"After reading for years about Stevie Ray's rejection in 1982 at the hands of the Montreux audience, I was both excited and a bit apprehensive upon the release of this DVD, knowing it would afford me the opportunity to experience the realism of the event. I've forced myself to believe that the booing was directed more at what the crowd perceived as a pretentiousness on the part of SRV, with the cowboy hat, boots, chest tattoo, and the fact that Stevie was certainly not a conventional or mainstream blues performer. Being a relatively young, not yet 28 year old white man probably didn't help either.
But as I watch the 1982 show, I am absolutely dumbstruck by the crowd's reaction. Yes, there are obviously some players in the crowd who recognize the mastery of Stevie's technique, and they initially cheer rather boisterously and with great approval. The cheering only seemed to anger the "purists" who booed all the more loudly and who seemed to have made the final word by the conclusion of SRV's set.
If you can place yourself in the moment, the final shot of Stevie walking off backstage is heartbreaking, showing bewilderment, discouragement, anger - I can't imagine what was going through his mind - he had just played his heart out!
Most of us know the rest of the story and Stevie's incredible success at bringing his music to a mass audience. What '82 Montreux perhaps shows best is how difficult it can be for anyone to present a unique and original approach to a traditional musical idiom like the Blues.
I initially intended to write a scathing indictment of the Montreux crowd. I'll just leave it at this - Frank Zappa once said that most people wouldn't recognize good music if it bit them in the ass. This Montreux crowd wouldn't have recognized musical virtuosity if it slapped them in the face."
The Most Comprehensive Display of SRV Material Available
Perry Celestino | Tahmoor, NSW Australia | 01/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like most people who are into Blues, I couldn't wait to see this set when it was released. It contained two SRV sets at a very reasonable price and a short documentary as well as 5.1 DTS sound. Well it is great! Like my all time favourite, Albert King (see my reviews), material available on SRV (for all his impact in the 1980s) is rather scarce. I even saw him in Australia and he was so loud you really couldn't appreciate it, he needed smaller venues! This was a great chance to see him perform.I think the overall production of this set is excellent, as it usually is at Montreux. Great sound and camera work.
Well as a Blues enthusiast of 40 years. I think the first disc is far better than the second (but I love Reese Wynans keyboards). All the hipe about him being booed to me is overplayed. As a guitarist he was better when he was hungry, than after he became famous (do you know of a bluesman, not rock, that actually produced better material after they got famous?)(Listen to Buddy Guy, Albert King, Little Walter, Junior Wells, etc etc even Johnny Winter, the original SRV). So this is great and I agree the El Mocambo set is great, but I rate the first disc as his best work.
Top selection to me on Disc one is how he modernized Freddie King's Hideaway and combined it with Rude Mood (Urban/Country Blues). Just great. And the final tune is a great Albert Collins salute without copying Collins difficult style-you still recognise it (like in some of Duke Robillard's work). Fantastic! The old standbys- Texas Flood and Pride and Joy are great of course and his great slow blues Dirty Pool has that great unexpected chordal solo- an ode to Otis Rush's "Double Trouble" without, again, copying him completely (except the intro).
The booing didin't bother me. It's not as bad as the publicity made out. Most people are dancing and clapping and getting into it. If all booed maybe Stevie should have worried, but that wasn't likely. European audiences are strange as the Doors said in 1968, "they didn't clap or anything, they just stared". You know anything new from outside always has had trouble with Europeans, they are more traditional than we colonists. That's why in the 1960s the Folk Blues festival was so popular, they had Howlin Wolf and Muddy,(they were stuck in the 1950s) but never Paul Butterfield or Steve Miller.
Well this DVD is a landmark. Advice: If you can get this in PAL: the sound and picture quality is better. I am in Bahrain travelling and just bought another copy in PAL to supplement my NTSC one. Great!!!
The second disc has some replication of course. The addition to the band of Reese Wynans was a great move. Made them a Booker T & the MGs's with rock guitar and singing. All tracks are great, but the Slow Blues Tin Pan Alley with the late Johnny Copeland (who won a Grammy with Robert Cray and Albert Collins for the "Showdown" LP) is my personal favourite. Intense and honest the way the Blues should be!!! Actually the whole Copeland sub-set is my favourite part of the disc along with, again the opening instrumental of Scuttle-Buttin and Say What!
Every Blues fan should own this historic DVD. Note, some useless information: SRV was the age Jimi Hendrix died when he played on Disc 1. He was also born the year the Stratocaster was first released by Fender.
Also: To comment on a previous review. It seems that in "Ain't Gone 'N' Give Up On Love" Stevie switches guitars- from Old Number One Strat. Well it looks to me like he probably broke one of his heavy gauge strings on the first solo, changed guitars, and played on. The Swiss film crew just edited it, cleverly."
Fantastic double concert from SRV!!!
albie | Atlanta, GA USA | 09/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I watched an edited down 1.5 hour preview of this DVD on Music Choice over the weekend and all I can say is WOW! I had the audio of these shows on bootleg for years and quickly snatched up the official release CDs when they came out a couple years ago. However, I never had any idea that these were also professionally video recorded as well. Needless to say I will be buying this DVD when it is released on Tuesday.
These are two excellent concerts of Stevie in his prime (was he ever not really in his prime.) The first concert is from 1982 before they ever had a record deal. In what has to be one of the best examples of bad judgement ever, someone booked the band to play the show on an acoustically themed night at the Montreaux Jazz Festival. The narrow-minded audience didn't care for the look of this hot-shot blues-rock guitarist from Texas from the moment he stepped on stage and booed the band mercilessly throughout the show. In spite of this, they gave an electrifying performance and even won a Grammy for the version of Larry Davis' "Texas Flood" they played that night, when it was released on a compilation album later that year.
David Bowie caught their show that night and was most impressed. Jackson Browne then saw them play off stage at a musicians only party and offered them time in his private studio. Stevie played and Bowie's "Let's Dance" album, the band cut it's first album in Browne's studio and the rest, as they say, is history.
Needlessly to say, when the band returned to Montreaux in the follow up concert offered on this DVD from 1985, there was no booing. In fact, the band was the headliner for the now added "Blues Night" at the Montreaux Jazz Festival. In addition, Stevie asked lesser known blues legend Johnny Copeland to sit in with the band and receive some well-deserved recognition - just an example of the kind of guy Stevie was.
So, in summation, you get two defining moment concerts from Stevie's career. The 1982 show which at first appeared to be the worst moment in his career but ultimately became a turning point for the band and the 1985 show featuring his triumphant return. The quality and clarity of the footage is simply amazing and stunning.
Buy this DVD! You will not be disappointed.
Stevie Ray, you are greatly missed."
Incredible to eyes, ears and heart
Montreux Man | 09/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Finally the legend of those shows comes to us in high quality, beautifully done packaging, and artful handling of all the material is extremely well done. This is an absolute must own DVD and anyone who knows anything about Stevie will want this in their collection. Considering when these shows were originally video taped and recorded, the restored audio mixing and the brightened video color correction and editing are top notch. You can see the care and quality Epic and Legacy put into restoring and releasing these two concerts. The documentary feature that's added as a bonus element rounds out the content by letting the viewer hear about those days straight from those that were there and witnessed it. There are wonderful stories and reflections from Tommy and Chris, and Jackson Browne adds his reflections. Adding John Mayer to the show was also a nice touch, and he speaks so well and the sound quotes that director Michael B. Borofsky uses really tells the story of a how SRV's influence and impact to this day remains remarkable. The stills that are used in the documentary make you think that someone new that history was being made on those nights, and director and editor used them brilliantly. The only bad part cant be blamed on Epic or Borofsky, but apparently when the original show in 1985 was videotaped, the cameramen went off duty or something and only one camera captures the performance of the encore and even that camera inexplicably turned off for a couple minutes during Couldn't Stand the Weather. But the audio recording captured it all. Luckily for us, Borofsky and John Jackson who co-produced the DVD had the sense not to cut the audio out when the video goes to black, and allows us through a created montage of images, to continue to hear the music as it was originally performed on that historic day. What a great DVD to own, I highly recommend it. I got it last Wednesday, and have watched it at least three times already. "
Live At Montreux - awesome experience
T. Carbone | Burlington Drive, Ontario Canada | 09/13/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you are a SRV fan, you must get this DVD. The picture and sound is quite good considering the technology back then except for the last 3 songs which are part of the encore of the '85 show, the band is only shown from a far camera.
Anyway, if you have'nt heard SRV & DT was actually booed the first time they played Montreux Jazz festival and when I heard this I thought 'why??' well it had to do with the audience not expecting a loud blues band from Texas - whatever...To go back in time and watch these legendary concerts to me
was a real treat - I got it a week ago and I'm still watching it.
On first DVD, Stevie has that big big sound and there're nice close ups of his magic fingers doin' thier thing....I love this DVD...."