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The Band: The Last Waltz Celebration 1976

[cover art]

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.
--Levi Albert

Disc 1

  1. Opening Document
  2. Up On Cripple Creek
  3. The Shape I'm In
  4. It Makes No Difference
  5. Life Is A Carnival
  6. This Wheel s On Fire
  7. W.S. Walcott Medicine Show
  8. Georgia On My Mind
  9. Ophelia
  10. King Harvest (Has Surely Come)
  11. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
  12. Stage Fright
  13. Rag Mama Rag
  14. Who Do You Love?
  15. Such A Night
  16. Down South In New Orleans
  17. Mystery Train
  18. Caledonia
  19. Mannish Boy
  20. All Our Past Times
  21. Further On Up The Road
  22. Helpless
  23. Four Strong Winds.

Disc 2

  1. Coyote
  2. Shadows And Light
  3. Furry Sings The Blues
  4. Dry Your Eyes
  5. Tura Lura Lura (That's An Irish Lullabye)
  6. Caravan
  7. Arcadian Driftwood
  8. Intermission- Poetry Reading
  9. The Genetic Method-Chest Fever
  10. Theme From The Last Waltz-Evangeline (concert version)
  11. The Weight (concert version).

Disc 3

  1. Baby Let Me Follow You Down
  2. Hazel
  3. I Don't Believe You
  4. Forever Young
  5. Baby Let Me Follow You Down (reprise)
  6. I Shall Be Released
  7. Jam #1
  8. Jam#2
  9. Baby Don't Do It (Don't Do It on cover), BONUS FEATURES: 10. The Weight
  10. Evangeline
  11. Forever Young
  12. Baby Let Me Follow You Down (reprise)
  13. I Shall Be Released.

LABEL: Johanna JPD-500. Original DVDR HungerCity. NTSC Region 0.
DVD properties: Video: MPEG-2, NTSC, 720 X 480. Frames: 29.970y. Bitrate: 4213. Ratio: 4:3. Audio: AC3 48000Hz 384 kb/s tot stereo (2/0).

Review from Hotwacks

This 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

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