The Montreux Jazz Festival has recently passed its 40th year of housing the best and brightest musical minds in the blues and jazz fields. Those who have graced its stage include Carlos Santana, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Miles Davis. Through the years the concert has managed to bring in a more varied and diverse group of artists, with James Brown, Nina Simone, Johnny Cash and Alice Cooper. The width and depth of the festival past its music and jazz roots continues to expand.
I don't think that anything could have prepared concertgoers for the appearance of Korn on the stage in 2004. The wacky bunch of guys from California whose combination of heavy metal guitar riffs and hip-hop influenced drum beats has brought kids to a bouncing, moshing frenzy across the world, so it was natural that they attend a jazz festival in Switzerland, right? Clearly, someone decided to overdose on their eclecticism pills when they scheduled this appearance. Consider the list of those who appeared at the festival that year, aside from Korn; you've got Alicia Keys, Van Morrison, Deep Purple, Black Eyed Peas, George Clinton and a whole host of others. Korn's 75-minute performance is captured on disc by Eagle Rock Entertainment, producer of several other Montreux-set releases from musical acts, and the setlist is as follows:
"Break Some Off"
"Got The Life"
"Here To Stay"
"Falling Away From Me"
"Shoots and Ladders"
"Freak On A Leash"
"Dead Bodies Everywhere"
"Did My Time"
"Another Brick In The Wall"
"Y'All Want A Single"
I've seen Korn play once before, on a dual bill with Metallica during a 2000 stadium tour. And watching the crowd lose their mind then was certainly fun to watch, but in watching them perform in 2004, there wasn't a lot of variety in their stage portfolio. Aside from looking at singer Jonathan Davis and what I believe is a bit of a weight gain, the Montreux set appears to be little more than an hour and change of the hits. There's very little variety, very little extraneous jamming that occurs between guitarists James "Munky" Shaffer and Brian Welch, bassist Reggie Arvizu and drummer David Silveria. It's that type of extracurricular activity that I personally enjoy when I watch a concert, at least if you're not providing a visceral effort to kick the collective arse of the audience you're performing in front of.
1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen. Things are pretty straightforward, all of the various strobe and concert lighting doesn't provide for many distortion problems, though there is the occasional scene of image noise when a plain old spotlight is shining on stage. Otherwise, things are okay.
Your choice of DTS, Dolby Digital 5.1 surround and 2.0 stereo options. But really though, why wouldn't you listen to the DTS option exclusively? The music sounds pretty strong, with the rear speakers picking up occasionally but isn't really all that immersive. In listening to the sound mix of the concert, things sound a little bit too heavy on the low end side, with the vocals coming across as a little weak and unbalanced. This is your standard Eagle Rock mix, pretty solid overall.
A bit of a disappointment here, as there's nothing to be found, compared to most of the other Eagle Rock-Montreux releases which at least have some interview footage from the participants.
When it comes to the Montreux series of DVDs, Korn's performance, while looking and sounding good, seems a little bit flat and uninspired. If you like the band, you'll certainly want to give the disc a look-see, but more advanced Korn aficionados might want to evaluate their ample bootleg concert collections before making a decision on parting with some hard-earned cash.