30 April 2002 | ferguson-6
raw onstage performances
Greetings again from the darkness. I had not seen "The Last Waltz" since 1978 when I saw it at the college campus theatre with the worst possible picture and sound. At the time I thought it was OK and slightly interesting to see the list of guest performers. The 2002 re-release is FANTASTIC. The enhanced visual and audio are wonderful. Watching Muddy Waters quiver with emotion, Eric Clapton's fingers flying across the neck of his guitar while Robbie Robertson struggles to keep up, and Neil Diamond on the cusp of his "middle-aged women/all arena two decade tour" trying desperately to fit in with the real musicians all make this worth the price of admission. What a joy to see Neil Young (with Joni Mitchell on backup) play "Helpless" and seem to be having such a great time. While all the anger now Neil? This may be the last time Bob Dylan actually sang his songs. Now he just whines nasally. The real showstopper is Van Morrison belting out "Caravan" unlike any other. Watch for all of the onstage dynamics of an unrehearsed concert. Quite a difference from 'n Sync!! My favorite part is watching Robbie Robertson manuever for maximum camera time. He has always been the male Streisand ... desperate for privacy, but the ultimate promoter. Watching Scorcese interview Robertson at the beginning is very insightful. Robertson constants wants him to "ask that one again" so he can provide a "better" answer. Just a mesmerizing couple of hours that is well worth your time even if you never really understood "The Weight".