Joining Robbie at the Star-Studded Celebration to The Band’s Historic Final Show were music superstars Darius Rucker, Michael McDonald, Emmylou Harris, Vince Gill, Nathaniel Rateliff, Warren Haynes, Jamey Johnson, Lukas Nelson, Margo Price & More
Portion of Ticket Sales Benefitted Farm Aid and Thistle Farms, along with a successful food drive to support the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee.
Saturday night, Nov. 23, Blackbird Presents and Live Nation brought The Last Waltz Nashville: An All-Star Celebration of The Band’s Historic Farewell Concert to Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena with the Tennessean proclaiming, “
Warren Haynes, Jamey Johnson and Lukas Nelson kicked the first half of the evening off with “Up on Cripple Creek” and “Stage Fright.” The first set also featured performances from Cyril Neville and Dave Malone singing “Down South New Orleans” and “This Wheel’s on Fire.” Later Johnson was joined by Nathaniel Rateliff to close out the first part of the evening with the legendary “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” priming a rowdy Bridgestone arena for more.
Following a brief intermission Margo Price started act two with an emotional heartfelt cover of “Tears of Rage.” The second half of the night included memorable performances by Darius Rucker with “It Makes No Difference,” Bob Margolin with “Mannish Boy” and Michael McDonald, with “Helpless” and “The Shape I’m In.” As the night neared its end Emmylou Harris took the stage to perform “Evangeline,” which was originally included in Martin Scorsese’s 1978 critically acclaimed film The Last Waltz, that documented The Band’s final concert. Harris was followed by fellow Country Music Hall of Famer Vince Gill performing “Ophelia.”
Finally, to conclude the marathon musical event, founding member and guitarist/vocalist for The Band, Robbie Robertson, took the stage to perform “The Weight” before being joined by the all-star cast performing “I Shall Be Released.” Robertson later returned for an encore performance joining Nelson, Johnson and Haynes to close out the night with “Don’t Do It.” Robbie Robertson’s appearance marked his first live performance since 2013.
Backing the night’s performers was an unparalleled house band featuring the incomparable Don Was, John Medeski, Terence Higgins and Mark Mullins & The Levee Horns.
In keeping with the tradition of The Last Waltz, Blackbird Presents partnered with Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee for an on-site food drive with concert attendees bringing non-perishable food items. In addition to Second Harvest, a portion of show proceeds also benefitted Farm Aid and Thistle Farms.
Over forty years ago, The Band performed their final concert to a sold-out crowd with a who’s who of Rock 'n’ Roll royalty in attendance. “As far as farewells go, this one was major,” stated Rolling Stone in a 2016 expose about the famed concert. The evening culminated with “Don’t Do It,” The Band’s cover of Marvin Gaye’s “Baby Don’t You Do It.” After the last note, Robbie Robertson, The Bands’ lead guitarist, songwriter and a founding member, said "Goodnight. Goodbye." walking off stage, forever immortalizing this epic event.
The Last Waltz Tour: An All-Star Celebration of The Band’s Historic Farewell Concert is an extension of Blackbird Present’s November 2019 Last Waltz Tour and the acclaimed 2016 two-night, sold-out concert event The Last Waltz New Orleans and 2017’s The Last Waltz 40th Anniversary Tour which was praised by audiences and critics across the country.
About Blackbird Presents:
Blackbird Presents is the worldwide leader in the production of large-scale concert events, broadcast specials, TV series, music festivals and tours.
Recent concerts, broadcast specials and releases include “Willie: Life & Songs Of An American Outlaw,” “All In For The Gambler: Kenny Rogers’ Farewell Concert Celebration,” “Sing Me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard,” “The Life & Songs of Kris Kristofferson,” “Imagine: John Lennon 75th Birthday Concert,” “Outlaw: Celebrating The Music of Waylon Jennings,” “I'll Take You There: Celebrating 75 Years of Mavis Staples,” “The Life and Songs of Emmylou Harris,” “Lynyrd Skynyrd: One More For The Fans,” “The Musical Mojo of Dr. John: Celebrating Mac and His Music” and “All My Friends: Celebrating The Songs and Voice of Gregg Allman,” the last of which earned a 2014 GRAMMY® Award nomination for Gregg Allman and Taj Mahal's awe-inspiring performance of "Statesboro Blues."
Blackbird Presents is also the creator and producer of The Outlaw Music Festival Tour, in partnership with Willie Nelson; The American Roots Music & Arts Festival, in partnership with Eric Church; and The Last Waltz Tour.
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