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Monday, October 17, 2011

Gary Moore – Live at Montreux 2010 DVD and CD review

Gary Moore – Live at Montreux 2010 DVD and CD review
Released through: Eagle Rock. Release date: Available now.

Gary Moore is one of those artists who sadly passed away, long before his time was due … Well, I guess his time was due, but I’m sure you all know what I mean and where I’m coming from.
Another waste of truly great talent, certainly in my books …

His show in Montreux in 2010 was the last show he ever did, so this really was it and we should be thankful it was captured here.
Eagle Rock has got hold of recordings, both the audio and video files and put these out together here, so there is a live CD, DVD and Blu-Ray out there for everyone.

I had seen reviews and heard comments on Gary’s show at the London High Voltage festival in 2010 and they had pointed out then, that he was not looking exactly in the best shape.
Sadly, that is reflected here too in the DVD footage, but that’s not to say that he doesn’t play well, because here captured in his final live band performance, he was really playing well.

It’s also understood and don’t get me wrong here, as I love so much of Gary Moore’s work, that he was never the greatest rock singer/vocalist, but he did have great songs and always killer musicians backing him up, so he was always worth seeing live for sure.
Unfortunately for me, I only got to see his show live twice, as well as seeing him with Thin Lizzy on 1979’s Black Rose tour.

Those of you that did catch him live or even those that didn’t, here’s that final live show for you, as sadly Gary passed away as we know, on February 6th, 2011.
The DVD starts with a long, kind of drawn out intro piece - thankfully missing on the CD - before the band launch into ‘Over The Hills and Far Away’ from Moore’s ‘Wild Frontier’ album, from which there are three tracks present in this set list, as well as from the ‘After the War(1)’ and ‘Run For Cover(2)' albums and a splattering of others too, so a treat for fans of Moore’s rock material. There are also three new tracks present here, that were planned for a new rock album from Moore, so that makes this release quite special too.

‘Thunder Rising’ also from ‘Wild Frontier’ is up next and rocks as good as anything, but what is clear from these first two songs is that Moore looks like he’s laboring some and is spitting most of the vocals out, when he’s not dependant on keyboards man Neil Carter bailing him out, who at times struggles in some areas too.
Then it’s ‘Military Man’ one of three tracks here that Moore worked with Lizzy’s Phil Lynott (RIP) on, before he sadly passed away which is another great rockin’ number, before Moore introduces the first of the three new songs, ‘Days of Heroes,’ very like Lizzy’s ‘Emerald’ meets ‘Black Rose,’ very impressive and catchy.

Second new number here is ‘Where Are You Now?’ It’s a number written with a big power ballad feel, that the crowd clearly enjoy that perhaps could’ve provided him with a big hit once again.
The instrumental piece, ‘So Far Away’ leads into the power ballad ‘Empty Rooms’ which was a hit single in both Ireland and the UK for Moore in ’85, the second time of its release. It still shows its class here, even slowed down even a little more, although Moore does struggle on a few notes.

It’s the third new song next ‘Oh Wild One’ and it kind of hints a little at ‘Whiskey In the Jar’ and the aforementioned ‘Black Rose.’ Here Neil Carter grabs a Les Paul to get out and enjoy himself – Clearly! – onstage alongside Moore, Jon Noyce (Bass) and Darrin Mooney on drums.
‘Blood of Emeralds,’ a co-written track with Neil Carter is next and it starts slow and emotive before kicking into a song that was again akin to the classic Lizzy rocking Celtic sound. Some of Moore vocals seem to get lost here, there’s also some pre-recorded vocals for the chants ‘Blood of Emeralds’ here, as it’s clear no one in the band is singing. 

The killer ‘Out In The Fields’ is next and I pause for a moment to realize that we’ll never hear this song live again, since now both Lynott and Moore are gone and no one else has any right to perform this or sadly so many of the great songs on show here. Incredibly sad …
Next up it’s the younger brother of ‘Parisienne Walkways,’ in ‘Still Got The Blues’ before the fun Jimmy Rogers cover number ‘Walking By Myself,’ which Moore gets the crowd to participate in, loads of smiles all round, as the number closes the set.

Gary Moore returns and is now carrying an acoustic, and is joined by just Neil Carter joins him for an emotional ‘Johnny Boy.’
Final track of the night is ‘Parisienne Walkways,’ and Mooney and Noyce re-enter the arena to join Moore and Carter, for the seriously extended – Over twelve and a half minutes! – version of the song, which closes the ninety plus minute set.

The live CD does NOT include 'Thunder Rising' or believe it or not, 'Still Got The Blues,' the latter being a surprise to me for sure.
No, Gary Moore didn’t look in great shape at the end, but boy he could still play a mean Les Paul and ripped it up good.
You will be much missed Gary, your music touched and inspired so many talents out there today.

The DVD also features four bonus songs from Moore’s 1997 performance at Montreux, those being from the man’s blues period and this shows Gary Moore looking considerably thinner and healthier. You get the classy ‘One Good Reason,’ then ‘Oh Pretty Woman,’ ‘Still Got The Blues’ and ‘Walking By Myself’ performed by Gary and Magnus Fienes (Keyboards), Guy Pratt (Bass/Vocals) and Gary Husband on drums.
It’s all good stuff and I for one am thankful to have this memoir from the man with the magical fingers. RIP Gary, I'm certain the memories for so many of us will live on for years to come yet.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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