<>The Last Waltz Comes Alive
Legendary concert featuring The Band and friends is brought to the stage by The THE BAND Band as part of their Last Waltz Celebration Tour.
On Thanksgiving Day in 1976, concertgoers packed San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom to witness The Last Waltz - the final performance of The Band’s legendary 16-year career. The group, who had originally come to worldwide attention as Bob Dylan’s backing band, had gone on to record eight albums on their own that featured such classic songs as “The Weight,” “Up On Cripple Creek,” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.”
The farewell party they hosted that Thanksgiving night featured a who’s who of rock royalty from Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Eric Clapton to Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell and Ronnie Hawkins. “It was one of the most incredible concerts ever held,” says Gary Solomon, co-founder of the Rockland County, NY based tribute act The THE BAND Band.
He would know because he was there. Just 19 years old at the time, Solomon was visiting some former bandmates in the Bay area and went to the show. “I knew that what I was seeing was not just another rock concert. It was a once in a lifetime moment,” he says. It was also a moment that years later inspired Solomon, a life-long professional musician, to form his tribute band with a group of like-minded friends.
Since most of the original members of The Band have passed away, Solomon feels it's especially meaningful to be keeping their music alive. And for the past 16 years, The THE BAND Band has brought the sound, spirit and energy of The Band to concertgoers across the country.
Creating a celebration of The Last Waltz required moving beyond the core five-piece group and enlisting a dozen more musicians, including a horn section, to cover numerous artists and songs featured in the original concert. The lineup Solomon has assembled even includes fiddle player Larry Packer, who actually played with The Band at the original concert in 1976.
For Solomon, this show resonates on a personal level. “Having been at The Last Waltz nearly a half a century ago, and now performing it with my tribute band, really feels like things have come full circle,” he says.
There is a sense of passion and a personal mission in Solomon’s desire to share a moment that changed his life. “The feeling I had at The Last Waltz was so incredible and unforgettable. I want to share that excitement and joy.”
Tarrytown Music Hall is at 13 Main St, Tarrytown, NY 10591, Tarrytown, NY.
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