A disparate group of performers gathers to celebrate the life and music of John Lennon in this 90-minute concert, recorded in 2001 at New York's Radio City Music Hall and originally broadcast on the WB Television Network. ... more »Considering both the setting and the fact that it came just three weeks after the events of September 11, it's not surprising that the show has a somewhat somber tone, but that makes Lennon's message of universal peace somehow all the more relevant. As for the songs, the majority come from Lennon's Beatle days, including "In My Life" (Dave Matthews), "Strawberry Fields Forever" (Cyndi Lauper), and "Dear Prudence" (Alanis Morissette); but it's the material from his solo years that yields the most passionate performances, especially by Shelby Lynne ("Mother") and Lou Reed ("Jealous Guy"). Host Kevin Spacey does a surprisingly effective turn on "Mind Games," and the inclusion of Lennon's son Sean is both appropriate and touching. Nice. --Sam Graham« less
"As a general rule, I don't like John Lennon covers, so I was pleasantly surprised when I watched this DVD. Here's a rundown on the performances:1. Imagine (Yolanda Adams and Billy Preston): This was one of the worst performances of the show. Billy Preston isn't bad but Yolanda oversings this intentionally simple song.2. In My Life (Dave Matthews): This is one of the best Beatles covers I've heard. I was really moved by this performance, and it's worth watching the DVD for.3. Revolution (Stone Temple Pilots): Another great and faithful rendition of a Beatles song. The band really shines on this one.4. Dear Prudence (Alanis Morissette): I don't like Alanis's music, so I was surprised to find that this was actually a really good cover, even if it pains me to say so.5. Across the Universe (Moby, Sean Lennon, and Rufus Wainwright)Ugh. Moby provides some seemingly cough syrup induced vocals and Rufus Wainwright and Sean Lennon help out in this amazingly bad cover.6. Strawberry Fields Forever (Cyndi Lauper): One of the biggest surprises was this performance. The area in my mind filed "Cyndi Lauper" is placed in the category of cheesy 80's ballads. Therefore, I was expecting this cover of a really difficult to cover Beatles song to be terrible. I'm happy to say, I was wrong. A really nice performance.7. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (Marc Anthony): Awful.8. Mother (Shelby Lynne): This performance of Lennon's devastingly emotional song is turned into some sort of cheese-country confessional best suited for tawdry bar.9. Instant Karma (Nelly Furtado and Dave Stewart): Again, I'm not really a fan of either of these people, but the cover wasn't that bad.10. Jealous Guy (Lou Reed): Before all of you Lou Reed fans get angry at me, I like Lou. I really do. However, this was just a terribly bad cover. Easily one of the worst performances on here.11. Nowhere Man (Natalie Merchant): Again, another surprise performance by a person I've never been that impressed by. She does a nice job on this song.12. Mind Games (Kevin Spacey): Before you laugh, this is in the running for best performance of the night. It's either sad or exhilarating that an actor outdoes professional singers and musicians. I suppose I have even more respect for Kevin Spacey than I did before.13. Come Together (Craig David): Auugh! Perhaps the worst on here. Treat your ears nicely and avoid this one.14. This Boy (Sean Lennon and Rufus Wainwright): Well, it couldn't be worse than their cover of Across the Universe. And guess what, it wasn't! Not bad, but not great either.15. Julia (Sean Lennon): Sean performs a faithful cover of his Dad's song, and it's pretty good but certainly not in anyway better than the original, as some have suggested.16. Give Peace a Chance/Power to the People (Ensemble): The typical ensemble, sing-a-long sound."
Imagine all the people / sharing all the world ...
LG | Austin, TX USA | 09/28/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Rescheduled to October 2, 2001 -- less than a month after the September 11th attacks -- this live event became urgent in a way its organizers probably hadn't planned. For me, it was a profound part of the post-9/11 healing process; I've watched it repeatedly since it originally aired, and it never fails to inspire.The concert recalls the transcendent messages of a great fallen poet, and is a fitting tribute to his music. The diverse collection of popular musicians and entertainers mirror John Lennon's pure, powerful words and honest expression. As a result, this was one of New York City's best and most-earnest responses to the 9/11 attacks -- far better than the "Concert for New York City" which aired three weeks later, despite the fact that Paul McCartney does not appear here.Truth be told, a few musical performances are a bit uneven, and the all-star band occasionally overwhelms the vocals... but Kevin Spacey's street-smart hosting skills and his astounding performance of "Mind Games" are not to be missed.Come Together is an essential contextualizer for anyone who connects with John Lennon's ideals. Given our place and time in history, this concert is a wonderfully sublime guide to the days that lie ahead. Highly recommended."
Great Intentions Outweight Negatives -Could've Been Better
D. Rotmil | New York, NY United States | 02/14/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"During the weeks and months following the tragedy of September 11th, there was an intense need to pay tribute toward the good in humanity. We saw the world differently. We held our friends and neighbors close. We appreciated the everyday heros, firemen, police officers and EMT staff with a new intensity, and deservedly so. What better time to invoke the spirit and message of the peace loving John Lennon? And what better way to raise funds for the efforts? "Come Together: A Night for John Lennon's Words and Music" was produced at Radio City Music Hall in October 2001 to salve the wounds of New York.
The concert was a joyous and somber event, supported by good intentions; however, it seemed that many holes went unfilled by artists whose only connection with Lennon was that they were fans, or perhaps, friends of Yoko and Sean rather than John himself. This provided an emptiness that was palpable.
The lineup of musical artists seems like a cadre of the famous and the quasi-famous, all befriended by Sean and Yoko. Some were fine, some unremarkable. Nelly Furtado sang a limp and effected "Instant Karma" with Dave Stewart who, despite all his great work with Annie Lennox, was the most uninteresting Eurethmic to start with, and remains boring here. Craig David (who?) did a decent version of "Come Together" which turned into a hip hop rant. (What better way to show how a song is dated to the young generation than by turning it into a rap?) Shelby Lynn, known for showing the most of her belly in skimpy outfits during 2000 - 2001 while being lauded as the next EmmyLou (only to disappear), did a dreary "Mother". And Leelee Sobieski? What was she doing there other than just being (or about to be) Sean Lennon's girlfriend? Where were John's friends? Harry Nilssen? Elton John? David Bowie? Macca? Ringo? Most importantly - where was Julian? (Sadly, George Harrison was gravely ill at that time and would pass away a month later).
There were some great moments. Stone Temple Pilots kicked butt on "Revolution". Cyndi Lauper singing "Stawberry Fields Forever" at Strawberry Fields in Central Park was haunting and plain gorgeous. Dave Matthews did a moving, lilting "In My Life". Alanis was pretty damn good singing "Dear Prudence". "That Boy" crooned by Sean, Rufus Wainwright and, well - I guess a bandmate of the young Lennon - was hamonically tight and terrific. Even Rufus, a singer I find annoying vocally, knows how to sing "Across the Universe" better than anyone, other than Lennon himself. If only Moby stopped singing - it would have been perfection.
Kevin Spacey did a dramatic turn as presenter - along with Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Bacon and various New York based/born/bred actors. Although Spacey is a great singer, I cringed when he forged into "Mind Games". There was something beyond the realm of ego in that performance; however, the audience loved it, jumping to their feet in a wave of cheers - so what do I know? It was an emotional time, and therefore, a bit of over the top drama. Gushing was probably needed, and is perhaps forgiven even in hindsight.
The evening was interspersed with audio of John talking about his beliefs, and about peace, love. A heartbreaking clip reveals John explaining to the four year old Sean, the concept of age, and how you spend a full year being four or five, until one has a birthday. The tenderness of a father, explaning to his little boy the fundamentals of life stopped the show. That clip alone illustrates even further, the horror of John's passing, the despair and futility of violence and the irony of how such a peace loving icon died so horribly.
There are many moving moments; however, with the addition of John's own friends and more of his loved ones, the connections would have been more meaningful, and the meaning much more explosive. (For an example of a great tribute concert see "The Concert for George". Proceeds also went toward charity.) "
COME TOGETHER is a great tribute to Lennon & NYC
S. Petty | St Cloud, Florida United States | 10/25/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Tremendous and poignant night of music honoring John Lennon and, although not initially planned, New York City. This was one of the first major public events in NYC post 9/11 and in many ways it was fitting that a night of Lennon's words and music began the long healing process. John Lennon could have lived anywhere in the world and he chose NYC. What would he have done and/or said in NYC's darkest hour had he been alive? We can only imagine but there is no doubt, Lennon would have been in the forefront of the healing process, just as McCartney was with the Concert for NYC. Dave Matthews performs a griping acoustic version of IN MY LIFE and this is a great tribute with many cool versions of Beatle & solo Lennon material."
And it CAME TOGETHER great!!
Rizzo | Denver, CO | 06/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's clear this is a John Lennon, After the Beatles Tribute and Sean and Mama Yoko Lennon are at the helm of the production. There are NO clips of Lennon's Beatle days. With a backdrop of images, there are plenty of Yoko and Baby Sean. To answer one reviewer's question, this is why former Beatles were not there.
I'm not sure John Lennon could have asked for a better tribute. With an array of heavy hitters from the movie industry expressing their thoughts about Lennon and his quest for a non-violent society, and with music's elite performances, this is a magical night at the very attractive Radio City Music Hall.
Some riveting performances include Marc Anthony doing "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds". He is dynamic onstage; Shelby Lynne exudes such emotional energy to the powerful and meaningful "Mother"; "Instant Karma" done with great coupling of Nelly Furtado and Dave Stewart. One of my favorites is Stone Temple Pilots with a rousing performance and hitting those high notes and sung in the same key for "Revolution."
More highlights of the evening, the great gospel singer Yolanda Adams! She gave a different voice to "Imagine: and was accompanied on piano by Billy Preston. Dave Matthews can never go wrong with his solo "In My Life." The sweet and delicate voice of Natalie Merchant soothed the audience in "Nowhere Man". And what an appropos setting, New York's Strawberry Fields, for the at-location shot "Strawberry Fields Forever" enhanced by the lovely voice of Cindy Lauper. We heard a refreshing rendition by Craig David for "Come Together".
Kevin Spacey performing "Mind Games" was ok, considering many didn't know he could sing. Also excellent performances by Lou Reed "Jealous Guy", Alanis Morisssette singing "Dear Prudence". And Sean Lennon was quite entertaining in the footsteps of his famous father for "This Boy" and "Julia".
The weakest moment was for "Across the Universe" with Rufus Wainwright, Moby and Sean Lennon. Wainwright sounds great solo, but the deep voice of Moby creating distraction and Sean Lennon isn't heard at all. If you don't know this song by the title, the lyrics are: "....nothing's going to change my world..nothing's going to change my world"...
The grand finale said it all!! "Give Peace a Chance" and "Power to the People."