The highlight of this Blu-ray is Phil's one-off Montreux show in 2004. The massive stage set that was used throughout the First Final Farewell Tour isn't to be seen here - it's principally just Phil and the band on stage belting out the hits, and, surprisingly, I found the show was the better for it. There are no distractions here, just great musicians playing through 25 years worth of material with energy and passion.
Many Blu-rays are a real let down to watch... but not this one! The picture is razor sharp and you really feel like it could have been shot yesterday. Thankfully, the picture quality is matched by the audio which is clear, well mixed and, for once, the bass frequencies haven't been watered down.
And then, almost as a bonus, we also get to see the Phil Collins Big Band at the same venue in 1996. His jazz re-workings will not be to everyone's taste, but there are some great moments to take in from this gig. The sax solo on Against All Odds, for example, is a thing of beauty.
It is a shame that the Big Band gig didn't get the full Blu-ray treatment. It is shown here in decent DVD picture format, but again the sound is rounded and well produced. One word of warning though: Phil does seem to lay into his cymbals every 2 seconds or so. Even though I'm a drummer myself (largely because of Phil!), I did find it slightly irritating.
One minor gripe I have is that there is an excellent, made-for-TV documentary in existence which documented Phil's build up to the 1996 Big Band gigs. It showed how the project evolved from day one and it was interesting to see Phil getting up to speed with jazz drumming and how the project evolved throughout the rehearsal process. Given the huge storage space on Blu-ray, it would have been lovely to have included this programme too, but ah well!
So overall, a great purchase and definitely one for Phil Collins fans. Even if you have the First Final Farewell Tour DVDs it is worth getting this version as it is a more intimate gig setting (so it truly feels different to the stadium show), and the sound and picture quality are much better.
Enjoy, because we won't be seeing the likes of such shows from Phil Collins again in the future I'm afraid!