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Thursday, November 30th, 2017
On Thanksgiving Day 1976, The Band took the stage for the very last time at the Winterland Theatre in San Francisco. The concert, aptly billed as The Last Waltz, has become one of the most revered performances of all time.
40 years on, Pearse Butler, a stalwart of Dublin’s music scene, declared Liverpool as the perfect city to host his celebration of the cult documentary which featured more than a dozen special guests, including Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Emmylou Harris, Ringo Starr, Dr. John, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Muddy Waters, Ronnie Wood, Neil Diamond, and Eric Clapton. Bringing a ten piece band, full brass section, and special guests from Dublin’s vibrant music scene Pearse said, “Liverpool is one of the most famous musical cities in the world, what better place to pay homage to an amazing line up of musicians who all, in some way will have a link to this city.”
The show itself is close to Pearse’s heart with his three sons fronting the show as ‘The Band’. Kevin Butler explains:
“There was music everywhere in our home, particularly because our Dad was always in the music business and he and mam were running shows and playing music with The Butler Dempsey Band whilst minding us at the same time! My brothers and I were eating them out of house and home, not doing our homework, learning guitar, listening to old albums and watching videos. One video became our favourite… ‘The Last Waltz’ featured fabulous live music, songs such as The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, The Weight, and Ophelia.”
Kevin went on to say: “When my brothers and I, started our own band we called ourselves ‘The Group’. That was six years ago, and we have an album and two single releases under our belts as well as steadily playing four nights a week in all the music venues throughout the country.”