Run-DMC Live At Montreux 2001

Once upon a time, Run DMC were the kings of rock but, alas, those days are long gone. Instead, for their first and only performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Run DMC decided to promote themselves as the old school guardians of hip-hop, relying on their past status as legends in the game. Over their one-hour set, Run DMC spend too much time talking, with Run trying to goad the crowd with the possibility of receiving one of the group's famous Stetson hats, which eventually evolves into Run, DMC and DJ Jam Master Jay signing DMC’s shirt and giving it to someone in the crowd. All of this is a big waste of time! More music would have been appreciated, and better song selections as well. Sure, they kick hits "It’s Like That,” "King of Rock,” "Mary Mary” and "Walk This Way,” and drop a medley that includes "Rock Box” and "Sucker MCs,” but precious time is wasted on Run’s "freestyles” and sub-par fare from their Crown Royal album, which they’d just released. Plus, Run and DMC appear to be going through the motions, like on "Mary Mary,” where they start strong but quickly lose energy, or their pathetic rendition of "Peter Piper.” If this is Run DMC "at their very best,” as the DVD cover proclaims, it’s truly a sad affair. In fact, the only good thing about this set is Jam Master Jay, who demonstrates that he was the backbone of the trio, holding down all of the cuts, hyping the crowd and rapping along with the barely capable DMC. Sadly, he would be gunned down the following year. While it might have been more enjoyable to see this concert along with the 2,500 fans, whom appear to be having a great time, it doesn’t translate to DVD. (Eagle Rock)