Gary Moore: Live At Monsters Of Rock

Gary Moore: Live At Monsters Of Rock (2003)
Eagle Rock Entertainment
Cast: Gary Moore, Cass Lewis, Darrin Mooney
Extras: Sound Check Footage, Interview

This DVD contains the 60-minute show of guitar virtuoso Gary Moore and his new band during the 2003 Monsters Of Rock, and while it is great to see Gary perform some of his greatest songs live, the performance oozes nostalgia. Very aggressive and loud, Gary Moore puts on a good show, but it’s not without its flaws, unfortunately. The three-piece line-up he’s playing with is a bit too tight for some of his songs leaving big gaps in the arrangements and it appears occasionally the band is missing a beat. Especially during the opener ’Shape Of Things’ it seems the band has a few difficulties. Still, it’s a great show to listen to, though not much for the eyes. The light show is boring and the band is virtually nailed to the stage. If it weren’t for Moore himself moving around once in a while you would think bassist Cass Lewis is an evil-looking mannequin impersonating a dread-locked musician.

The picture of the release is very good with rich colors and no mentionable artifacts. The transfer is comeing as a widescreen presentation in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio that is enhanced for 16×9 TV sets. Blacks are solid also, giving the image good depth and though occasional hints of compression artifacts are evident, they are never distracting. The concert footage is nicely edited, trying to create the feel of energy for the otherwise static performers. Fortunately Moore’s fretwork is nicely highlighted at times, giving you a chance to appreciate his play a bit more.

The audio on the disc is rough and a bit uneven – not uncommon for a hard-rock live mix. In a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital mix viewers are placed in the center of the stage with great ambient surroudn effects and early refelctions to fatten up the sound field. Moore’s guitar is over-mixed on various occasions drowning out the other instruments and his own vocals more than once. Fortunately his warm sound never makes it unpleasant, though, instead giving you the chance to study his play even better.

The DVD also contains footage form the sound check of the band and interestingly the soundcheck version of ’Shape Of Things’ is much better than the version form the actual concert as it plays more relaxed and loose. A interview segment is also included in which Gary Moore talks candidly about his work, his music and his future plans. It is a fascinating interview at times with many nice little tidbits.

’Gary Moore: Live At Monsters Of Rock’ was not the remarkable highlight I had hoped for but it is a great concert video nonetheless. Moore’s raw energy comes across untethered, infusing his songs with some great explosive energy. The song selection goes through decades of material including pieces such as ’Parisienne Walkways’ alongside some Blues-tracks, such as a fairly heavy version of ’Walking By Myself.’ Good stuff!