Back to back Friday evenings spent at the Corona Theater and I couldn’t have asked for a better concert to attend.
The Last Waltz 40TH Anniversary Celebration showcased a remarkable display of Canadian showmanship. With help from Canadian artists including Montreal’s Shane Murphy to Nova Scotia’s singer-songwriter Matt Mays, and Toronto’s indie folk group, The Wooden Sky, amongst others, The Band’s forty-year-old performance was brought to life. The set-list was nothing short of spectacular. The covers from song to song were well executed and picture-perfect. The songs that I particularly enjoyed were The Band’s “Up on Cripple Creek”, “The Well”, Van Morrison’s “Caravan”, Neil Young’s “Dry Your Eyes”, and Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young”.
The most memorable performance of the night goes to Shane Murphy and his band. Their rendition of “Mannish Boy” by legendary blues artist, Muddy Waters, was impressive to say the least. Standing there, I could really feel the music, the emotion, the passion. It all boils down to the blues, there’s just something about it that really hits home. Shane Murphy’s playing is simplistic yet brilliant. I haven’t encountered many local musicians who have such control and command over their instrument. His confidence is astonishing and that’s what makes him great. Whether you’re a musically talented individual or simply a music buff, you can easily recognize a master at work who doesn’t need to play exceptionally fast or complicated for people to say he’s great.
To end the night, our Canadian artists walked on stage and performed one of The Band’s most renowned songs of all time, “The Weight”. The back-and-forth interaction with the crowd throughout the song gave me chills.
The celebration was a success because it bridged the gab between older and younger generations by encouraging people of all ages to join in and sing along to the poetic tunes written by The Band and the various iconic artist who shared the stage at the Winterland Theatre in San Francisco forty years ago. Moreover, it was a rare opportunity for us to hear some of Canada’s most renowned musicians and accompanying artists all on the same night.
We’d like to thank Billy Bob Productions for all of the hard work they put in to organizing this memorable celebration. Without them, this would’ve never happened!
About Vincenzo Mariano
An amateur historian with a passion for novels, poems, and music, ready to share his thoughts with the world. As a musician, I frequently explore Montreal bars/venues to further introduce myself with local talent. In doing so, I wish to broaden my musical vocabulary while generating new networks of communication with fellow musicians. Montreal has an abundant source of musical talent that needs to be heard by local citizens. I would like to introduce locals to this underground community scene.