No introduction is needed for rock legend Brian May, lead guitarist of the rock group Queen. His bandmate and lead vocalist Kerry Ellis may not be as well known across the pond, but she is a very successful singer and stage performer in the UK. While the pairing of these two (May is twice Ellis’s age) might seem a bit odd at first, the synergy is absolutely terrific, proving that talent is ageless. Joined by former Kansas keyboard artist Jeff Leach and with a playlist that has numerous covers certain to please pop fans, The Candlelight Concerts is one fabulous music video:
- I Who Have Nothing
- Dust In The Wind
- Born Free
- Somebody To Love
- Nothing Really Has Changed
- Life Is Real
- The Way We Were
- Last Horizon
- Love Of My Life
- The Kissing Me Song
- The Your Mother Down
- We Will Rock You
- Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Reduced to the most basic elements of rock concerts, this collaboration between veterans Brian May and Jeff Leach and their younger colleague Kerry Ellis is a smashing success. The group delivers a well chosen set that has something for everyone and leaves the audience calling out for more. Queen addicts will go ape for Brian’s solo guitar work on “Last Horizon,” the absolute highlight of this set, although one is tempted to say the same about many of the other numbers, particularly a version of “We Will Rock You” that gets the whole gang clapping.
Crisp and clean with great closeup shots, we get a big visual world with only three players. Colors are also terrific, avoiding the usual Montreux purple haze.
The dts-HD Master Audio surround version is simply sensational with nice ambience and sharp delineation of the musical lines. Vocals are natural sounding and warm.
A bonus CD is provided that has the playlist from the “Born Free” tour and many of the same songs as the Montreux concert, adding “I Love A Butterfly,” “I’m Not That Girl,” “I Can’t Be Your Friend,” and “In the Bleak Midwinter.” There is a brief but touching music video, “Nothing Has Really Changed” (4:00, English Dolby Stereo 48kHz/16-bit) dedicated to Virginia McKenna who played Joy Adamson in the film “Born Free,” and recorded at the Shamwari Game Reserve in South Africa. A program booklet with playlists and credits is also included.
The Definitive Word
The synergy between old meets new was never better exemplified than in this Brian May-Kerry Ellis duo. To see and hear them playing together makes you believe that they had been performing forever even though this is a relatively recent collaboration. Perhaps taking a page out of the Alison Krauss/Robert Plant playbook, but in a completely different vein, The Candlelight Concerts will bring much joy to fans of both artists and will surely get lots of replays on their Blu-ray players.
Additional Screen Captures