unison, which is unlike anything I've ever seen in the States (a lot of people tend to stand around or get into an all out brawl in the pit for some reason). Their excitement was not unwarranted, either, as the setlist is impressive enough:
Blackmail the Universe
Set the World Afire
Wake Up Dead
In My Darkest Hour
A Tout Le Monde
Hangar 18 / Return of Hangar
I'll Be There
Tornado of Souls
Something That I'm Not
Kick the Chair
Symphony of Destruction
Symphony of Destruction (Alternate track provided on the Special Feature menu)
One could definitely argue that Megadeth delivered on providing the best of their arsenal, but for my money's worth, the set as seen on this Blu-ray is a little bland. I mean, these are all the songs I would have expected them to play, with perhaps the exception of the oh so rare, I'll Be There. At a concert, I want to hear some of the older stuff I wouldn't have predicted they'd play, or perhaps even some crazy cover song that wouldn't seem like it suited Mustaine's style. Give me some excitement for cryin' out loud! I appreciate that Argentina doesn't get the same opportunity to see Megadeth perform year after year such as we do in the States, so a 'by the numbers, crowd pleaser set' makes sense, so I won't fault the predictable set too much. There's far bigger fish to fry anyway. Some of you may be asking, "But what about the alternate track of Symphony of Destruction? Isn't that 'new' enough?" And in this instance, I'm going to answer a question with a question - Why are a total of seven songs that were performed at this event, not included on this release? Available exclusively on the CD are Skin O' My Teeth, Die Dead Enough, and Angry Again. Songs that didn't even make the CD include The Scorpion, Train of Consequences, Of Mice and Men, and even Sweating Bullets. It was bad enough that these tracks weren't included on the initial DVD back in 2007, but man did Image Entertainment miss an opportunity here. Do they really think a bunch of people are going to be interested in double, or even triple dipping for a live concert? They could have thrown these songs back into the set where they belonged, and given everyone a reason to upgrade to Blu. Yeah, Image dropped the ball. Big time.
What is a little big of a surprise, is the fact that footage of Megadeth (well, Dave, really) playing songs acoustically in a nearby park is scattered throughout the content on the disc. But again, 9 songs were played in the park and was recorded, and we don't even get to hear a complete version of a single one of them.
Another thing that becomes rather annoying in the latter half of the show, is the fact that the drummer seems to be out of sync with the rest of the band. This can happen occasionally during a live show, but it seems to be pretty consistent from the time it starts, until the very end. This doesn't appear to be some sort of A/V sync error either... it's just the way it is.
As far as being too little, too late, all I can say is, 'If only this was released on Blu-ray a year or two ago'. At least then I could have considered it to possibly be the definitive Megadeth Blu-ray in my live concert collection... but now? I've been spoiled by seeing Megadeth play Rust In Peace in its entirety live, and that experience can be relived again and again on the Rust In Peace Live Blu-ray. In my humble opinion, that was Megadeth's most consistently solid album ever made, and when I have that already sitting on my Blu-ray shelf, there's little to no chance I'm going to pick up One Night in its place. That being said, I know my tastes aren't the same as yours.
All my nitpicking aside, this really isn't a bad show. It really is quite legendary, as long as you're looking for a typical Megadeth concert in which they revisit every album they've ever made to some extent. Mustaine, of course, being the only original member of the 'band' left, is the star here. After two and a half decades of writing music that thrashes and shreds, Mustaine shows that he hasn't lost his touch. With the exception of the drummer who was out of sync , Mustaine, and everyone else for that matter, slayed their instruments from start to finish with surgical precision. It's just a shame that for a live concert release, a bunch of songs are missing, and due to atrocious timing on Image Entertainment's part, there's (what I would consider) better Megadeth Blu's to spend your hard earned money on. It's also hard to justify the upgrade here if you already own the DVD, or even the CD which includes more tracks.
Overall, I'm pretty disappointed in this release's video performance. At a resolution of 1080i via the AVC codec (1.78:1), this looks quite a bit like an upconverted DVD. Tragic, to say the least. The image is soft from beginning to end, black levels and contrast often leave much to be desired, color saturation is drab overall, macroblocking is far too frequently seen, and there's even a little edge enhancement that can be seen from time to time. Being 1080i, aliasing can be seen from time to time as well. I normally view everything on the big-screen in the living room, but out of my own curiosity, I played the disc on my 32" 720p set in the bedroom as well - The picture still looked like an upconverted DVD. Image Entertainment should have been thinking one thing when planning this for a release in 2011 - "Let's make this double-dip worthy so we can make as much money off this as we can." Sorry, but this video presentation just isn't going to entice anyone to upgrade. If you want the video upgrade alone, forget it. Keep your money.
Well, at least the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is worth the coin. It's definitely an upgrade from the DVD, so if the audio is the most important thing to you on this release, then the Blu-ray is the definitive version to get. That being said, the same things that were problematic on the DVD are still problematic here, mostly because the 'issues' that exist are from mixing, not a faulty transfer. Dave's vocals are a little low (not to mention mixed in stereo as opposed to the rear channel for some reason), the bass also lacks the punch one would expect for a thrash/riff/melodic metal band, and although the guitars can sound a little 'excessive' for the mix, they sound somewhat flat. The crowd is often a little louder than I would have expected as well. Mixing issues aside, this is the best that this set has ever sounded. Also included is a PCM Stereo track.
The sole 'special feature' here is the alternate track version of Symphony of Destruction.
Superior audio isn't enough alone. Megadeth - That One Night - Live in Buenos Aires is a pretty killer set, despite the fact it's too predictable for its own good, but Image Entertainment had to do one thing - Make sure this was a decent enough release to make everyone who already owns this feel the upgrade is justifiable. With poor video and hardly anything in the way of supplements, especially considering there are quite a few songs that could have made the cut as bonus material, it's just not worth the money. I'm a big Megadeth fan, but I can't endorse such a shoddy release - Skip it.