Thorogood & Company Put On A Real Rock Party In Their First Ever Montreux Show

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Eagle Rock Entertainment and Montreux Sounds formed a new landmark business partnership a year or so ago.  The partnership in question allowed Eagle Rock distribution rights for a number of new and archived shows that were recorded at what is one of music’s most revered festivals.  And the recordings in question have been nothing short of impressive.  From the likes of Miles Davis, Stan Getz, and Etta James to newer acts such as The Raconteurs, the Montreux Jazz Festival has seen some of the industry’s top names take its storied stages.  Now, one more piece of the legendary festival’s history has been released to the masses in the form of George Thorogood & The Destroyers Live at Montreux 2013.  The concert, which was recorded this past July, marked the first time that Thorogood and his band mates—Jeff Simon (drums), Bill Blough (bass), Jim Suhler (guitar/vocals), and Buddy Leach (saxophone)–had ever performed at the venue.  And Thorogood himself makes note of his excitement at getting to finally perform at Montreux after more than two decades.  That excitement pored over throughout the band’s entire performance, too.  It’s one of the key factors of this recording that makes it so fun to take in.  The band’s set list is another reason that fans will enjoy this recording.  Thorogood and his band mates hit on every one of their major hit songs.  There is even a tribute to Johnny Cash thrown in for good measure.  If that isn’t enough for fans, the combination of the recording’s bonus interview and companion booklet will push the recording over the top.  They, along with the set list and the band’s performance, make this recording one more huge success from Eagle Rock Entertainment and Montreux Sounds.

George Thorogood has been making music and performing for over four decades.  So it comes as quite the surprise that 2013 marked the first time that he and his band mates played the famed Montreux Jazz Festival.  The festival, which started out mainly as a venue for the top names in jazz and blues, has grown each year to incorporate bands and artists from across the musical spectrum.  Thorogood and his band mates obviously held no ill will toward festival organizers when they took the stage at the festival.  Thorogood makes no bones concerning his excitement at finally being invited to perform at Montreux.  His positive energy isn’t confined to just that one moment, either.  From the high energy opener that is ‘Rock Party’ to hits like ‘I Drink Alone’, ‘Bad to the Bone’, and ‘Madison Blues’, the band exudes so much energy and excitement.  The audience in attendance feeds off of every bit of that excitement, too.  The mutual sharing of excitement and energy can be felt even by viewers watching this recording from the comfort of their own living rooms or bedrooms.  Home viewers may even find themselves feeding off of that excitement, dancing around and playing air guitar, etc.  That shows just how much fun Thorogood and company make their performance for all of their audiences.  Home viewers will discover this for themselves when they order or purchase the recording for themselves on DVD and Blu-ray.

The positive energy and excitement exuded by Thorogood and company is key to the overall enjoyment of this recording.  Whether one is seeing the concert for the first time or reliving the concert again, everybody can agree that the band’s stage performance alone is enough reason to take in this concert.  Just as important to the overall enjoyment of this concert recording is the set list chosen for the performance.  Fans won’t be disappointed at the set list chosen for the concert.  The veteran rockers included all of their fan favorites over the course of the near ninety-minute set.  From the likes of ‘I Drink Alone’ to the band’s now famous cover of John Lee Hooker’s ‘One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer’ to the Johnny Cash tribute in ‘Cocaine Blues’, the band leaves little if anything on the table.  Audiences will especially appreciate that in the tribute to the late country singer, Thorogood actually seems to channel him.  He actually sounds like Cash, vocally speaking, at points in the song.  The same can be said of his guitar work, too.  It is just one of so many high points offered throughout the course of the concert.  And it’s just one more part of what makes the recording as a whole so enjoyable for audiences of all ages.  It’s not the last, either.  The bonus interview and companion booklet included in with the DVD and Blu-ray put the finishing touch on this recording.

The songs chosen for this concert and the band’s performance collectively make up the most important and impressive part of this latest recording from Eagle Rock Entertainment and Montreux Sounds.  There is still one part of the overall presentation of this recording that puts it over the top.  That last part ifs the collective bonus interview and companion booklet.  The show’s bonus sit-down with Thorogood shows that the persona presented on stage was as real as it comes.  Audiences get even more insight into his excitement over playing Montreux at long last.  And through the show’s companion booklet, audiences get a brief history of Thorogood’s career leading up to his performance at Montreux.  Audiences will be interested to learn that along with George Thorogood and The Destroyers, ZZ Top was at Montreux this year, as were Prince, Sting, Ben Harper, Deep Purple, Leonard Cohen, and so many others.  It’s just a tiny piece of the whole history that audiences will enjoy learning in reading through the included literature.  And together with everything already mentioned, that history and the bonus interview make this presentation complete.  It all collectively makes this latest release one more huge success from Eagle Rock Entertainment and Montreux Sounds.  It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Live-At-Montreux-2013-Blu-ray/dp/B00FFLBXJQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1387537259&sr=1-1&keywords=george+thorogood+%26+the+destroyers+live+at+montreux+2013.  More information on this and other concerts in Eagle Rock’s ongoing Montreux series of concerts is available online at http://www.eaglerockent.com and http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

The Raconteurs rock the house on ’08 Montreux show

The Raconteurs could very well be the future of rock.  This Nashville, TN based band started as a side project for its members–Jack White (guitar/vocals), Brendan Benson (Guitar/Vocals), Patrick Keeler (Drums), and Jack Lawrence (Bass)–in 2005.  It reached what could be considered the pinnacle of its career very quickly when it was invited to perform at the famed Montreux Jazz Festival in 2008.  The Montreux Jazz Festival was founded in 1967 by Claude Nobs.  Since its founding, it has spread from jazz to nearly every genre of music, featuring many of the music business’ top names.  Among those names are the likes of Carlos Santana, and Phil Collins just to name a couple.  Now the Raconteurs can add their name to the list of legends who have played the iconic festival.  And fans can enjoy the band’s performance, too, beginning Tuesday, June 19th, thanks to Montreux Sounds and Eagle Rock Entertainment.

“The Raconteurs Live at Montreux 2008” is the latest in a series of archived concerts released thanks to a partnership between Montreux Sounds and Eagle Rock Entertainment.  This show is just one more performance that shows audiences why the Montreux Jazz Festival is among the elite live music festivals each year.  From the general presentation of the concert to the packaging to the actual concert itself, “The Raconteurs Live at Montruex 2008” is another top notch recorded performance from the famed festival.

Audiences who pick up the blu-ray presentation of this concert are rewarded with a crystal clear picture.  And getting to see that picture on a widescreen HDTV makes the experience that much better.  Anyone with the room and means to get a surround sound home theater system will appreciate the variety of sounds that the band presents even more.  The songs in question cover both of the albums released by the band in 2008.  Those songs range from the almost Nirvana-esque opener, ‘Consoler of the Lonely’ to the largely bluesy ‘You Don’t Understand Me’ to the country/bluegrass stylings of ‘Old Enough.’  Fans who were in attendance at the time of the recording rocked out to the show.  And now fans will be rocking out at home thanks to the mix of musical stylings.

The band’s setlist was impressive to say the least.  But it wasn’t all that made this show so enjoyable.  As with Bachman & Turner’s upcoming “Live at Roseland Ballroom” release, The Raconteurs keep the energy throughout the almost 90-minute set.  The blu-ray case lists the show at an hour and forty minutes.  That is likely including the show’s end credits.  But from the opening moments to the last notes, the show runs just shy of an hour and a half.  That aside, the band keeps the energy flowing from beginning to end.  It’s obvious that the audience in attendance appreciated and fed off of that energy.  And audiences will do the same in watching the show in the comfort of their own homes.

The show’s setlist and presentation make for one more great show from the Montreux Jazz Festival’s archives.  There’s one more aspect of this show that makes it enjoyable for fans of The Raconteurs.  That factor is subtle.  But it’s great to experience another show that has no foul language at any point.  That seems to be a standard for the Montreux Festival.  And the festival organizers are to be highly commended for that standard.

“The Raconteurs Live at Montreux 2008” is just one more in the long list of releases already released and planned for release in 2012.  While it may be one more release in the list, one thing can be said of this latest release.  And that’s that Eagle Rock and Montreux Sounds have continued to set the bar for live recordings this year.  Congratulations to both companies for that.  And thank you to both for continuin to make it so difficult for this reviewer to choose a list of the year’s best live recordings.  That is, of course, meant in the most complimentary way.

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