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Here is an all-star tribute to the late Beatle, George Harrison, who
died of cancer a few years ago. He was a very gentle, likable guy and
you know that just by the turnout of music all- stars here and the
tribute these people gave to him - for his life and his music.
After the first viewing, I now skip the first 45 minutes of this long concert. It is Eastern sitar music which is okay but not enjoyable enough for me to sit through twice. The concert for most of us Westerners really begins in the second part when host Eric Clapton and the rest perform some of Hasrrison's best songs. Everyone does a good job with the material, doing George's songs proud. I had heard a few of the performances, such as Tom Petty's, were weak but I did not find fault with any performer including his.
It was fun to see Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, Billy Preston, Jeff Lynne and some of the others. Joe Brown was someone I was not familiar with but he was outstanding and very likable and sang a touching finale. That ending just night bring a tear or two to your eyes.
I wish I had been there. As a fan of the Beatles and all British music in
the 60's, I was moved by the whole concert. The logistics that went into
organising it would have been massive, but it came across as just a
happening jamming session. The cameras were not at all intrusive, and
captured the spirit of the night beautifully. No pompous wordy tributes to
George, just an occasional few words here and there
I recognised the main musicians, but would have liked to know who all the others on the stage were.
There were some brief interviews with Eric Clapton, Ravi Shankar, and Olivia Harrison but they were a bit jarring. I would have like to see slightly lengthier interviews and with the other musicians too, about how they fitted into George's life.
The Concert For George feels like an update to The Concert For Bangla
The two could be watched back-to-back for interesting evening of rock.
Unlike many tribute concerts where they get anyone who happens to be on
charts at the time to come and do a song (ie. John Lennon and Bob Dylan),
The Concert For George is limited almost exclusively to George's friends
colleagues, most of whom have been putting out great records since the
sixties. Eric Clapton, Jeff Lynne and Dhani Harrison lead the assembled
band through Harrison's best known songs and they are joined by Billy
Preston, Tom Petty, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney & Ravi Shankar (who wrote
beautiful indian piece for George). Even the gang from Monty Python,
George's favorite comedy troupe, turn up to do a couple of sketches. The
performances are mostly good and there are a few magical moments (The long
coda to "Isn't It A Pity", Clapton's solo on "While My Guitar Gently
McCartney's rendition of "All Things Must Pass" and the moment when
McCartney's ukelele rendition of "Something" suddenly turns into a full
rendition). Every flower petal in England falls from the ceiling during
finale. It's also a little strange seeing Dhani Harrison on stage, as he
resembles his father greatly.
My only complaint is that they sometimes interrupted a good song (like "Handle With Care") to go to an interview. All in all, great for George's fans or fans of good music in general.
We've had a Beatle Fest for the past few weeks at our house - watched
much of the Anthology, Ed Sullivan, A Hard Day's Night, Help!, Let It
Be, and saved the Concert for George for the finale.
With all that in recent memory, I think George would have really enjoyed the concert. The Indian music was wonderful and a good start to the evening. Set the right tone.
The choices did showcase George's talent and his optimism, faith, and humor.
A few things in response to what I've read/not read here: Understanding why the Lennon sons were not invited - makes sense when limiting the stage to collaborators.
With that in mind, Dylan being 'on tour' is just not an OK reason for him not to have attended. He was a Wilbury, the Beatles always gave him a lot of credit for influencing them, the concert was planned nearly from the time George died the year before. No tour date could have been more important. Dylan's still being Howard Hughes.
Ringo's words at the beginning of his set were just right. Good attitude of I Loved George and George Loved Me. Thanks for the jelly babies was especially poignant after watching 1964 footage. His choice of 'Honey Don't' got slammed a bit in the reviews - can't understand why. George used the stage name 'Carl Harrison' in the early 60's because he liked Carl Perkins so much. It's just that touch of an old friend knowing what George liked. Added to the diversity - Indian music, country music, his criticism of high taxes, profession of faith. I thought that was a brilliant touch.
McCartney can't seem to be forgiven for some non-specific slight. According to the reviews he either tries to hog the limelight or doesn't join in enough. Something was either great or horrible. That kind of thing. I thought he was just right - a hug and a kiss for Dhani and a funny quote from Olivia. He seemed to be very emotional, but controlled. The uke is always a nod to John Lennon, whose mother taught them a few chords on it. George loved it and Paul played that for George when he and Ringo visited him right before his death. Crowd reaction is a guide of how people felt when they saw these two pay their tribute to their friend.
Clapton looks a bit irritated and frazzled during some of the show, especially at the beginning - maybe having him as a performer, rather than with the additional duty of musical director would have helped.
Everyone was top flight and the production values were astounding. Great class and dignity - both of which Harrison deserved. Still, I can't second-guess any of the choices made by Paul and Ringo. They knew him the best, the longest, through thick and thin. Makes me sad - there will have to be tributes to them. None of us, no one, shares that story from the inside out and I thank them all for giving us moments like this.
I had the opportunity to see a little bit of my friend's copy of Concert
George a while back and I liked what I saw so I went out and bought it. I
was not disappointed.
All of the songs are solid and most of them are great. The concert is divided into three sections. The first section is Indian music, the second section is Monty Python, and the third section is George Harrison's music. All three sections are worth watching but it is the third section that excels with musicians such as Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Tom Petty, Ringo Starr, Jeff Lynne, Billy Preston, and various others.
Some of my favorites are "Here Comes the Sun", "Photograph", "All Things Must Pass", "Wah Wah", and "Handle With Care". However, my absolute favorite is a toss-up between "Something" (performed brilliantly by Clapton and McCartney) and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" (a song in which Clapton displays his musical ability and his vocal vulnerability).
A great, great concert.
9 out of 10
I saw this movie with my wife, who is really the big Beatles fan. She
movie, and I did as well.
The tunes are so well done, you know that George himself was humming along with them in Heaven. Photography is great, and the documentary aspect of the movie really unfolds into a bigger event that makes you feel that you are as much a part of the event as the musical stars themselves.
This is really a well done movie, and one that captures the essence of a special moment. The event itself brings magic, or perhaps shows us, the magic of George's music.
If you enjoyed the Beatles, you'll love the movie. If you like great music, you'll love the movie. And if you like George Harrison, you'll just get queued up waiting for the DVD release.
Enjoy, and treat yourself to the big screen surround sound version of this gem.
I just saw this last night after seeing two great concerts ( R.E.M. and Bruce Springsteen )and still after being "concerted -out" I feel that this is one of the best concert movies I've ever seen! It's right up there with "Last Waltz." I just wonder if any one else will see it? Eric Clapton was the music director and all of Georges friends were there including the surviving Beatles and some of the members of Monty Python ( plus Tom Hanks !?! ). Also Georges son Dhoni and his wife Olivia host the event. The whole thing looks and sounds great! The fact that it takes place at the Royal Albert Hall is lovely in itself. Paul and Ringo do their thing well, but it is Eric Clapton and Billy Preston that really stand out ( musically ). But ultimately the spirit of George Harrison is what it's really all about and the movie pays tribute to him in a very special way. I really do hope that this movie finds an audience because it is in a word, wonderful!
This was a heartwarming film by way of Harrison's music. The musical
production was top notch. The film production was simple and functional. I
expected more auteurism - more interviews, personal tidbits, more of a
developed documentarian style...and more (some? any?) George Harrison - in
person. This aspect was understated (at least compared to my expectations).
George (almost) never appears in the film. A somewhat surprising choice
considering how magnetic each of the Beatles are/were... and how much
photo/film documentation they've undergone. Aside from merely two or three
photo stills and a brief voice recording after the credits, George was
represented totally via his music (and almost hauntingly by his son who
shares many of his same unique mannerisms on stage). And a few short
remembrances/personal interviews that always pertain to his music, not to
In the end this makes sense. This film wasn't about George. It was a film about his friends remembering George in the best and most moving way they know - through the depth of Harrison's music, and through the love and respect apparent in performing his music. This was much more affective than any amount of personalized interviews. It was, after all, a Concert for George, a reminiscence by way of his songs - not by way of documentarian interviews. It becomes almost a meta work - the film documents with relative detachment a concert that documents George's music and life. Such a film necessarily lacks the same punch as the live concert - but it does not compensate by fully exploiting the advantages and accessibilities of the film medium. However, in the end this approach is not only more subtle and disciplined (directorially), but infinitely more poetic. The music and the performances tell the story. As I said, the choice worked but is somewhat unexpected, and may keep some wanting more George.
Aside from Eric Clapton's meandering and jejune guitar god solos, the musical performances were absolutely top notch. Although many stood out, my favorites were Joe Brown and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
I first saw this concert on PBS and just had to have the DVD. This has got to be the greatest tribute show ever. Everyone did such a great job; the songs were sung by just the right people. Eric Clapton should be proud of himself. He put together a superb show. Dhani Harrison is a doll, a mini-George. Joe Brown--where has he been? What a great surprise! While My Guitar Gently Weeps was one of the highlights. Dhani was obviously moved by it and appeared to say something to that affect to EC at the end. EC then comforted Dhani as Joe sang I'll See You In My Dreams. It was all just beautiful. Thank you, Eric. Thank you all for putting this together for all George's fans.
I saw this delightful tribute concert to the music and life of George
Harrison in the theater when it first came out. This is a good film
with a great soundtrack that won a Grammy Award but it only saw a
limited run in art house theaters and quickly disappeared from the big
screen for DVD release. If it ever comes back around on a big screen
somewhere someday see it in it's theatrical glory. Excellent camera
work in this film directed by David Leland who was one of the eight
directors of the award winning 10 part HBO mini series Band of Brothers
and as a screenwriter wrote such films as Mona Lisa. This was filmed as
a special tribute concert for George Harrison at the Royal Albert Hall
in London on the first year anniversary of his death. Long time inner
circle Beatle musician friends led by Eric Clapton take the stage in an
evening of music from the career George Harrison. Surviving Beatles
Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are here as well as musicians who
recorded with the Beatles, Billy Preston and Klaus Voorman. Ravi
Shankar and his daughter do a set. Harrison's Traveling Wilbury band
mates Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty are here as well as long time Harrison
musician pals Gary Brooker from Procol Harum and Jim Capaldi from
Traffic. Jools Holland from Squeeze and touring and recording utility
ax man Albert Lee are here too. Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Eric Idle
and Michael Palin from Monty Python and Pyton players Carol Cleveland
and Neil Innes are joined by actor Tom Hanks for a classic Python
sketch song. Longtime Harrison friend and fellow ukulele affection ado
Joe Brown closes out the show. George Harrison's son Dhani, looking
like a young George Harrison plays guitar among the band on several
numbers. There is one moment when Paul Mccartney looks at Dhani and you
tell he notices the resemblance to his father from the Beatles days and
he tries for a second to get his attention during the song so they can
share a microphone like Paul and George would often do as Beatles but
Dhani is concentrating so hard on his fingerboard that he doesn't quite
get what Paul is implying and the song rolls on and the moment is lost.
Jeff Lynne produced the concert audio. Eric Clapton is the musical
In his role as musical director it reminded me of when Eric Clapton married George Harrison's ex-wife Patti Boyd. At the wedding reception there was a stage set up with amps and instruments and Harrison asked Clapton who the band was. Clapton said, you are. Harrison laughed and said I am? Clapton just said, yeah, look around there are nothing but musicians here so I'm sure you can find enough to make a band out of. Harrison was hesitant but he went up to Paul Mccartney and told him what Clapton instructed him to do. McCartney put down his plate of food and said, lets do it. Harrison must have looked down from beyond at the Concert for George and smiled as to how Clapton was now in charge of putting together the musicians. I would give this a 9.0 out of 10.
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