With all due reverence to Queen at Live Aid, to my eyes and ears, The Band as captured in The Last Waltz on Thanksgiving Day 1976 is, by far, the greatest rock performance ever committed to celluloid.
Granted, Roberston hijacked the proceedings, and the boys were deeply mired in substance and personal struggles.
However, they individually and collectively rose to the occasion. Van, Joni, Mac, Hawkins, Neil, Bob, The Staples, Muddy, Mr. Butterfield, Emmylou, Slowhand, and even Neil Diamond were levitated by The Band’s incendiary fusion of rhythm & blues, soul, jazz, rock and roll, folk, and country.
Richard Clare Danko soars on every track. Shot in a stunning, dreamlike sepia veneer, Scorsese and cinematographer Michael Chapman absolutely nailed it. And they looked great too!