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.
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