The Concert for George marks its 20th anniversary with a one-night-only global theatrical screening with remastered Dolby Atmos audio.
I watched the film ahead of Thanksgiving weekend. You know, if there’s gonna be a tradition of new Beatles content in November, I’m here for it. Granted, this isn’t exactly The Beatles but a tribute to the Quiet One himself, George Harrison. After the death of George Harrison in November 2001, it was only a matter of time before someone organized a concert. It’s a thing of beauty although I’ve soured on Eric Clapton especially with his behavior during the pandemic and other things that came to the surface.
This is a concert that features reunions of both surviving members of The Beatles and The Traveling Wilburys. To be able to watch it with the remastered audio is a treat. Grammy-winning engineer Paul Hicks handles the remastering and it sounds beautiful while watching on my 43-inch 4K TV. I watched a press screener and it looks beautiful, too. However, the press screener does not include the brand new introduction featuring Olivia and Dhani Harrison. My only beef with the film is that this is the theatrical version rather than the full concert. But other than that, there’s a lot of singing and dancing over over. Would you expect anything different? I mean, this is George Harrison that we are talking about. I’m going to pull out the air guitar when watching in my apartment!
While I’m not about to go into the entire track list, this film features the greatest hits of George Harrison. You get his songs from The Beatles, The Traveling Wilburys, and his solo years. It will never not be emotional watching Ringo Star singing “Photograph,” a song co-written with Harrison, or watching Paul McCartney playing his tribute song, “Something,” on ukulele. All in all, it’s an amazing tribute. It’s hard to believe that he was not even 60 when he died. One can only wonder how many more hits he would have recorded. As I was watching, I was sitting there thinking of Dhani Harrison and what it must have felt to perform with his father’s friends.
While I would love to have seen the concert in its entirety, the concert film mixes snippets from interviews into the performances. It runs 100 minutes and honestly, this is not enough! Claire Ferguson certainly had her work cut out with editing the film. Editing concerts is no easy feat but definitely would have loved to see more of the concert than backstage interviews. I mean, the large majority of this film IS the concert but there are times where the music is lowered for the interviews. Some songs get relegated to the end credits. This is where the 2-CD/2-Blu-ray combo pack comes in handy as the set features the 2:26 concert in its entirety.
George Harrison may have been The Quiet One but as the Concert for George shows, he left one heck of a musical legacy for audiences to enjoy and discover years after his death.
DIRECTOR: David Leland
FEATURING: Joe Brown, Eric Clapton, Jools Holland, Sam Brown, Jeff Lynne, Paul McCartney, Tom Petty, Billy Preston, Ringo Starr, Dhani Harrison, Ravi Shankar, Anoushka Shankar, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Neil Innes, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Carol Cleveland, Tom Hanks, Michael Kamen
Abramorama will release the film in select theaters for one-night-only on November 29, 2022. Grade: 5/5
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