Remembering Levon Helm: The Band Live In Germany 1996

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The music world lost one of its most memorable legends on this date in 2012, when Levon Helm died at the age of 71. Levon Helm was born and raised in Arkansas and went on to become a founding member of The Band. His voice and signature drumming is at the heart of many of the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame act’s most beloved songs. Professionally-shot video of a The Band performance featuring Levon from June 23, 1996 can be viewed below in honor of Helm’s illustrious career.

While the original lineup played together for the final time at the famed The Last Waltz concert on Thanksgiving Day 1976, The Band reformed without guitarist Robbie Robertson in 1983. The Band went through various incarnations and continued on following Richard Manuel’s suicide in 1986, but hung it up for good after bassist Rick Danko died in 1999. A lineup of Helm, Danko, Garth Hudson, Randy Ciarlante, Jim Weider and Richard Bell made a trip to Europe in the summer of 1996 to support The Band’s penultimate studio album, High On The Hog.

The Band’s 70-minute set on June 23, 1996 at the Open Air Festival in Loreley, Germany was broadcast on long-running German live music television show Rockapalast. Helm was soon thereafter diagnosed with throat cancer and lost use of his singing voice for the better part of five years. In Loreley his vocals were still strong as he led “Ophelia,” “Rag Mama Rag,” “The Weight” and more. One of the highlights of the set is “Free Your Mind,” a cover of En Vogue’s 1992 smash that The Band recorded for High On The Hog.

Watch The Band’s performance from June 23, 1996:

Setlist

The Band at Freilichtbühne Loreley

  • Back to Memphis  
  • Stuff You Gotta Watch  
  • Stage Fright
  • Remedy
  • Ophelia
  • It Makes No Difference
  • Rag Mama Rag
  • Crazy Mama  
  • The Weight
  • Stand Up  
  • Free Your Mind  
  • The Shape I'm In
  • Hang Up My Rock & Roll Shoes  
  • Chest Fever

[Originally Published: April 19, 2018]