The show hits full stride with Mark Knopfler's exquisite "Brothers in Arms," which segues nicely into "Money for Nothing" with guest vocals by Sting, who then performs two hits from his Police years. And while Elton John and Eric Clapton form the centerpiece of the concert (especially Clapton and Knopfler's acoustic "Layla"), Paul McCartney anchors the show with a spectacular four-song conclusion. Phil Collins's expert drumming is matched throughout by legendary percussionist Ray Kooper, and McCartney's fully orchestrated "Golden Slumbers" is a genuine show-stopper, followed by a "Hey Jude" sing-along with everyone on stage. They all follow McCartney's lead for a rockin' rendition of "Kansas City" (which the Beatles had performed as early as 1960), by which time Music for Montserrat had given its royal audience a show they would never forget. --Jeff Shannon
That said, there are not less than 3 or 4 literally goose-bump inducing moments when the performances and/or the combined stature and command of these legends just takes over and you have a kind of magic. One is the effortless showmanship of Carl Perkins, wearing blue suede shoes to sing his timeless classic (rather see him do it than Elvis, honestly). The crowd reaction when Knopfler introduces Clapton to play along on Money for Nothing. Then Elton John completely filling the hall with just the piano and his powerful solo vocals on Live Like Horses (an appreciative member of the orchestra sitting behind Elton is seen shaking his head in awe and admiration).
And of course, as others have said, McCartney singing Hey Jude when Elton comes in on the second verse. Chilling. The sing-along with everyone is spectacular. I even thought Ray Cooper was a hoot. I've never seen a guy get so much joyous mileage (or style) out of a tambourine and a pair of sunglasses.
In addition to the great performances, the DVD captures much of the fun and comradery between these legends -- it was like watching a bunch of old friends playing for kicks.
While most of the magic was captured, there were some great songs and British wit that didn't make the final edit -- Midge Ure doing an acoustic "Vienna" and Mark Knopfler opening with "The Theme to Local Hero" are two they should have found room for.
One of the more amazing moments was hearing McCartney say that he hadn't performed at RAH in "34 years to the day." Beatles fans will recall the clip of that performance when Lennon asked "the people in the cheap seats to clap their hands...and the rich folks to rattle their jewels" (a sly reference to those in the Royal box).
Highly recommend it.
I could tell you that seeing Carl Perkins rip through his rockabilly standard "Blue Suede Shoes"... Read more