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"Godmother of Punk" turns in a lean, aggressive set backed by all-star cast

Patti Smith - "Live At Montreux 2005"
Blu-ray Review

(Eagle Rock Entertainment)
4 1/2 stars (out of 5 stars)
December 20, 2012
Patti Smith

Review by Andy Argyrakis

When Patti Smith walked out on stage at 2005's Montreux Jazz Festival wearing the same white shirt and black tie she sported on the cover of 1975's monumental debut "Horses," it suggested she still clung tightly to her poetic punk roots even 30 years down the road. And at the end of the lean, aggressive 83-minute set, it was apparent the genre's godmother hadn't just retained her raw musical power and socially conscious ethos, but appeared just as impassioned as ever.

Though this particular set supported 2004's "Trampin'" album, the most moving moments came from much deeper in her vaults. After opening with the fiery "Redondo Beach," Smith and her band comprised of original Patti Smith Group players Lenny Kaye (guitar) and Jay Dee Daugherty (drums), along with Television's Tom Verlaine (guitar) and longtime collaborator Tony Shanahan (bass, keyboards) plowed through the decades without ever sounding like a single second had passed.

Besides demonstrating the staying power of "Free Money" and "25th Floor," Smith took assertive ownership of Bob Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone" and The Crickets' "Not Fade Away," which was seamlessly intermixed with her roots rockin' onslaught "Memento Mori." However, it's no surprise that her rough and tumble take on "Because The Night" and the hair raising finale "People Have The Power" absolutely stole the show, enhancing the fact that Smith's first ever live concert film is a mandatory score for appreciators of her many influential eras.

Related articles:

Patti Smith Concert review (Lollapalooza 2007) - Chicago, IL, August 2007
Patti Smith Concert review - Madison, WI, June 2004
Patti Smith Concert review - Chicago, IL, July 2000
Patti Smith Tampin' Album review

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