Gary Moore

Live at Monsters of Rock [DVD]

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Although not billed that way, this live DVD finds guitarist/band leader Moore backed by his Scars group of Cass Lewis on bass, and drummer Darrin Mooney. Recorded without overdubs or additional sweetening at a single Monsters of Rock gig in Sheffield, England on May 21, 2003, this is the video equivalent to the previously released audio CD. As such, if you have a choice, it's preferable, since the audio is mixed into startling 5.1 surround sound, which provides an even more explosive and live feel to an already intense, and very loud show. The camera work, which eschews the MTV style of quick cutting, is very good. It captures the performance from a variety of angles, focusing on Moore's guitar and generally making the watcher feel like they are on-stage with the band. There are no distracting visuals, flashy stagings, backdrops, smoke bombs, or props; just a rugged three piece doing their job pounding away at a good cross-section of Moore's catalog. At only about an hour, the performance is a little on the short side, but there are plenty of flamboyant pyrotechnics to satisfy the most rabid metal/rocker. Two extras -- a 15-minute interview, and another 15-minute sound check, both recorded on the day of the gig -- flesh out the playing time and are well worth watching. The one-on-one interview with Moore is especially enlightening, as he articulately discusses his gear -- in particular his pedals and guitars -- how he chose the songs for this tour and the direction he's headed in after leaving the blues for harder rocking territory. The sound check contains looser versions of The Yardbirds' "Shapes of Things" and Thin Lizzy's "Don't Believe a Word," both of which are also in the show's set and prove that no two of Moore's versions are identical. The track listing neatly encapsulates the guitarist's harder side and his more sympathetic blues leanings all within nine tunes that run an hour. Hence, it's recommended for existing fans and newcomers who want a brief but fiery overview of the acclaimed yet underrated Irish guitarist's work.