UPSTATE BEAT – It’s hard to pick a best moment or performance from the classic concert documentary, “The Last Waltz,” filmed by director Martin Scorsese at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco on Thanksgiving Day in 1976. The legendary rock group The Band played what was billed as its farewell concert appearance joined by more than a dozen special guests, including Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Neil Diamon, Dr. John, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Ringo Starr, Muddy Waters and Neil Young.
It could be when the late drummer Levon Helm—the longtime Woodstock resident whose studio barn still hosts regular concerts in honor of his famed Midnight Rambles—sang his heart out on The Band’s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.” Or when Neil Young and Joni Mitchell honored The Band by joining the group on a beautiful rendition of “Acadian Driftwood.”
The concert and subsequent film have made such an impact on American cultural history that an all-star tribute to The Last Waltz has toured three times—with a 40th anniversary outing in 2017 that came to Albany’s Palace Theatre, followed by another tour in 2019. On Saturday at 7:30 p.m., the multi-city tour The Last Waltz 2022 comes to Proctors.
Organized by original band member Robbie Robertson, his son Sebastian and Keith Wortman of Blackbird Presents, the event features Warren Haynes, Don Was and Jamey Johnson and a slate of other performers who recreate moments from the 1976 concert—and just in time for Thanksgiving.
The bill includes Anders Osborne, Kathleen Edwards, Dave Malone, John Medeski, Cyril Neville, Terrence Higgins, Bob Margolin (the Muddy Waters guitarist who was on stage for the original concert), Mark Mullins and the Levee Horns, who will play the original arrangements of the late Allen Toussaint.
Catch ‘City of Myth’ in Its Last Weekend
This is the last weekend to catch “City of Myth: Ilium Sings,” an original new musical by the Troy Foundry Theater, which runs through Nov. 5 at 77 Congress Street in Troy. I caught it last week and was impressed by the quality of the songs: many instant ear worms. The setting—in the former food court known as the Troy Kitchen—was designed to look and feel like a supper club. Although audience members weren’t supposed to actually engage with cast members (aside from an opening period when a bar served beverages), the performance still had a cool, interactive feel. The highly talented cast includes a number of local musicians, including musical director Connor Armbruster, a local composer and violinist; banjoist Michael Gregg from Zan and the Winter Folk; and the talented actors and vocalists Eliana Rowe and Bianca Stinney.
The Week Ahead
— Psychedelic rock, reverb-drenched surf music, sky-high beehives and go-go boots are part of the fun when the Canadian surf combo the Surfrajettes play The Hangar on the Hudson (675 River St., Troy) on Friday, Nov. 4 with Schenectady’s the Abyssmals and Albany’s the Jagaloons, who celebrate a record release. 8 p.m.
— Latin Grammy-winning, all-women group Flor de Toloache mixes tradition and innovation with a fresh take on traditional Latin American music. The talented ensemble recently released “Florecita Rock-ERA,” a compilation of anthems inspired by rock classics. Catch the group at Universal Preservation Hall (25 Washington St., Saratoga Springs) on Friday, Nov. 4. 7:30 p.m.
— Town and Country Skateboards (110 Mohawk Ave, Scotia) hosts an all-ages afternoon show on Sunday, Nov. 6, with Boston hardcore peace-punk band Pandemix, Albany noise-punk group Grawlixes, Schenectady hardcore punk outfit SchenectavoidZ and Nyack punk rock band Dork!. 3 p.m.
— Jim Messina has been a member of three super groups. He produced and then played bass in Buffalo Springfield. He formed Poco with Buffalo Springfield bandmate Richie Furay. And he released eight hit albums with Kenny Loggins in Loggins & Messina. He comes to Cohoes Music Hall (58 Remsen St., Cohoes) on Tuesday, Nov. 8, behind his latest release, “In the Groove,” which includes hits from all three of his previous bands. 8 p.m.
Reach Kirsten Ferguson at [email protected]