This DVD concert never comes across as a sad Memorial concert for the late great George Harrison, more of a celebration of the life ,love, music ,and most of all faith of a wonderful human being.During George Harrison's tragically short life he touched many people. Obviously he was one of the lovable Moptops from Liverpool ,who's music and attitude changed the world as we know it. He also started the charity music culture with his concert for Bangla Desh in 1971. ( Would there have been a Live Aid etc with out the Charity concert held for the starving people of Bangla Desh if he had not been for George Harrison's groundbreaking concert a decade before?0 He almost single handedly made the world AWARE of whole new cultures from the Asia. Not forgetting his own solo career, at first the most successful Beatle to go solo, his first releases back in 1970 went to Number One all over the world with his magnificent triple album " All Things Must Pass",and the single taken from it " My Sweet Lord''.
George also formed Handmade movies which saved the masterpiece " The Life Of Brian " by Monty Python ( George actually has a walk on part as the Mayor if you look closely.) the world would definitely be a sadder place without that little Python masterpiece.
This double DVD package has the first DVD devoted to the whole concert in it's correct running order, so that all of us that were not able to be there on that magical night at the Albert Hall in London on November 29 2002 can get an inkling of what was going on . The second DVD gives you snippets of the concert intererspersed with interviews from Georges friends,rehearsals and backstage footage ,interesting and sometimes hilarious stuff. There is over 2 hours and twenty minutes of material on DVD Two , whilst the concert on Disc One lasts for nearly 2 1/2 hours.
There are too many musical highlights to mention them all. But before I list the group of friends that turned up to celebrate Georges life ,and what songs they decided to play, I shall try to point out a few.
The concert starts out with a specially composed piece by Ravi Shankar written for George 'Aspan',where what I can only call a blend of Asian Folk/Orchestra meets western influences the results are quite stunning, with Ravi's daughter playing the sitar as beautifully as she looks , and she is very beautiful, matching Eric Clapton when he joins her on acoustic guitar. The Monty Python team, get on stage for two songs, the wonderful irreverence of the songs would have had George rolling around the aisles in laughter, notice also Tom Hanks the movie star having the time of his life as a Mountie in the chorus line.Eric Clapton does a wonderful job as musical director as well as contributing some stunning guitar work ,especially in recreating his solo from" My Guitar Gently Weeps '' from the Beatles 'White Album'. Poor Ringo barely keeping his emotions under control whilst singing 'Photograph'. It is also the first time that Paul McCartney , Billy Preston and Ringo Starr have all performed on the same stage together since a certain legendary roof top concert over thirty years ago.Although the concert would not of been the same without Paul McCartney, he for once does not dominate proceedings leaving plenty of room for others to shine ,and shine they do. George Harrison' son Dhani himself a fine musician is often allowed center stage.Whilst George Harrison's old mucker Joe Brown brings the concert to an emotional climax. The set from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in the middle of the second section is simply stunning. Tom Petty was in George Harrison's other group the Traveling Wilburys with Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne,and Roy Orbison.Look out for the guitar solo from Albert Lee during " Honey Don't" it raises the Albert Hall Roof a few inches higher.The singing of Sam Brown and Gary Brooker are as ever highlights of any concert.
This DVD delivers in every possible aspect,and would not disappoint anybody with even a passing interest in the life and times of George Harrison. There is also a double CD of this concert which is nice to have whilst driving the car , but you get so much more with the DVD.
By Mott the Dog. Edited by Ella Crew.