Has the whole rock/orchestra been played out? This was the trend a few years back, when bands like Metallica and Scorpions, transformed their catalogs into classical pieces. You know the drill, the band plays, while they are backed up by an orchestra. It works in some cases and others it doesn't. Well, Deep Purple are the latest band to dive into this realm, and fortunately for them, it worked. On Deep Purple's latest release Live at Montreux, the band enlisted an orchestra to help them beef up their set, at the famous Montreux Festival in Switzerland.
First off the video quality on this BluRay is amazing. It is one of those BluRay's that gives you a sense of being in the front row. The show was shot in HD and looks crystal clear. The audio on the BluRay as well as the CD is top notch as well. You can tell this show wasn't touched up because it is pretty raw in some parts. Gillan's voice is strained, especially in the beginning, on tracks like Highway Star, in which the vocal parts hit a pretty high register. His vocals get better as the show progresses, but it was a little shaky in the beginning. The show itself is very enjoyable.
The band is on fire, but it was the performances from guitarist Steve Morse and keyboardist Don Airey, that sold this one for me. We all know Morse is a monster on guitar and this DVD proves it. Man he rips. I was also impressed with Airey's chops. I never knew he was that much of a bad ass. The set list is strong and this is just an overall solid performance. The orchestra actually acts as a nice backing band, and creates a nice wall of sound behind the band. Overall a solid watch and listen. A nice combo, either format will kick your ass and keep you entertained.
Bottom Line: Deep Purple fans will be in heaven with this release. All of the classic give the treatment, classical style. Some of the older tunes really come alive with the assistance of the orchestra. Top notch performances by Morse and Airey make this one a keeper, even if you're not a huge fan of the band.
-Ragman was blown away by the musicianship on this one.