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Rock N Roll heaven
on 4 April 2006
No other concert film is as well made as this one. But this is no surprise, the film is directed by Martin Scorsese.
The DVD is a considerable improvement on VHS. The sound is better, there are a moderate amount of extras and of course its shown in its original cinema aspect ratio.
However, the main reason to buy this film is the music. Quite simply The Band were one of the greatest Rock N Roll bands ever. This is a film of their farewell concert (at least in the classic line-up with Robbie Robertson on guitar). The Bands music on its own would merit purchase of this disc. They run through a 'best of' set, that as a concert film would be hard to beat.
Add to this the guest list, and you have the best concert film ever. Van Morrison in his hey day belting out Caravan. Joni Mitchell singing Coyote. Dylan with Robbie Robertson burning incendiary guitar licks behind him. Muddy Waters, Neil Young, Dr John... The list goes on and on.
To flesh the film out a bit they filmed a few numbers on a sound stage. One of these is a version of The Weight. This version of The Weight features The Band with The Staples singers. If you haven't heard Mavis Staples, and you like gospel influenced music this takes what was already a great song to a new level.
Please note that Van Morrison's performance of Caravan is on this version of the DVD!
The same year this was filmed (1976) Punk came on the scene and changed music for ever. But it doesn't matter whether you were brought up on Elvis Presley, The Sex Pistols, Nirvana or Coldplay, this music is as essential now as it was 30 years ago