There are a few reasons I'm reviewing this Blu-ray Disc of Lou Reed Live at Montreux 2000 at this time. The first is the most basic: I just discovered it was released on Blu-ray Disc as companion to the "Classic Albums" documentary on Reed's seminal Transformer collection. Better late than never.
But also, I had recently reviewed the surprise vinyl release of Lou's album Ecstasy, which he was promoting on this tour featured in this video. You can click here for that review, in case you missed it... There I mentioned my discovery of the existence of a Blu-ray Disc version of Lou Reed Live at Montreux 2000 so I made a note there to eventually review it. Of course, life being what it is I forgot to order it until last week when I went on Amazon to get a gift for a relative -- I discovered I'd put it in my "shopping cart" but never checked out. Doh! So I ordered it right away...
But, there is also another even more personal reason why this concert video means a lot to me: I was at this show. Really. It was my first trip to Switzerland and we planned out trip around the Montreux Jazz Festival so we could see Lou Reed as well as Keith Jarrett. It was an amazing trip, and getting to experience a pair of wildly different amazing concerts at such an amazing venue was... well... amazing!
When I first found this show on DVD a number of years ago I was completely happy and stoked. It sounds great and looked pretty good too!
Well, the new Blu-ray Disc version of Lou Reed Live at Montreux 2000 looks a bunch better than the original DVD even though the PCM stereo audio is the same (48 kHz, 16-bits). The 5.1 surround mix is presented in DTS HD Master Audio.
While it would be cool if they remixed this one in higher resolution I'm guessing that is not likely in our lifetimes. Still, it is a remarkably good sounding live concert recording documenting Lou and his band which were tighter than Lou's leather pants and smoking. This show took place roughly mid-tour as I remember so I was super excited to see it. Lou was at the top of his game as a guitarist, sparring gleefully with the great Mike Rathke, backed by the ever amazing rhythm section of Fernando Saunders (bass) and Tony Smith (drums).
And here is a fun bonus thing that happened as I went to write this review: I discovered my program from the show and guest pass! It's a long story but a family friend who we were visiting there in Switzerland at the time got us the tickets for the show. I had tucked away the program in my original DVD case! So writing this review has been a happy memory trip, a reminder of the one time 19 years agoI got to see Lou Reed backed by an amazing band at a late career peak.
Whether you get the old DVD or the newer Blu-ray Disc, Lou Reed Live at Montreux 2000 is about as close as you'll get to being there. Highly recommended.
And if that isn't enough, while preparing this review I found a promotional video of Lou Reed doing "The Modern Dance" from his Ecstasy album..... Dressed as a chicken! For reals, kids. Click here to view it and prepare to be stunned.