On Friday and Saturday, guitarist Warren Haynes played the role of musical director for The Last Waltz New Orleans tribute concerts celebrating the upcoming 40th anniversary of the The Band’s famed The Last Waltz concert in San Francisco. Haynes was joined by multi-instrumentalist Don Was, keyboardist John Medeski, country artist Jamey Johnson, The Meters’ bassist George Porter, Jr., The Radiators’ guitarist Dave Malone, drummer Terrence Higgins, The Bonerama Horns’ Mark Mullins and a number of special guest over the course of the two nights at New Orleans’ Saenger Theatre.
Michael McDonald, Lukas Nelson, Cyril Neville, Ivan Neville, Smoky Greenwell and Bob Margolin were among the additional musicians who appeared at the Saenger. Johnson handled lead vocals on the opener “Up On Cripple Creek” – sticking to the script from the famed concert film – and later fronted the ensemble on “Georgia On My Mind” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.” Johnson and Nelson (who was in NOLA for an appearance backing Neil Young with Promise Of The Real) also co-handled Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young.
Renowned vocalist McDonald was in charge of “The Shape I’m In,” “Helpless” and “King Harvest” while Warren fronted “Stage Fright,” “Ophelia” and “Rag Mama Rag” among others. Margolin, who played guitar for Muddy Waters, handled “Mannish Boy” – which he originally performed on alongside the legendary bluesman for the film directed by Martin Scorsese nearly four decades ago. Several of the performances from Friday and Saturday were captured by those in attendance, view their videos below:
Saturday Night Setlist (via Warren Haynes Fans FB Group)
Saturday, April 30
Up On Cripple Creek (Jamey), Shape I’m In (Michael), Stage Fright (Warren), Georgia On My Mind (Jamey), Who Do You Love (Cyril Neville), w/ George Porter Jr & Ivan Neville keys, Down South In New Orleans (Dave Malone), w/ Ivan, GPJ, Cyril, Ophelia (Warren) w/ GPJ, It Makes No Difference (Warren), w/ Lukas Nelson, Mystery Train (Dave), w/ Ivan, Bob Margolin guitar, Smoky Greenwell harp, This Wheel’s On Fire (Dave), The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (Jamey), Rag Mama Rag (Warren), Life Is A Carnival (all), Helpless (Michael), King Harvest (Michael), Mannish Boy (Bob Margolin), Further On Up The Road (Warren, Bob), Forever Young (Jamey, Lukas), Caravan (Warren), The Weight (all), I Shall Be Released (all)
Encore: Don’t Do It