Best Performances from The Last Waltz Concert of The Band & Friends

The Band held a "farewell concert"'on November 25, 1976 after years of touring and recording. They were joined by several prominent artists, most of whom they'd worked with during their career. The concert was released as an album I. 1978 as well as a documentary film by Martin Scorcese. While intended as The Band's final performance, which I believe it was with all 5 members as I don't think Robbie Robertson ever appeared with them again, the other 4 members did reunite at subsequent points and venues until Richard Manuel's suicide, and then continued at times with additional musicians in various combinations. Still, this magnificent presentation with such key and solid contributions from others tanks this among the best live "rock or popular"' joint music concerts of all-time. Ranking is entirely subjective with xonsideration for lead artist performance and in conjunction with the featured group. Really says something when the top ten has to omit Muddy Waters, Neil Diamond leads and other great songs.

The Top Ten

1 Caravan - Van Morrison and The Band
2 Up On Cripple Creek - The Band
3 Mystery Train - Paul Butterfield, Levon Helm, The Band
4 Further On Up The Road - Eric Clapton. The Band

One of the best moments of the film (in my opinion) is when Clapton's guitar strap comes off, he yells out to Robbie, and Robbie takes the solo without missing a beat. - Gg2000

5 It Makes No Difference - The Band
6 Who Do You Love - Ronnie Hawkins, The Band

This one was a really solid performance. - Gg2000

7 Coyote - Joni Mitchell, The Band, Dr John

Joni owned it, the song, the delivery, her pitch and intonation...

8 Helpless - Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and The Band
9 I Shall Be Released - Dylan, Richard Manuel lead vocal, The Band and friends

I'm not a big fan of this one because they didn't put enough emphasis on Richard Manuel and his voice. He doesn't even get a close-up shot. - Gg2000

That's true. The performance itself is pretty good, but the way they edited it in the final product makes it harder for me to enjoy it. I guess that's a given, though. The best way to enjoy the film is to not get wrapped up in the Robbie/Scorsese nonsense. - Gg2000

Among the backup- Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Ronnie Hawkins, Dr John, Neil Diamond, Van Morrison, Eric Clapton, Paul Butterfield, Bobby Charles, Ringo Starr, Ronnie Wood - Billyv

10 The Weight - The Band, The Staples (Mavis & Roebuck featured vocals)

I love this song and this performance, but since the recording isn't live from the concert itself, I can't rank it as high among the others. - Billyv

This is the best version I've ever heard.

The Contenders

11 Such A Night - Dr John, The Band
12 Mannish Boy - Muddy Waters, The Band
13 Don't Do it - The Band
14 The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down - The Band
15 Ophelia - The Band
16 Dry Your Eyes - Neil Diamond, The Band
17 Evangeline - Emmy Lou Harris, The Band
18 The Shape I'm In - The Band
19 Baby Let Me Follow You Down/I Don't Believe You/Forever Young - Dylan, The Band
20 Stagefright - The Band
21 Down South in New Orleans - Bobby Charles, The Band
22 Out of the Blue - The Band
23 Tura Lura Lura - Van Morrison, The Band
24 Four Strong Winds - Neil Young
BAdd New Item