Gary Moore had been a fixture at The Montreux Jazz Festival down through the years. Little did he know that when he took the stage at the 2010 festival, he had about seven months to live. His last performance, Live At Montreux 2010, has now been released by Eagle Rock Entertainment in CD, DVD, and Blu-ray formats. The DVD and Blu-ray contain two extra tracks from the concert plus four bonus songs.
Gary Moore was one of the better guitarists alive when he took the stage during July of 2010 and his performance confirmed that fact. I have in my possession the CD and DVD and my preference is the CD version, even though it lacks the extra material. The problem with the DVD is visual. He did not look well, as there was a severe weight gain and his voice was not as strong as in the past. In retrospect, it is not surprising that a heart attack would claim his life February 6, 2011. In this case, I prefer to just listen to the man play and enjoy the music without being distracted by his appearance.
Over the course of the last couple of decades, Moore had established himself as an excellent electric blues guitarist. This performance, however, takes him in a different direction, returning him to his rock roots. Gone are most of his blues songs, and instead, he resurrects some of his old rock material. He was also in the process of recording a new rock album, which he never finished. Three songs meant for this new album are presented. “Days Of Heroes,” “Where Are You Now,” and “Oh Wild One” were previewed during the concert.
The first two tracks quickly show that he is playing straight rock ‘n’ roll “Over The Hills And Far Away” with fine solo work, and Phil Lynott’s “Military Man” established a style and sound that would dominate the concert.
The three new tunes are all different. “Days Of Heroes” would have fit in fine with his older Thin Lizzy material. “Where Are You Now” is more atmospheric, as the keyboards share center stage with Moore’s guitar. “Oh Wild One” finds him cranking up his instrument for a guitar-based anthem track. He is backed by keyboardist Neil Carter, bassist Jon Noyce, and drummer Darrin Mooney.
Gary Moore shall not pass this way again. This is as close as he will come to leaving behind his last will and testament as the music and especially his guitar virtuosity is as good as ever, which is very good indeed. Live At Montreux is the final chapter in the career journey of Gary Moore.
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