Those who have paid any bit of attention to rock/metal music over the past few decades will no doubt know the name “KoRn.” It’s hard to miss; they were everywhere, blowing out speakers with “Freak on a Leash” and quickly following platinum selling albums with another and another and another after that. With the band’s name comes a certain expectation to not only find some of the most head-bang worthy guitar riffs, but to also listen to what singer Jonathan Davis has to say with his unique vocal style. No doubt bands will be influenced by KoRn for awhile and their 2004 concert at Montreux is a clear sign of just why that is.
Founded in 1967, the Montreux Jazz Festival has established itself as one of the most prestigious annual music events in the world. The wide array of artists who have performed there is incredibly diverse and with the advent of the high-definition format, Eagle Vision Entertainment is making these concerts available on the home video format for the first time. Arriving in both DVD and Blu-ray editions, Korn – Live at Montreux 2004 features sixteen of KoRn’s most popular songs, including classics like “Falling Away From Me,” “Blind,” and new tracks like “Right Now” and “Did My Time.” It is definitely one of the most exciting KoRn concerts ever available on the home video format and when its seen in full HD glory, it’s an even more impressive visual and aural experience.
I’m not sure what there is to say about a concert on Blu-ray (or DVD for that matter). While I’ve been a fan of KoRn for some time now, I was actually kind of disappointed in the set list for this concert. I wasn’t adverse to any of the songs played, it was just that most of my favorites weren’t even played (heck, most of them come off of the “Untouchables” record, of which only one song was played). Still, this quibble aside, the concert was fun to watch, but it just felt a little too by the numbers, as nothing really stood out or impressed me in any way. The songs sounded as they should have, but rarely did they go off on any riffs or anything out of the ordinary; the only time we got any sense of merger between songs was “Shoots and Ladders” sliding into “One.” There was a guitar solo of sorts, but, again, nothing that really lasted any real amount f time. Perhaps I’m just used to listening to Metallica concerts, as KoRn’s presentation here really wasn’t anything to write home about.
But if you’re coming into this set for the songs alone, then I doubt you’ll be disappointed. It’s seventy-five minutes of some classic KoRn tracks, with the standouts being “Blind”, “Shoots and Ladders”, “A.D.I.D.A.S.” and “F***t.” The last one especially seemed to have a higher energy than any of the others from the concert. I never actually cared for that song during its original recording, but live it has a much greater energy, perhaps due to Davis’s recitation of all of the “talking to himself” type moments the song has.
Overall the concert wasn’t incredibly amazing, but it was fun to listen to at least. As a fan of their music I was probably more easily impressed by it than the average viewer, as there’s nothing about this concert that really would make one a fan. Recommended for the fans, Rental for the newbies.
Despite being four years old, Live at Montreux has just now made its home video format debut courtesy of Eagle Rock Entertainment. The Blu-ray edition is shown in their Eagle Vision HD format, featuring 1080i video AVC encoded video that looks quite nice. There’s a nice level of detail throughout the concert, with the sweat glistening off of the bands bodies at every turn. If you thought band sweat was bad in DVD quality, the detail that HD provides can get into a bit in the “wow that’s…kind of gross” area as it goes flying about the stage. It’s a wonder they don’t slip and fall.
The audio comes in three formats, LPCM Stereo and 5.1 Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio. I was excited to check out the DTS Master Audio first, simply because I figured that to be the best mix. Unfortunately after accidentally listening to the LPCM track for a bit at first, I noticed the DTS track (and the TrueHD) was a lot quieter and with a lot less bass mixed in with it. For the first time, I switched the track back to the LPCM track and listened to the rest of the concert that way; the surrounds were poorly utilized, with very little substance coming out of the surrounds. The heavy front ended LPCM track was a lot stronger and made everything a lot more thunderous because of it.
Usually even the most basic of concert DVDs has some bonus extra (behind the scenes, extra songs, discography…something), but Live at Montreux says “No!” to extras in a big fat way: there are none. A song selection menu and that’s about as fancy as this Blu-ray release gets. Disappointing to be sure, as I had hoped that there was a little something to gauge the bands excitement for performing at this historic venue…but nope, not on this release.
Overall Live at Montreux is strictly for the KoRn fan. There’s nothing here that will woo any of the casually interested into actually watching this more than once (or even the whole way through) and the complete lack of extras makes this an easy Rental. The songs certainly look and sound great, but I’d rather just listen to the original CDs they came from, as this live performance really adds nothing to them that wasn’t already there to begin with.
Korn: Live at Montreux is now available on Blu-ray.