Eagle Rock Entertainment // 2005 // 83 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // January 9th, 2013
Get ready to rock with punk's reigning queen of the night.
I'll admit I know little about Patti Smith outside the basics; the only song of hers that I recognized in this set list was the Springsteen collaboration "Because the Night," a seething, lust-filled tune that Smith performed perfectly. She's made her mark, though, over a long career.
"Patti Smith was one of the key artists in the breakthrough of New York City Punk rock, with her 1975 debut album Horses being hugely influential on the whole New Wave genre. Her distinctive blend of rock, punk, and poetry combined with her uncompromising style has ensured that she has remained a credible artist throughout her career. This concert on Montreux from 2005 was part of the tour in support of her 2005 album 'Trampin' and the set list features tracks from her first album right through to that release. Patti Smith remains a vibrant live performer and this first ever live concert Blu-ray is a long overdue treat for all of her fans." -- From Patti Smith: Live at Montreux 2005 (Blu-ray)
The set list includes:
1. "Redondo Beach"
2. "Beneath the Southern Cross"
3. "Dancing Barefoot"
4. "Free Money"
5. "Ain't it Strange"
6. "25th Floor"
7. "Like a Rolling Stone"
8. "Seven Ways of Going"
9. "Peaceable Kingdom"
10. "Because the Night"
11. "Not Fade Away"/"Memento Mori"
12. "People Have the Power"
Without a doubt, Smith is a captivating artist for a multitude of reasons; her unique voice has certainly resonated with fans around the world and her songs are poetically complicated and filled with vivid imagery. Smith was a huge influence on the punk scene, and it's easy to see why; the singer's appearance seems to scream, "I just don't care!" Smith stands at the microphone looking more asexual than any performer I can think of. Her wardrobe consists of a white shirt, man's tie, and a pair of slacks. Smith's hair is a tangled mop that just sort of sits on her head while her face sports not an ounce of makeup. As my wife noted, "She's the most male-looking singer I've ever seen."
However, I digress. Most viewers aren't going to watch Patti Smith: Live at Montreux 2005 for the look of the singer. The set list is what's most important, and this one -- featuring Smith originals as well as some cover tunes -- is certainly strong. Smith puts her own spin on such classics as Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away" and Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" while rocking out to her own compositions. I especially enjoyed "Dancing Barefoot," one of Smith's most famous songs that feels like it came directly from the 1960s. Smith's piano heavy version of "Free Money" and acoustically layered "Beneath the Southern Cross" are also moving, filled with passion and rage that could have only come from the 1970s music scene. Of course, the highlight for this diehard Boss fan was hearing her live version of the Springsteen penned "Because the Night" (which was tweaked and finished by Smith). While I prefer Bruce's version overall, Smith puts a nicely female spin on the classic rock radio staple. Overall, this is a very strong and soulful set list that should please Smith fans.
Patti Smith: Live at Montreux 2005 (Blu-ray) is presented in 1.78:1/1080i high definition widescreen. The image quality here is excellent -- this is a very clear, sharp picture that allows you to see every bead of sweat pouring off Smith's face (and at times makes her look the human version of The Wizard of Oz's Wicked Witch of the West). The soundtrack is presented in DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio and is equally as impressive; this is a sonically aggressive audio mix that features an enveloping experience. I don't have any major complaints about either the video or audio portions of this disc; it sounds and looks great. Also included on this disc is an LPCM mix in English.
There are no extra features included on this disc.
Smith has retained her dynamic presence throughout the years because she's shunned the typical idea of what a rock star can be. She's unique, original, a tad frightening, and -- most importantly -- a talented artist who remains a vital voice in the music scene. This Blu-ray of her 2005 performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival is a must for any Smith fan.
Patti Smith: Live at Montreux 2005 is a short but intense performance by one of rock's legendary acts. Not guilty.
Review content copyright © 2013 Patrick Naugle; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080i)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* PCM 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 83 Minutes
Release Year: 2005
MPAA Rating: Not Rated