Rein­ter­pre­ta­tions of Lennon

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Pay Television - Imag­ine: John Lennon 75th Birth­day Con­cert,

On De­cem­ber 5, 2015, an eclec­tic group of in­ter­na­tional mu­si­cians gath­ered at New York’s Madi­son Square Gar­den (in the re­fur­bished Felt Fo­rum, for those who re­mem­ber that cel­e­brated mid-town venue) to com­mem­o­rate what would have been John Lennon’s 75th birth­day. This heav­ily edited, 103-minute broad­cast of the event is hosted by Kevin Ba­con and, be­cause of the qual­ity and pas­sion of the song­writ­ing, is no­tice­ably bet­ter than a lot of these trib­ute shows. With Yoko Ono look­ing on ap­prov­ingly from the first row (and pop­ping up on stage to de­liver a gush­ing thank you to the tal­ent), the ros­ter in­cludes Eric Church, Sh­eryl Crow, Juanes, Train’s Pat Mon­a­han, the Roots, Chris Sta­ple­ton and Wil­lie Nel­son, plus re­mote trib­utes from Ringo Starr, who per­forms, and Paul McCart­ney, who doesn’t. High­lights in­clude a pre-cred­its Come To­gether by Steven Tyler, Aloe Blacc’s gospel-tinged ver­sion of Watch­ing the Wheels, he Killers’ Bran­don Flow­ers eerily match­ing Lennon’s vo­cals on In­stant Karma, John Fogerty’s In My Life and Give Peace a Chance, and a ter­rific Happy Christ­mas ( War is Over) fronted by Peter Framp­ton. Also worth sin­gling out are Kris Kristof­fer­son’s take on Work­ing Class Hero (nat­u­rally), Tom Morello’s rol­lick­ing Power to the Peo­ple and a pair of rock­ers from Spoon ( Hey Bull­dog and Cold Turkey). Many of the artists team up for their num­bers, and the whole gang wraps things up with the Bea­tles’ All You Need is Love, sham­bling but some­how per­fect. The crack house band in­cludes vet­eran white-bearded bassist Le­land Sk­lar, road-tested drum­mer Kenny Aronoff and for­mer Let­ter­man band mem­bers Sid McGin­nis and Feli­cia Collins, di­rected by for­mer Eric Clap­ton key­boardist Greg Phillinganes. Satur­day, 8.30pm, Foxtel Arts.

Steven Tyler and Yoko Ono at the John Lennon 75th Birth­day Con­cert

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