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Queen Rock Montreal + Live Aid (4K UHD Review)

REVIEW OVERVIEW

The Performance
The Video (Overall)
HDR Effect
The Audio
The Supplements
Overall

SUMMARY

The iconic band perform live in Montreal in 1981 and at the legendary Live Aid concert.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Queen Rock Montreal was recorded live at Montreal’s 18,000 seat Forum arena in November 1981 over two nights, scheduled specifically to film a full concert show of the band. One of the greatest concerts put to video, this concert stint and film captured Queen at the height of their 1980s success, coming off record breaking tour dates in Latin America.

The show includes riveting versions of “We Will Rock You,” “Killer Queen,” and “Under Pressure” with arguably the greatest frontman who ever lived, the late Freddie Mercury, earning that moniker by riling up the crowd and proving that a great voice he had. The musicianship is staggering, whether it is the underrated Brian May shredding on guitar or John Deacon laying down funky bass lines in “Another One Bites the Dust,” this band proves why they are and were rock royalty.

This release also includes the famous Live Aid performance where Queen and Freddie Mercury almost single-handedly turn around the stagnant charity event and lit up the phone banks.

Montreal:

  1. Intro
  2. We Will Rock You (fast)
  3. Let Me Entertain You
  4. Play The Game
  5. Somebody To Love
  6. Killer Queen
  7. I’m In Love With My Car
  8. Get Down Make Love
  9. Save Me
  10. Now I’m Here
  11. Dragon Attack
  12. Now I’m Here (reprise)
  13. Love Of My Life
  14. Under Pressure
  15. Keep Yourself Alive
  16. Drum & Timpani Solo
  17. Guitar Solo
  18. Crazy Little Thing Called Love
  19. Jailhouse Rock
  20. Bohemian Rhapsody
  21. Tie Your Mother Down
  22. Another One Bites The Dust
  23. Sheer Heart Attack
  24. We Will Rock You
  25. We Are The Champions
  26. God Save The Queen

Live Aid:

  1. Bohemian Rhapsody
  2. Radio Ga Ga
  3. Hammer To Fall
  4. Crazy Little Thing Called Love
  5. We Will Rock You
  6. We Are The Champions
  7. Is This The World We Created…?

Live Aid Rehearsal:

  1. Live Aid Rehearsal:
  2. Bohemian Rhapsody
  3. Radio Ga Ga
  4. Hammer To Fall

Purchase Queen Rock Montreal + Live Aid 4K Ultra HD on Amazon.com

The Video

Queen Rock Montreal is included on two UD100 4K Ultra HD discs in two different aspect ratios in both HDR and SDR formats. Disc 1 has the concert in full frame, 1.33:1 HEVC 2160p (4K UHD) and Disc 2 in 1.85:1 2160p (4K UHD), scanned from the original 35mm negative. If you have a display capable of HDR playback, do yourself a favor and select the HDR option – it looks fantastic, with superb specular highlights and color gradations. During “Under Pressure,” for example, there is a point where Freddie Mercury stands in front of Roger Taylor’s drum kit, spotlights on him and colored lights reflecting off Taylor’s drums. The colors really pop in HDR, but in SDR, this scene looks a lot flatter, with less color coming off the drums. The black background is still inky in both, however. I did see a bit of smoothing/swarming of grain under the spotlights, however, a result perhaps of the grain reduction used, but for a concert film this is a minor issue given many concerts do not look great and this looks dazzling.

The Live Aid performance is an upscale from the SD video and is included in 1.33:1 1080i SDR. It does not look anywhere near the quality of the Montreal show, but the performance is what it is all about.

The Audio

The audio is provided in Dolby Atmos, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, and LPCM 2.0 stereo for each performance. This is a monster of a mix regardless of which mix or which performance you choose. The low end is deep and room rattling. When Roger Taylor’s drums pound in “We Will Rock You” or on “Under Pressure” you will feel it and the smooth, round bass of John Deacon sounds fat but controlled. Mercury’s vocals are clear and full over the instrumentation. Brian May’s guitar roars and shreds with his classic Vox stack tone. The Atmos mix uses the height channels to add more arena atmosphere rather than any sort of discrete overhead motion. The 5.1 mix collapses the soundfield a bit but is no less dynamic and robust. The stereo has the same wide panning and punchy midrange.

The Supplements

Including Live Aid and the Live Aid rehearsal (which also includes some interview footage) with the already great Montreal concert is perfect. No Queen fan should be passing up this fantastic new restoration.

Bonus Features:

  • Booklet with stills and credits
  • Montreal Commentary with Brian May and Roger Taylor
  • Liver Aid Performance (1080i; 00:24:46)
  • Live Aid Rehearsals (1080i; 00:11:01)

The Final Assessment

This is one of the greatest concert films ever. That is just fact. Queen was on fire in this show and the new restoration and audio remix is brilliant. Highly recommended.  


Queen: Rock Montreal + Live Aid is out on 4K Ultra HD May 10, 2024 from Universal Music Group

Purchase Queen Rock Montreal + Live Aid 4K Ultra HD on Amazon.com


  • Rating Certificate: Not Rated
  • Studios & Distributor: Mercury Studios | Universal Music Group
  • Director: Saul Swimmer
  • Run Time: 105 Mins.
  • Street Date: 10 May 2024
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 | 1.85:1
  • Video Format: HEVC 2160p (4K UHD)
  • HDR Format: HDR | SDR
  • HDR10 Metadata:
    • MaxLL: 1000 nits
    • MaxFALL: 300 nits
    • Max. Luminance: 1000 nits
    • Min. Luminance: 0.0050 nits
  • Primary Audio: Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Compatible)
  • Secondary Audio: DTS-HD MA 5.1 | LPCM 2.0 Stereo
  • Subtitles: English | German | Spanish | French | Italian | Dutch | Portuguese
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The iconic band perform live in Montreal in 1981 and at the legendary Live Aid concert. Queen Rock Montreal + Live Aid (4K UHD Review)