Feel Good Your Visit Just Helped To Donate The Ad $$$ To Cure Melanoma Cancer Tell Your Friends :)
As much as Ephman was looking forward to this concert was as much as Ephman was disappointed in. Hey, he's a sympathetic as the next guy is. But when an announcement was made that Levon Helm would not be singing due to a nonmalignant tumor that was removed from his throat. Back in August, Ephman's heart sank. First off, just to hear that Levon was ill, made him feel bad. And then to find out that Levon would not be singing, what was the point of being there?
The only thing that Ephman could think was that the producers needed Levon on stage to promote his new album. Electric Dirt, has been nominated for a Grammy this year. You should totally go out and get it. It is fantastic and hopefully it will win. But still, Ephman didn't buy his $39 ticket plus service charges to see Larry Campbell or Brian Mitchell sing, most of the songs. That's not to take away from their talent. Mitchell is a an amazing Hammond B3 organ player with a great raspy voice. And Larry Campbell goes from instrument to instrument as if he was born to play them. Levon by the way really does stand above the rest of the people that were on that stage this evening. Even though he didn't sing, just the way he moved, played, and smiled, he brought an energy to that stage that could never have been there without him. Levon Helm just seems to look like he's always having a great time simply performing.
There were a couple of nice surprises to the evening, however. Donald Fagan from Steely Dan, sat in on piano, and sang. Which at the time Ephman thought was an odd sort of choice, but in retrospect was pretty cool. And it was also nice to see that Amy Helm (Levon's daughter), has a really beautiful voice, and deserve to be up on that stage.
Watch the videos, the horn section was great. At one point during the Mardi Gras song they did this funny little parade around the stage. Wow, they must have an amazing set of lungs on them, because unamplified, and over the crowd noise, standing in the back, Ephman could still hear them blow.
See Ephman was not a professional music reviewer, and thank God for that right? So set lists mean nothing to him. He goes there to enjoy the music. And that night was filled with some The Band, classics, Americana tunes, and a couple Grateful Dead standards. But even with that mix mash of musical styles, everything all just seem to work. But the reality is that without Levon Helm singing, things just seem to have been flat. From where he was standing nearing the end of the concert, he noticed lots of people just leaving. And in reality, this concert never should've happened without Levon singing. Would Ephman have paid the money to see this, probably not. But would he buy another ticket to see Levon Helm play, absolutely!!! Get better Levon, Ephman loves you.