on 2 December 2003
I bought this not really expecting much more than a bunch of old blokes playing a few tunes for a mate but how wrong I was.
I've never been much of a Beatles fan but I always appreciated George's playing, writing, spiritual life a sense of hummer and this DVD pays great tribute to all of these.
Everyone has so much love and respect of George and his music that you can't fail to find yourself being drawn in. Ringo is fun, Clapton is playing well and even Macca isn't too annoying. But Joe Brown does indeed steal the show with 'See you in my dreams'.
The format of the DVD is also excellent with the two options to watch and all the extras are well made and also well worth watching.
All in all a great release and one of my favourite music DVDs. George would probably be embarrassed to see such a fuss made but I’m sure he would also be rightly proud of all that he has achieved.
on 23 October 2004
This beautifully produced DVD is stunning on all levels. More than just a film of an exceptional concert, it perfectly captures George Harrison's life & music and, above all, the love that he gave and received from his friends and family.
The evening itself builds from a wonderful opening sequence of Indian music into a quite superb rock concert featuring just about everyone George played with over the years. Packed full of stand-out numbers too many to list, their renditions of "If I Needed Someone", "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and "Horse To The Water" are quite breathtaking. And, with virtually no "I knew George..." speeches, and with none of the "stellar" names seeking to steal the limelight, it's a brilliantly sequenced and perfectly played celebration of one man's music.
By the end, and with no less than four drummers, nine guitarists and four organists now on stage, the final number - "Wah Wah" - could/should have been a musical nightmare. But, through the sheer quality of musicianship and Eric Clapton's outstanding musical production it is, in fact, the complete opposite... a thundering celebration of everything that's good about rock music which, aided by superb film editing (including several amazing shots of the huge percussion section in full, perfectly synchronised swing), is quite simply the most exciting live performance I've ever seen. And for the encore... Joe Brown's simple, ukulele backed rendition of "I'll See You In My Dreams" is a deeply poignant and wholly apt closing to a night totally devoid of "rock star" ego & excess.
And there's more, for the interviews and rehearsal sequences on DVD Two are not only entertaining in themselves, but re-inforce the over-riding impressions of friendship and admiration from all those involved. Not just a bunch of interesting "out-takes" but an integral part of capturing the background to, and reasons for, such a unique event.
Eric Clapton's body language while standing behind Joe Brown's heart-rending encore sums it all up - respect, love, sadness, and... quite rightly, dignified pride for a job well done in giving a dear friend the best possible send-off.
on 26 January 2004
To anyone thinking of buying this DVD, all I can say is BUY IT !. You won`t regret it.
I must have watched it about 7 or 8 times since I bought it a couple of months ago.
Disc One is the concert as it was performed and Disc Two is the same songs in a different order with snippets of interviews in between.The concert begins with about 45 minutes of Indian music. I don`t like some Indian music I have heard but this is just lovely, a piece composed for the
occasion by Ravi Shankar that brilliantly combines Indian and Western musicians.There is then an interlude in which some of the Monty Python team come on to do a couple of comedy songs, ( The Lumberjack Song performed with great gusto by Michael Palin and the Mounties ).
Then on comes Eric Clapton, Andy Fairweather-Lowe, Gary Brooker, Billy Preston etc to perform one great George song after another. I was going to list all the songs and give them ratings but there is no point because all the performances are at least good, some are great and one in particular is just sublime - Something - started by McCartney on the Ukelele and then joined by the rest of the band.
Various people take the lead on different songs, Sam Brown, Billy Preston, Joe Brown, Eric Clapton, Jeff Lynne, Ringo, McCartney etc and they all do the songs justice.
There are no mawkish " how wonderful George was " speeches, but there is a warmth that surrounds the whole show, just a bunch of musicians and singers paying a heartfelt tribute to their friend in the best way possible, by performing his songs ( and doing so brilliantly ).
The whole concert ( 2 hrs 26 mins ) is a joy, the music, the camera work, I`m tempted to say this is a perfect music DVD.All I can say to the people who organised and performed the concert is Thank You, you have given us a DVD to treasure.
And all I can say to the people who were in the audience is - you were privileged indeed !.
on 20 October 2003
Have just seen the concert at the cinema, fantastic.
Eric was in charge and brilliantly supported by Jeff,Paul,Ringo,Billy Preston,Tom Petty,Monty Python, Ravi Shanka and many more, not forgetting Joe Brown who stole the show with his ukelele at the end singing 'see you in my dreams'. It certainly brought a tear to my eye. All the songs were delivered with warmth and love. It was good to see Dhani on stage with his dad's best mates, pity Bob Dylan was missing.
George was remembered with style and would have enjoyed the show, perhaps he did.
on 8 August 2005
Exactly one year after George Harrison died many of his friends created this wonderful evening with Indian music and so many of George's great songs as a tribute and a farewell to one of last centuries greatest songwriters. What I loved most about this DVD was that there were a lot of funny moments but one could always sense the sadness in everyone. Paul's remark about how Olivia Harrison said that with Dhani up on stage it looked like George stayed young and the others grew old was funny and heart rending at the same time. If you weren't touched by the way that Eric Clapton and Paul McCartney hardly could keep from shedding tears over the loss of their friend at one point or another then I don't know what could. Thank you for this concert DVD and most of all, thank you George for your wonderful music! I have made it a habit to watch this at least once every other day since I bought the DVD.
on 10 March 2006
Much has been written about practically ever aspect of this double DVD. If I choose to write about it is purely out of joining the awe and gratitude I have for George's songs and spiritual path.
The music here lives up to its author, if nothing else you will be reminded of one of the most impressive songbooks in popular music ever. Every single song, harking back to early Beatles remains fresh and, overall, shows Harrison's continuous maturing as a songwriter.
Of the two DVDs, I'm definitely partial to the second one, mainly song rehearsals and brief and intelligent interviews paced and blended seamlessly, at times transporting one song to the actual live footage from the concert.
Standouts for me: "Isn't It A Pity" is probably "the moment" in opinion. Billy Preston sings the song of his life and Clapton's vocals and solo are his best stuff in years. Of course "Something" -from Paul's soft touch and his ukulele to the full blown Rock finale- is worth seeing, and Tom Petty's covers and his playing along Jeff Lyne reprising the Willburys' "Handle With Care," are great.
Just as poignant are Ringo's "Photograph" singing his heart out and bringing pure, new energy to the stage, and Joe Brown's gorgeous and humble "Here Comes the Sun."
Normally, I'm not that adept to watching concert DVDs. This is one exception, skeptic as I was of the potential sentimentality and greed of Tribute concerts I was stunned with the beauty of offering.
on 12 January 2004
Where do you start to review anything as monumental as this? Perhaps at the end? Joe Brown reminding the whole British nation that the early sixties had witnessed one of the greatest explosions of music this planet has ever seen. Yes, Joe Brown, the Joe Brown we grew up with along with other skittle alley-come-rock songsters who ushered in this new miraculous era bringing new-found melody and movement to 1, 2 or 3 generations all over this planet.
Joe Brown and a ukelele telling us that George came from back there and never really left. The backgound of George and the other Beatles and creators of the time (Clapton et al) reminding us that life was a ditty, a chanty, a pub melody and if you worked hard at it it was a spiritual message about love and the simplicity of our existence.
George worked and studied hard and his message is here within us and without us and working its way through each and every voice and every note on this sublime evening and recording.
Perhaps George was the foil for John and Paul but the contribution made by George wrapped up ten years of Beatle magic in the sixties and gives an eternal reminder of how human we are and how human he was, too.
This is probably the greatest single tribute ever rendered to a contemporary musician.
on 27 February 2006
For all sorts of reasons this DVD is just wonderful. One reason is that there are a great selection of Musicians and performers who are all at the very top of their game for the night and who obviously wanted to do it for a much missed friend. Another reason is that it is a fine collection of songs that would rarely have been played together before. Of course two Beatles on stage in tribute to a third also makes it a very special event and although there is an undercurrent of sadness to the show , it is the joy of the performance in memory of George that shines through. I think my favourite part is when McCartney starts "something" as a whimsical rendition on the banjo to be joined at the guitar solo by the whole band. As a big strapping lad, the last song always has me fighting off a tear or two!
on 9 December 2003
I was one of the lucky few to have been at the original concert.It was a night that closed a chapter for so many people and i'm so pleased that it has been released. Whilst the concert was sonically suberb the event ,for anyone sitting up in the Gods, was very quiet and now i have the full majesty of the sound that was created that night on DVD. There are stories of what a taskmaster Eric Clapton was in rehearsal but what can you say. So many all star events deteriorate into pub-rock singalong parody. This was sublime , well executed perfection.
What we had here was the full majesty of a Spector/Harrison wall of sound circa 1970 All Things Must Pass where each of the many musicians ( 3 drummers, percussionists and at sometimes 6 guitarists) were marshalled into performing as the the bit part player in an orchestra. To see Maccas restraint was wonderful as was the love invested in every note played by every musician. Egos seem to have been left at home. There were so many glorious moments from the Indian section at the beginning through to Monty Python and then the final band section. All things must Pass ( as a song ) seems to take on more meaning each year and personally for me holds more power than Imagine. Paul invested all of his range , love and emotion into this song and it was glorious to hear and see . Who could fail to be moved by Joe Brown's final eulogy "I'll see you in my Dreams" with petals showering down over the Royal Albert and also Dhani's devotion to his father's music, such a wonderful tribute and so movingly underplayed.
As a final point like so many have said it's a shame Mr Zimmerman couldn't take a night off from his "Never Ending Bore" but then again perhaps the thought of rehearsal was an issue. There were so many cues in the concert where i was expecting him to walk on, as he had walked on in George's life.
All in all it tops the Last Waltz and whilst we've heard so much about Hammer of the Gods over the Years perhaps this is the final,sad but glorious Twilight of the Gods. Superb.
on 28 March 2004
This is an epic DVD.
Every aspect - the music, the performances, the sound, and especially the direction - are of the highest order.
If a concert can be inspired, this is it. If love can be captured and put on to a DVD, this is it. If you own just one music DVD, this is it.
Who would have thought that of all the Beatles' music, George's would emerge as the best? It has, and this DVD is proof.