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ZZ Top Live at Montreux 2013 Blu-ray Review

zz-top-live-montreux-2013-bluray-coverU.S. Release

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The Performance

[Rating:4.5/5]

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Hard rockin’ blues band with a Texas drawl ZZ Top has had the same lineup since 1969 and made numerous appearances at the prestigious Montreux Jazz festival over the years. Their latest appearance in 2013 is captured here in this concert video from Eagle Rock with a set list filled with tracks culled from their early seventies albums Tres Hombres and Fandango through their eighties power hits from Eliminator and Afterburner and back again to their latter day return to more blues-based music with their latest effort La Futura. The track list is:

  1. Got Me Under Pressure
  2. Waitin’ For The Bus
  3. Jesus Just Left Chicago
  4. Gimme All Your Lovin’
  5. Pincushion
  6. I Gotsta Get Paid
  7. Flyin’ High
  8. Kiko
  9. I Loved The Woman
  10. Foxey Lady
  11. My Head’s In Mississippi
  12. Chartreuse
  13. Sharp Dressed Man
  14. Legs
  15. Tube Snake Boogie
  16. La Grange
  17. Tush

The standouts include the obvious and instantly recognizable super hits “Sharp Dressed Man”, “Legs” and “La Grange” as well as the seething cover of the Jimi Hendrix classic “Foxey Lady”, but this guitar-driven show is on fire from beginning to end, even with a brief Jazz-blues foray in the middle of the show featuring Mike Flanigin on Organ and Van Wilkins on Guitar as a tribute to late Montreux Jazz Festival founder Claude Nobs.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

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ZZ Top Live at Montreux 2013 comes in a 1080i/60 AVC encodement on Blu-ray that looks about as good as an interlaced live concert performance can. There’s the slightest hint of combing artifacts that can be spotted, but the detail is strong and overall color reproduction and contrast is lifelike.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

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Two fine high-res audio options are provided by Eagle Rock for this release. A lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (96kHz/24-bit) mix and a LPCM 2.0 (96kHz/24-bit) stereo mix. The surround version places you right in the performance space and has good balance with little crowd noise, but could use just a little bit more bottom end. The stereo mix, while still good, is little bit louder and less dynamic sounding, as if the instruments are in a bit of a tussle over the same space in the mix. Your best bet is the 5.1, but you won’t go too wrong with either option.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1.5/5]

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  • Interviews:
    • Billy Gibbons & Dusty Hill Interview (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 00:06:00)
    • Billy Gibbons on the Montreux Jazz Festival (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 00:05:46)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

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ZZ Top unleash a rocking live performance at the 2013 Montreux Jazz Festival proving the aging trio still have the licks to throw down and get butts out of seats. Rock and roll fans need to pick this one up for a serious set of guitar rock.

Additional Screen Captures

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