The Last Waltz

The Last Waltz, a concert performed by the Canadian American group The Band held on Thanksgiving day 1976 has garnered a multi-generational cult following. Labeled as a farewell concert with The Band being joined on stage by such artists as Muddy Waters, Dr. John, Eric Clapton and a host of other iconic figures in music. This concert spans multiple genres and even cultures with its unique cast of characters. An epic concert movie produced by Martin Scorsese ensured that this musical gem would make it into my living room decades later. I was first introduced to The Last Waltz in 2007 having watched the rock documentary on a borrowed dvd late one night. I was surprised at how many tunes I recognized and yet had never heard of The Band. The music from this epic masterpiece such as “Life is A Carnival” will definitely make you channel your inner 70’s baby and dance your head off, a haunting rendition of Neil Young’s “Helpless” accompanied by Emmylou Harris will stop you in your tracks or the soulful ballad “I Shall Be Released” by the legendary Bob Dylan will make us all reflect.

A group of local musicians under the banner of Alan Sweet’s All Sweat Productions and under the artistic direction of Nick Vasquez have decided to once again try and recreate The Last Waltz. One of the highlights for me as an artist was the opportunity to participate in the 2016 tribute to the Waltz. It doesn’t make a lick of sense to some that this would be my favorite performance but something about the energy from the collaborations on stage as well as the enthusiasm of the crowds culminated in an atmosphere just short of sheer magic for me.

If you’ve not had the chance to catch the show live, I would encourage you not to miss it. The Last Waltz can be seen on Wednesday night November 22nd at The Redstone Room in Davenport or Friday November 24th at The Mill in downtown Iowa City. I promise you it will be “Such A Night”.

Chrissy B

Photos from 2016 event.