Joe Russo, Nels Cline, Nicole Atkins & More Recreate ‘The Complete Last Waltz’ In Port Chester
On Saturday night an all-star collection of musicians from the jam, indie and Americana worlds came together for The Complete Last Waltz at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York. After taking 2017 off, some 30+ performers worked their way a recreation of The Band’s famed 1976 farewell concert that took place on Thanksgiving day at the Winterland in San Francisco.
A house band consisting of multi-instrumentalist Josh Kaufman, guitarists Scott Metzger and Sam Cohen, keyboardists Marco Benevento and Jeff Chimenti, bassist Dave Dreiwitz and drummer Joe Russo served as the house band throughout the lengthy program with help at points from the Antibalas horns and vocalist Alecia Chakour. The festivities got underway from one of The Cap’s booths located above the audience with “The Last Waltz Theme.” The first stretch of the night focused on The Band’s material and was highlighted by Cohen singing lead on “Up On Cripple Creek,” Craig Finn of The Hold Steady handling “Life Is A Carnival,” Matthew E. White taking on “W.S. Walcott’s Medicine Show” and Metzger serving up “Ophelia.”
Addtional highlights included Matt Vasquez (Delta Spirit) stepping into the role of Ronnie Hawkins for “Who Do You Love?,” Benevento taking charge for Dr. John’s “Such A Night” and Vetiver frontman Andy Cabic fronting the ensemble for Bobby Charles’ “Down South In New Orleans.” Wilco’s Nels Cline sang lead and flexed his guitar prowess on the two tunes that Eric Clapton contributed that evening with “All Past Our Times” from Slowhand’s 1976 No Reason To Cry a song that he co-wrote with The Band’s Rick Danko on and the blues tune “Furthur On Up The Road.”‘
Nicole Atkins delivered stand out performances of Neil Young’s “Helpless” and Ian & Sylvia’s “Four Strong Winds,” while Lola Kirke shined on Joni Mitchell’s “Coyote.” Towards the back end of the night Kevin Morby stepped in for the final stretch of songs that Bob Dylan originally led to help close out The Last Waltz. The singer-songwriter served up “Baby Let Me Follow You Down,” “Hazel,” “I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Met)” and “Forever Young.” The Complete Last Waltz was brought to an end as all the musicians returned to the stage for a show-closing takes on “I Shall Be Released” and “Don’t Do It.” Watch videos captured by Monica Hampton below: