Various Artists: Change Begins Within - A Benefit Concert For The David Lynch Foundation DVD
Back in the 60s it felt like peace and love was all that it would take to change and then save the world. Unfortunately the human instinct for hate, chaos and violence soon put an end to that notion; flower power quickly receding from view. Fast forward to 2009 and it suddenly seemed as though nobody had told the assembled throng who doubtless paid a fortune to be in the Radio City Music Hall in New York, that the dream had failed. Curated and created by David Lynch, this benefit concert raised money for his foundation which aims to change the world through bringing transcendental meditation to youngsters in America's schools. The night in question brought together a host of famous names to help the cause, although there was no doubt who the main attractions were…
With stilted on stage introductions from Lynch (famous for directing TV shows such as Twin Peaks and movies such as Blue Velvet), early appearances from Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, Moby, Betty LaVette, Ben Harper and Sheryl Crow all feel like little more than the warm up for what's to come. That said, there's a certain charm to Vedder and Harper taking on the roles of Freddie Mercury and David Bowie for a fun version of "Under Pressure", while the Pearl Jam man provides a run through of his own "Rise" and Crow a tender rendition of the George Harrison classic "My Sweet Lord".
From there the first real member of the peace and love movement hits the stage, 60s legend Donovan wheeling out "Isle Of Islay" and "Hurdy Gurdy" in fine fashion. However the crowd, who hardly look like hardened gig goers, only really come to life with the arrival of Ringo Starr, the Beatles drummer starting off at the front of the stage for his solo cut, "It Don't Come Easy". For "Boys" he's behind the kit, hammering out the beat and the vocals, before coming back to the front to finally get people out of their seats with "Yellow Submarine". His 'backing band', including Vedder, Harper and Crow, clearly having a ball.
As if one member of the Fab Four wasn't enough, Paul McCartney and his band then take over proceedings with a run through of Beatles, Wings and solo material, "Drive My Car", "Jet", "Got To Get You Into My Life" and "Let It Be" really getting the party started. A poignant "Here Today" changes the mood, but the rousing Wings classic "Band On The Run" raises the roof. As does the reappearance of Ringo, the two ex-bandmates making a rare appearance together for "With A Little Help From My Friends". The pair then stay together as they're joined by the entire ensemble for the obscure McCartney track "Cosmically Conscious" and then finally the Beatles barnstormer "I Saw Her Standing There"; McCartney and LaVette sharing the mic to great effect, and ending the show on a high.
Entertaining though it is, it doesn't stop this DVD from being an unusual, and at times frustrating watch, the slow beginning and needless stage introductions making the fast forward button a necessary friend during repeat viewings. However, more frustratingly is the omission of numerous songs that were performed on the night, Vedder, Harper and Crow all having songs dropped. While Crow teaming up with Donovan for "Seasons Of The Witch" is also somewhere on the cutting room floor. Amazingly so are McCartney's renditions of "Lady Madonna", "Can't Buy Me Love" and "Blackbird", which, given the significance of his involvement, is hard to explain.
Extras too are sparse, awkward, almost pointless interviews with Ringo, Vedder and Harper handled by Lynch himself and revealing nothing new, while his "chat" with McCartney barely lasts a couple of minutes. All of which makes for a once only watch.
There's a lot to like about this DVD, while the monumental reunion between Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney makes it an almost compulsory purchase for many a Beatles maniac. However, with almost half the show feeling like merely an hors d'oeuvre for the main event, most people will be searching for 'scene selection' from the main menu and starting the show half way through from Ringo's introduction.
1. Natural Blues - Moby, Betty LaVette, TM Choir
2. Rise - Eddie Vedder
3. Under Pressure - Eddie Vedder & Ben Harper
4. My Sweet Lord - Sheryl Crow
5. Hurdy Gurdy - Donovan & Jim James
6. Isle of Islay - Donovan and Paul Horn
7. It Don't Come Easy - Ringo Starr
8. Boys - Ringo Starr
9. Yellow Submarine - Ringo Starr
10. Baby You Can Drive My Car - Paul McCartney
11. Jet - Paul McCartney
12. Got To Get You Into My Life - Paul McCartney
13. Let It Be - Paul McCartney
14. Here Today - Paul McCartney
15. Band On The Run - Paul McCartney
16. With A Little Help From My Friends - Paul McCartney & Ringo Starr
17. Cosmically Conscious - All members
18. I Saw Her Standing There - All members
Added: September 16th 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Eagle Rock online
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