Awakenings [1990]

Shot in the fall of 2001 on the group's final tour, Megadeth's Rude Awakening catches a seminal metal band at the top of its game. Although references to the then-recent terrorist events are rare, they instill songs like "In My Darkest Hour," "Symphony of Destruction," and "Peace Sells" with an undercurrent of bitterness, laced with the anger that's already there. Singer-songwriter Dave Mustaine is a charismatic figure, and one of speed metal's most literate elder statesman, as demonstrated by his astute, witty comments in the DVD's brief interview section. Also on the DVD, the 105-minute concert is augmented by additional footage of five tunes (including "Kill the King" and "A Tout le Monde," dedicated to the victims of the September 11 attacks), shot in grainy black and white. Rude Awakening is the first official Megadeth live concert release, and if it's also the last, it will remain a testament to the band's durability and musical ability. --Kevin Filipski

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