The Montreux Jazz Festival has been home to some of the greatest jazz performances, both from when it was founded in 1967 and all the way up to the modern day performances of brilliant musicians that have graced its stage. As to be expected, however, the festival is not quite so Jazz centric anymore and never was this more evident than with the 2003 Jamiroquai performance. With a mixture of pop, rock, and electronic, Jamiroquai is one of the most diverse acts to take the stage…and that’s not just because of lead singer Jay Kay’s elaborate headgear.
In 2003, Jamiroquai brought their signature blend of danceable pop back to the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival. On this, their 3rd appearance at Montreux, charismatic front man Jay Kay and his crew rocked the crowd for two hours, bringing an eclectic new vibe to the Swiss musical showcase. This visually dynamic Blu-ray concert (originally released on standard DVD in October 2007) truly embodies the concept of “Virtual Insanity” in a good way. In addition to the 15-song set, a bonus track, “Space Cowboy,” from their 1995 appearance is also included.
I honestly had no freakin’ clue who or what Jamiroquai was when I opened the package that contained this Blu-ray. I didn’t really question it for too long, however, as I’m rarely familiar with a lot of these Eagle Rock Montreux Festival releases. Once I popped the disc in, however, I did at least recognize Jamiroquai’s front man…and not because of his unique visual style. No, I recognized Jay Kay from his appearances on Top Gear where he regularly dominates the test track in their “Star in a Reasonably Priced Car” segments.
It was that thought I kept coming back to while watching this concert. Not that the music wasn’t entertaining in some fashion, it just wasn’t really my cup of tea and it often blended together in quite an unremarkable way. I really tried to get into it, but there just wasn’t much here that stood out. I would imagine that this is the type of band to experience live and it just isn’t something you can replicate on your TV very well, even in high-definition with lossless audio.
Track list includes:
01) Use The Force
02) Canned Heat
03) Cosmic Girl
04) Little L
05) Blow Your Mind
06) High Times
07) Travelling Without Moving
09) Shoot The Moon
10) Soul Education
11) Just Another Story
12) Mr Moon
14) Love Foolosophy
15) Deeper Underground
Overall I’m sure fans would enjoy this a lot more than I did…but even then, there just isn’t really much energy that comes out of this concert. Worth a Rental at best, I would imagine. As for me, I’ll go back to watching Jay Kay on Top Gear, where he often talks about his car collection (which includes a Ferrari Enzo).
The set arrives in a standard Elite Blu-ray case complete with a small booklet with photos from the concert. Menus are simple and easy to navigate and the video, an AVC encoded 1080i transfer, is passable. I don’t mean that in a bad way; it’s just not very impressive looking. The video is very soft with few details sprouting up; sure the detail on Jay Kay’s headdress and sweat on the bands faces is clearly there, but there’s just not an overwhelming clarity to the transfer.
Audio comes in the usual varieties of LPCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1, and DTS-HD Master Audio. The DTS-HD is the obvious choice for surround setups, but I honestly found the Stereo mix this time around to be clearer and better defined in the front channels, as the surrounds never really kick up any dust with either of the 5.1 offerings. Letting my A/V receiver use Pro Logic IIx to matrix out to the other channels off the LPCM track just made for a better sound this time around.
Extras include a bonus track of a 1995 performance of their song “Space Cowboy.” And…that’s it. No other extras, move along!
Overall not much of an improvement over the 2007 DVD release of this same concert and one you can easily get by with a quick Rental.
Jamiroquai – Live at Montreux 2003 arrives on Blu-ray on August 4th.