Live In Montreux 2006 (DVD)

Deep Purple

Eagle, 2007

http://www.deeppurple.com

REVIEW BY: Bruce Rusk

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 09/19/2007

"They all came down to Montreux, on the Lake Geneva shoreline..."

So begins the Deep Purple classic "Smoke On The Water," which tells the tale of the night in 1971 the Montreux Casino caught fire and burned to the ground. On the same day, Deep Purple was scheduled to begin recording the album there that would become their classic my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Machine Head.

Thirty-five years later, the band returned to Lake Geneva for the 2006 Montreux Jazz Festival and captured an outstanding performance. Longtime members Ian Gillan (vocals), Roger Glover (bass) and Ian Paice (drums) are joined by virtuoso guitarist and 14-year member Steve Morse, with hard rock veteran Don Airey handling keys. Ritchie Blackmore is nowhere in sight.

The DVD component of this set features two discs. The first includes the Montreux performance in its entirety, plus an hour of interviews with the band the day of the show, all must-have material for Deep Purple aficionados. The second disc features a one-hour performance captured the same month at the Hard Rock Café in London. A lot rawer and more in your face, the Hard Rock show was filmed using two handheld cameras and the feel is that of sitting on stage with the band. It is a very intimate experience and one DP fans should love.   The CD features an abbreviated version of the Montreux show.

These guys are just the best. Few bands can match their consummate skill at holding an audience in the palm of their hand. They rip through classics like “Highway Star” and “Lazy” as well as forgotten gems like “Black Night” and the Montreux show’s blistering opener, “Pictures Of Home.” A set of songs from their 2006 release Rapture Of The Deep shows the guys can still crank out outstanding original material.

The sets feature a lot of improvisation on their familiar songs and some stellar extended jams that showcase the talent of these well-traveled performers. The production on both the CD and DVD are superb; the sound is crisp and the visuals are first-rate.

Deep Purple diehards and classic rock fans alike should celebrate the experience of some of rock’s finest musicians demonstrating how a live performance should be done.

Rating: A-

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