The Band: The Last Waltz Celebration 1976
I got a chance to watch this bootleg, The Last Waltz: Celebration 1976.
What it is, basically, is the main feature spliced together with the
Lost Waltz found footage, and maybe other footage not on there but of
equal quality (black and white, VHS, fuzzy) with the SBD audio from
the Complete Last Waltz Cool Daddy bootleg (stereo). It's spread out
on 3 DVDs, it's about 11 gigabytes total, so each DVD is not full. The
quality of the film varies, as I said, and, unfortunately, even the
"real" footage is not full DVD quality. The aspect ratio is also
constantly changing and never seem to be 16:9, but somewhere in between.
Nevertheless, to finally have a full video copy of the Last Waltz is
pretty damn cool.
Well worth the download, dunno about the import price.
LABEL: Johanna JPD-500. Original DVDR HungerCity. NTSC Region 0.
Review from HotwacksThis new release from Japanese label Johanna presents the famous final concert by the Band spread on 3 discs. Contrary to the previously reviewed title The Lost Waltz by Bad Wizard, this release presents most of the songs in colour and when this is not possible because footage not on the original film, it has replaced by b&w footage from the film outtakes in order to present the complete performance. Played in the same venue where they started their career in 1960, The Last Waltz has been reckoned as the best film on music ever done, thanks to Martin Scorsese skills. Also on this release the unedited film scenes that were not part of Martin Scorsese film, but the uncut performance, unfortunately in back and white, is offered in stereo too, probably from the 4 compact discs expanded edition released in 2006. The historical value of this stuff is great and the whole lot can be appreciated in full. The film was released officially in 2002 on DVD for a total length of just 2 hours. This mix offers Scorsese multicamera edition coupled with a single camera footage showing the complete concert including the final jams. Disc one has the whole set by the Band that lasts 20 seconds short of an hour with great guitar riffs by Robbie Robertson, sharp and descriptive. The first guest is 'The Hawk', Ronnie Hawkins, with whom the Band started their career 16 years before. After Dr. John it is the time of Muddy Waters that is accompanied on stage by Pinetop Perking on piano, Paul Butterfield on harp and Bob Margolin on guitar. After more than half an hour Eric Clapton shows up, there is a great duet on "Further On Up The Road" between him and Robbie Robertson on lead guitar and then its Neil Young to hit the stage. Disc 2 opens with Joni Mitchell followed by Neil Diamond and Van Morrison. Then there is an intermission occupied by some poets reading their works on the mike (including Lawrence Ferlinghetti) but before that there are interesting photos of booklet and posters and shots from the concert with great stories about this show, allegedly supposed to have taken place in September before the Band decided to call it a day, and subsequently proposed as a final call with all guests; too bad the sequence runs too fast and it is hard to read all texts without using the pause. The disc ends with a solo performance from Garth Hudson at his keyboards, using mostly a moog synthesizer that introduces the Band's "Chest Fever" and then "The Last Waltz" (a.k.a. "Evangeline") is played. Last track on this disc is "The Weight" unfortunately not present as a live song on the official release. Disc 3 starts with Bob Dylan whose first three songs were not in the official version of the film, on "I Don't Believe You" there is one of the few times I have seen him play a guitar solo. After "I Shall Be Released" it is time for some jam sessions, unedited footage is restricted to half of the first one, but the audio is available and so a photo is shown on the screen. The second jam has instead been available in color and has Carl Radle on bass instead of Rick Danko, with Ron Wood playing slide; at the end Stephen Stills walks on stage too and has time to solo as well in front of his mate Neil Young. At this point after 6 hours of shooting the 35 mm. cameras failed on the verge of melting down. But after a break the Band returned for a final song: "Baby Don't Do It". Not enough for this extended version there are bonus features at the end of Disc 3 some studio versions (recorded on the same stage at Winterland it seems)of songs recorded for The Last Waltz with subtitled lyrics in Japanese: the first is "The Weight" with the Staples Singers guesting, while on "Evangeline" studio version Emmylou Harris shares the stage. Then follow three Dylan songs with Japan subtitles that end this heavy load. Interestingly it seems to have a different camera setting than before (Ron Wood is shown when his presence is announced during "I Shall Be Released", while he wasn't shown before).
Packaging is superb on this issue that deserves praise for the high quality displayed everywhere especially on the audio and video edits. This release is dedicated to the memory of Rick Danko and Richard Manuel, the two Band members that have died meanwhile and is a labor of love for a great concert that happened in an era where most of the performers peaked. Their talents truly represented by this release which will only be possible to beat in the future by displaying the full film in color (Martin where are you?).
The Band - Last Waltz Celebration 1976 - DVD - Johanna JPD-500