If you could pick any year from which you'd want to pull a Run-D.M.C.
show, it wouldn't be 2001. The group's least interesting album (Crown Royal
) had been released two years before, nothing had appeared since, and a year later it would all be over after DJ Jam Master Jay
was senselessly murdered. It's surprising then that Live at Montreux 2001
is an exciting and generally satisfying release, filled with life, energy, and inspiration. Golden-age material is the name of the game, and when the drama-building intro stretches past the four-minute mark without trying the patience, it's like 1985 all over again. Jay
's great scratching was always a bigger feature live, and in-between song banter plus call-and-response play time with the crowd is an important part of the full Run-D.M.C.
experience that you just can't get on their studio albums. While the large amount of time spent talking up the crowd makes this a less desirable listen on return visits, hardcore fans will appreciate the experience, even more so on the companion DVD that shares this archival release's title.