Live at Montreux 2010 offers Gary Moore fans the chance to see the guitar master’s last taped concert performance in pristine high definition. Moore passed away on February 6, 2011, at the age of 58. This July 2010 Montreux Jazz Festival performance was recorded only half a year before his unexpected demise. Moore was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist, perhaps best known for his time with Thin Lizzy. But Moore was a prolific solo artist with an extensive discography, much of it steeped in blues-rock explorations. Now available on Blu-ray, Live at Montreux 2010 marked a return to hard rock for Moore.
The rock approach is made immediately clear by the barnstorming “Over the Hills and Far Away” that opens the show. Moore’s four piece band included Neil Carter on keyboards, Jon Noyce on bass, and Darrin Mooney on drums. As an ensemble they sound great, with each musician providing support for Moore rather than grandstanding. “Thunder Rising” (one of two songs not included on the CD release) continues the stomping Celtic rock feel, while exposing a flaw – Neil Carter’s backing vocals are borderline incompetent. Moore himself has been in far better voice, but his vocals are still impassioned. He puts his all into songs like “Where Are You Now?” and “Empty Rooms.”
The no-frills approach taken by the camera crew makes for an ideal presentation. The camera lingers on Moore’s fretboard for long periods of time, allowing the viewer to appreciate his skill. Audience shots are minimal, reserved to the occasional glimpse of people in the front row quietly enjoying the show. Rather than frantic quick-cutting, the focus remains on the musicians. Accepting that some of the vocals are a bit rough, this is a really intensely rocking performance. In a way, the occasionally off-key vocals just add to the “live,” unvarnished feel of the show.