Album Review: George Fest: A Night To Celebrate the Music of George Harrison
George Fest: A Night To Celebrate the Music of George Harrison comes the day after what would have been Harrison’s 73rd birthday – and it is indeed a celebration, in every sense of the word. Here, Harrison’s legacy is explored by various artists, recorded live way back in September 2014 at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles. Harrison’s work is represented across a variety of genres and generations, with stellar results and toe-tapping energy throughout the entire album.
The sheer vigour each performer brings to the stage is palpable: not one of the songs falls flat, which is a tall order for a tribute album to someone so widely lauded. The overall flow is masterful as well, with the setlist arranged in such a way as to encourage a good rise and fall of energy. Norah Jone’s haunting rendition of Something is followed by a peppy cover of Got My Mind Set On You, expertly done by The Killers’ frontman Brandon Flowers. Harrison’s sheer versatility and talent is reflected perfectly in the multi-genre artists representing his work, from torch singers to surf rock and beyond. “Weird” Al Yankovic’s contribution (What Is Life) sounds as unique, valid and totally signature to his style as does the Cold War Kid’s rendition of Taxman.
All in all, the album is a wonderfully multifaceted perspective of one of the greatest songwriters of a generation. For fans, or even those less familiar with Harrison’s work, the album provides a beautiful, concise tribute which is full of character. Of course, it’s impossible to fully emulate George Harrison’s legacy – but these artists do a damn good tribute.