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Rock Montreal + Live Aid 4K UHD Blu-Ray

Review by Gary Hill

You can say what you like about Queen, and I'll personally admit that their earlier music speaks to me more than the later stuff does, but you can't deny that they were always one of the greatest live bands out there.

This new double 4K UHD Blu-Ray is so cool. The first disc includes Rock Montreal is full frame format along with the Live Aid performance. The second has the Rock Montreal show in widescreen and a featurette showing the Live Aid rehearsals along with some interview sections.

I'm going to get the negatives out of the way here. First, I think that the cardboard sleeve might not be the best way to store these discs. It doesn't hold them in all that well, and they seem like they might get scratched easily.

I had read that some people were having trouble with the discs not playing on their machines. I didn't have any trouble with the first disc, but when I put the second one in, it came up to the menu, but I had no options to click. I had also read where some people said that if they had problems initially that they were able to fix them by ejecting the disc and putting it back in, so I tried that. It worked like a charm. I'm not sure what is going on with that little formatting issue, but it's apparently common enough to show up in several customer reviews.

My final complaint is in regards to the Live Aid footage. There are some video scan lines that show up off and on throughout the performance. I'm sure they must be artifacts from the original recording, so there is probably nothing that can be done about it. It's still a little annoying on something that has such high resolution. Then again, the Live Aid thing is basically the shorter bonus feature.

The two concerts are very different from one another. They do include some of the same songs, but the Montreal show is more of a full Queen concert. That means it includes full staging and a headliner performance length. The Live Aid show features a stripped back stage presence and a short set.

Both concerts show just how strong a band Queen were live. Freddie Mercury's voice was one of the best, and it's amazing how good he sounded live. Then again, every member of the band rocked. The sound and video are both so good in this new UHD format. I think I'll be watching the Montreal show more often than the Live Aid one, but both are well worth having.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2024  Volume 2 More information and purchase links can be found at:


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