Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Concert for Bangladesh

On Sunday afternoon I sat down and watched the 1971 "Concert for Bangladesh" on DVD. Afterwards I wrote this review for the Bigpond movies site.

This a wonderful slice of rock history with some really fine performances. The band is tight and George Harrison's gentle presence anchors the band as it stages a free concert to raise money for famine-stricken Bangladesh. And what a band! Ringo Starr AND Jim Keltner on drums, Eric Clapton on guitar, Leon Russell and Billy Preston on keyboards. Preston's performance of "That's the Way God Planned It" is an absolute revelation as his gospel roots take hold of him and he starts to shimmy and strutt across the stage like a pentecostal holy roller. It's great to hear Harrison perform Beatles tunes of his own composition such as "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," "Something," and "Here Comes the Sun" as well as his classic solo numbers such as "My Sweet Lord." Bob Dylan comes on at the end for a four-song set including "A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall," "Blowin' in the Wind" and "Just Like a Woman." He's in fine form in his denim jacket and his 1971 "country Bob" vocal stylings. I even enjoyed Ravi Shankar's Indian music set (though admittedly I skipped it at first and then went back after I'd viewed the rest of the concert). If you're old enough to remember the cinema release of the concert this will be a nostalgia trip for you. If not, here's a chance to get educated on the first ever "Make Poverty History" style benefit concert.


Ross said...

I might be setting myself up for ridicule by admitting to this, but the last two concert DVD's I watched were by Air Supply and Birtles Shorrock Goble (Little River Band under a different name).

Glen O'Brien said...

Actually you might see me if you look closely on that "Litle River Band" concert because I was given a free ticket to see the show at the Forum Theatre where the footage for the DVD was taken. I was pretty impressed when I was reminded of what good songwriters those guys were and also the level of musicianship. It was like they were still in their heyday. Not bad for old fellas. As for Air Supply...well, let's not go there.


Share |