Cooper – Live At Montreux 2005 (DTS DVD/CD Set)
Sound: B Extras: B Film: B
There are essentially two types of Alice Cooper
concert. One is the completely
over-the-top stage show extravaganza, with full props, extra actors, and lots
of special effects. The other is more of
a straight-ahead rock show where the focus is more on the band than on the
Alice Cooper - Live at Montreux 2005 is a
good example of the latter. Alice’s
charisma and stage presence is in full display here. He doesn’t need the sets and special effects
to be one of the all-time great rock and roll showmen. His vocal delivery, while not what it used to
be, is still powerful and dramatic. His
lyric imagery is alternately disturbing and hysterical.
Not that there is a complete lack of theatrics. This is an Alice Cooper show aft all. At its base every Cooper concert is a mini
morality play acted out through his songs.
Though condensed to a small segment in the last third of the show the
sequence of events remain the same. We
see the character of Alice engage in some horrendous crime (in the case the
abuse and eventual murder of a female dancer, played by Alice’s daughter Calico
Cooper). Alice is captured, placed in a
straightjacket (from which he escapes to commit more crimes). Eventually he is caught and executed, in this
case by the classic beheading by guillotine.
The band goes into an extended musical bridge which culminates in the
rebirth of Alice clad all in white.
After all this time it still works. Alice presents the dark side of the human
experience, then in the tradition of the true Horror genre, shows that there is
a price to be paid for evil and even for Alice there is the possibility of
redemption. Even in this shortened form
the viewer has the experience of theatre as well as of a rock concert.
The anamorphically enhanced 16 x 9/1.78 X 1 image is
colorful, clean and has some depth, but there is a bit of minor detail
trouble. Otherwise, this looks good and
was likely shot in digital High Definition.
The PCM 2.0 16bit/44.1kHz Stereo in the CD is pretty good, repeated in a
48kHz version of the same PCM on the DVD, with 5.1 Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1
mixes. The DTS is just a bit better than
all of them, making for some of the best playback of Cooper’s music in any
format to date. There are no extras on
the DVD but it comes packaged with a CD of the concert, which unfortunately due
to time constraints, is missing the morality play segment of the show.
If you haven’t seen Alice live and wonder what all of the
fuss is about, Alice Cooper - Live at Montreux 2005 is a good place to
find out. It is now also available in
the Blu-ray format, reviewed elsewhere on this site.
- Wayne Wise
Wayne Wise has been an Alice Cooper fan since he was
eleven around the time of School’s Out.
He has seen Alice live more than any other national act. Go to www.wayne-wise.com
for more about his work and experiences.