ZZ Top: Live At Montreux 2013 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The concert looked terrific from start to finish.
At all times, sharpness looked excellent. The image showed great detail and let us view the elements well. I noticed no issues with jagged edges or moiré effects, and I also detected no signs of edge enhancement. Source flaws looked absent, and I saw no issues related to artifacting, noise, or other distractions.
The majority of the colors came from lighting, though some purple jackets added pep. The hues from lights looked well developed and accurate, as even the thickest tones remained distinctive and rich. Blacks were deep and dense, while low-light shots came across as clear and appropriately visible. This became a simply stellar visual presentation.
Given the spare instrumentation found from the three-piece band, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix didn’t have to fight to make the elements heard. They were well placed in the soundfield and meshed smoothly. Surround usage leaned toward crowd noise and general reinforcement of the music. The surrounds accurately and solidly supported the front but didn’t cause distractions.
Audio quality sounded decent but unexceptional. Vocals came across as acceptably accurate, but they lacked the consistently natural tones I’d like. Midrange dominated the piece and dynamics seemed only moderately good.
Though most high-end material was fairly clear and well rendered, bass response was adequate but no better. Low-end seemed somewhat lacking, and I didn’t get the sense of warmth from the track that I expected. This seemed like a somewhat compressed presentation that remained mostly positive but it didn’t shine.
When we go to extras, we find an Interview with Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill. In this six-minute piece, we hear about band history, their beards, and some of their music. The program offers a few decent notes but seems too general to deliver much.
We also find Billy Gibbons on the Montreux Jazz Festival. During the five-minute, 46-second reel, Gibbons discusses his feelings about the Festival and experiences there. This one becomes more specific/detailed that its predecessor but still lacks a lot of informational value.
Finally, we find an eight-page booklet. It provides an essay from “Montreux Jazz Festival habitue” Pierre Perrone as well as photos and some credits. It’s a minor piece but a nice complement.
At its best, ZZ Top: Live at Montreux 2013 delivers a moderately positive concert from a good little rock band. It never rises above the level of “fairly decent”, unfortunately, and it seems like an enjoyable but lackluster show. The Blu-ray boasts superb visuals along with acceptable audio and minor bonus materials. You won’t find a better-looking ZZ Top show on the market but you’ll probably dig up one with more interesting performances.