Tag Archives: live at montreux

“Live At Montreux 1978” (DVD) by Dixie Dregs

Artist: Dixie Dregs
Title: “Live At Montreux 1978”
Label: Eagle Vision
Release Date: 3/6/2007
Genre: Fusion Rock/Bluegrass
Rating: 4/5

Filmed during the bands only appearance at the festival to date, “Live At Montreux 1978” captures the incredible set performed by the one and only Dixie Dregs. This is a great presentation of a band that was still a rising star in terms of their career and it’s a fantastic way to watch a younger Steve Morse and Rod Morgenstein show their stuff as well. The festival at the time of this film was still pretty much a Jazz oriented affair so their inclusion of the Dregs based on the bands musical merits was rather exciting and the historic appearance is offered up in full on the DVD. Clearly the bands marriage of Rock sensibility along with Fusion, Jazz and Bluegrass was rather new and interesting for any music fan of the day but it was also very widely accepted and quite Progressive when it came down to it. Opening up with the smooth “Freefall”, Allen Sloan’s violin drives the tune and acts almost as the bands vocalist while Morse adds a duet factor to this. The rest of the guys keep the time flowing and solid with slight flair for good measure. The full lineup of the band was Steve Morse (guitar), Rod Morgenstein (drums), Allen Sloan (violin), Andy West (bass) and Mark Parrish (keyboards) and I am sure that this type of sound was a refreshing change of the way things were done at the festival. Rock bands of all sorts perform there nowadays but back during the filming of this show it was not as commonplace. If you are already a long time fan of the group you might recognize how many of the performances come from the album “Night Of The Living Dregs” and I mean this in the sense that they are the actual versions that you hear on the album itself. The album that the band would have been touring in support of during this time is “What If”.
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“Live At Montreux” by Rory Gallagher

Artist: Rory Gallagher
Title: “Live At Montreux”
Label: Eagle Records
Release Date: 7/25/2006
Genre: Progressive Rock
Rating: 3/5

The “Live At Montreux” videos from Eagle Vision are certainly a wondrous collection of music from some of the worlds finest talents as they graced the stage of this popular festival over the years. Rory Gallagher is among the guitar greats to be featured five times on the esteemed stage and in celebration of these appearances Eagle Rock Entertainments has made two separate pieces for the fans of the performer. The CD release while a single disk, covers a wide number of years with tracks coming from 1976, 77, 79 and 85 running 12 tracks. It’s a nice collection for the novice and new fan but will only serve the long time supporters as a teaser for the main product release which is the DVD collection. The CD was released as a compliment to the double DVD concert piece that features not one full appearance but six of this legendary player. I enjoyed listening to the CD especially tracks like “Mississippi Sheiks” and “I Take What I Want”, but was more interested in watching the DVD performances since from these you are able to absorb better the level of talent that Gallagher possessed. Sadly the music world would lose Gallagher in 1995 from complications after a liver transplant. To this day Gallagher is referred to as one of the finest Rhythm & Blues guitar players the world had seen. I must say that while I highly recommend the DVD I am not so sure of the CD, since it is only the twelve selections. It’s more for the fan who wants to complete his Rory Gallagher collection and since the “Montreux” releases are so well-done this makes investigating them both something any discerning music fan should do.
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“Live At Montreux, 2005” by Alice Cooper

Artist: Alice Cooper
Title: “Live At Montreux 2005”
Label: Eagle Vision
Release Date: 5/30/2006
Style: Hard Rock
Rating: 8/10

Continuing with their collection of excellent concert films from the Montreux Jazz Festival, Eagle Vision gives us a 2005 performance from the legendary Alice Cooper. For over thirty years Alice Cooper has held the title as the “Godfather of Shock Rock” with bands such as KISS and Motley Crue following in his influential footsteps. For this concert Alice would be performing in support of his to be released “Dirty Diamonds” CD (of which several tracks are presented for the viewer to enjoy). However, like many Artists who place too much focus on a new release Alice and Company make sure to provide an absolutely heavy amount of classics from his extensive back catalog. Most of his hits are now legendary parts of Hard Rock music culture and I think even the most distant of music fans knows that “School’s Out” and “Billion Dollar Babies” are Cooper tracks. Fortunately these and many others are present but as you watch this concert there is a couple of things that stand out very quickly about the show. You’ll find that there is not much of an emphasis of the showman from the Nightmarish carnival that he usually brings around with him. The stage itself is not garish in design and no one is really in any sort of costume change except Cooper who has several during the performance while using a number of small props. He has a female dancer who also goes through a number of costume/character changes during the show and she does really well. It was a great difference to the Cooper experience for while its common knowledge about his level of visual talent and capacity, this showed that while it’s an important part of his show, it can be used minimally and still have a maximum impact on the audience. No matter what the reason for his changing the format from the way he used to you can count on Alice to lose his head for you as a viewer when it comes down to it. As an older fan of Cooper I lean to his classics, but was happy to see his newer material hold a heaviness that works very well.
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