Deep Purple – They All Came Down To Montreux Live At Montreux 2006 Blu-ray Review

Posted: August 10, 2010 by kingcrimsonprog in Metal, Music Reviews, Rock, Rock Blu Ray, Rock DVD

Deep Purple - They All Came Down To Montreux Live At Montreux 2006 Blu-ray

Deep Purple - They All Came Down To Montreux Live At Montreux 2006 Blu-ray

Deep Purple’s They All Came Down To Montreux – Live At Montreux 2006 Blu-ray is a fairly decent release all around. It isn’t exactly the best music Blu-ray on the market, but is far from a rip off.

The set contains two concerts, firstly ‘Live At Montreux 2006,’ the main feature in High Definition, and then in the extras menu ‘Live at the Hard Rock Cafe,’ in Standard Definition. Both gigs feature the same Deep Purple Mk VIII Line Up of Steve Morse, Don Airey, Rodger Glover, Ian Gillan and Ian Paice and both feature a pretty similar track listing, with the only tracks on the bonus concert which don’t also appear on the main concert being ‘Fire Ball,’ ‘I Got Your Number,’ and ‘Perfect Strangers.’

Musically the band perform excellently with strong virtuosity and character throughout, although personally I don’t very much care for the Keyboard Solo or the ‘Well Dressed Guitar,’ (A Steve Morse guitar solo peppered here and there with popular riffs from other bands) but the vast majority of viewers will doubtlessly love them.

Nowadays many people claim that Ian Gillan isn’t very good live anymore and that he can’t pull off a lot of the classic material properly anymore and while I would like to rush to his defense, upon watching this concert I was kind of inclined to agree that his voice wasn’t on top form throughout. How much this detracts from your enjoyment of the concert is entirely up to you.

The set list contains several Deep Purple Classics such as storming renditions of Machine Head favourites ‘Pictures Of Home,’ ‘Highway Star,’ and a Jazz Intro featuring ‘Smoke On The Water,’ mixed with newer material from the band’s most recent album ‘Rapture of the Deep.’

The Montreux festival is usually a hallmark of quality on the DVD market with many bands releasing their finest DVDs and Blu Rays from the festival. This is certainly not a poor effort but for a Blu Ray it isn’t the masterpiece you may have been expecting, with a kind of poor mix and video quality that looks more like a good DVD than a Blu Ray for the most part.
Keep in mind however the attractive stage show, colour palate and excellent camera direction and editing mostly make up for this minor flaw.

There are some other minor niggles which can get annoying such as the band seeming unable to hear what Ian Gillan is saying half the time and interrupting him while he addresses the audience at the start of ‘Strange Kind Of Woman,’ and other songs. Another is the supposedly fun bonus song ‘Too Much Fun,’ which I found to be a just bit poor and the idea that it was all in good fun didn’t really make it any better. The biggest problem of all, in my opinion is the guest singer named Brako, who joins the band on stage without knowing any of the lyrics, doesn’t contribute anything and just generally gets in the way during closer ‘Black Night,’
To say any of these niggles truly spoil the show would be inaccurate and even petty but they can reduce your overall enjoyment if you aren’t in a forgiving mood.

The second concert is in Standard Definition, on a cramped stage but has a lot of energy, especially on the fast paced opener ‘Fire Ball,’ which I’d say is the best performance on the disc, the sound isn’t as good as on the main how but the mix is slightly better. The cramped conditions and different style of camera work make the two concerts feel completely different to each other and even though they have pretty similar set lists, both are worth watching.

The Blu Ray box itself does contain a inlay with detailed linear notes about Montreaux, Claude Nobs, The Machine Head album (recorded in Montreux) and other similar subjects. A nice little addition. In the Extras menu you can also find some not entirely professionally made 25 minute interviews with the band which covers similar ground and also about the newer members, Claude’s recent activity and former guitarist Ritchie Blackmore.

Overall if you are interested in Deep Purple this is a product you should consider, it has a few flaws, but also a lot on content. You should decide which of those is more important to you when deciding if you want to give it a try.

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