On the 29th of November 2002, one year to the day that George Harrison passed away, his closest friends gathered to celebrate his life--in the only way they know how, by playing his music. This historic event was captured on film. The first half provides insight into George's spiritual self, as Anoushka Shankar and a sixteen-piece orchestra of Indian musicians performed a special composition by her father--and George's mentor--Ravi Shankar. The second half gave the audience a rare sighting of members of the Monty Python team performing some of George's favorite skits. This was a tribute to George's well-known sense of humor. The rest moved to on to legendary musicians, Eric Clapton and his friends, giving the performances of their lives--singing George's well-loved songs. The list of musicians includes many with whom George worked with over the years: Joe Brown, Jools Holland, Sam Brown, Jeff Lynne, Paul McCartney, Tom Petty and the Heart Breakers, Ringo Starr and Billy Preston. As performers, they all gathered for one of the most beloved men of their generation.
This moving documentary, shot in high-definition video and surround-sound, records a tribute concert to George Harrison in London, at Royal Albert Hall on Nov. 29, 2002. An all-star band gives majestic performances of most of Harrison's best-known songs. They encompass both his work with the Beatles ("Here Comes the Sun") and his solo career ("My Sweet Lord"). The mood is upbeat but serene, and the performances capture his incense-fragrant music, with its mixture of Hindu mysticism and pop muscularity in all its grandeur. The Monty Python troupe and Harrison's mentor Ravi Shankar also appear. — Stephen Holden
2003-10-03 | Stephen Holden | Read the New York Times Review of Concert For George