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Published: 2012/04/22

Brooklyn Bowl to Screen The Last Waltz Tonight

Tonight, Brooklyn, NY’s Brooklyn Bowl will pay tribute to Levon Helm with two free screenings of The Band’s classic concert film, The Last Waltz. The screenings take place at 6PM and 8PM and are open to fans of all ages.

Relix Publisher and Brooklyn Bowl owner Pete Shapiro offers some words on tonight’s screenings:

There was a month-long period three years ago when Brooklyn Bowl was finished being built, but it was not fully licensed to open to the public.

So, we were able to hang out in this new/old giant sprawling space, but we couldn’t have any bands on the stage. We wanted to start giving the room some energy so every night we would test out the crazy new sound system and projection screens.

We played lots of Pink Floyd and Grateful Dead concert films and the Blu-Rays of “Shine a Light” and “Stop Making Sense” were awesome. We only played concert films and we always turned the volume to 11 (we had to break-in the new speakers, after all).

We had some great times those nights. We would discover soon after that the Bowl could become borderline magical with the right mix of live performers and audience members feeding off each other. But, those early nights, we were still in shock over how things had come together, after two years of building & fixing and fixing & building.

Of everything we watched there was one film that stood (far) above the rest. No big surprise…it was “The Last Waltz”. When I first watched it, I started to tear up. The combination of one of the greatest concerts in rock history (The Band’s final show), captured by a young Director (Martin Scorsese) mixed with the very latest in technology (both a newly re-mastered High Definition source and an audio/visual system that we had labored so hard to bring to life) made the blood in your veins pump faster.

Much of the impact we all felt was due to the drumbeat of Levon Helm. His drum playing felt like heartbeats that you could literally feel underneath the floor of Brooklyn Bowl. And, yes, maybe we were playing it as loud as we possibly could but still…to this day it remains the best show I have ever experienced at Brooklyn Bowl.

Its been a while since we closed the stage so that we could show a concert film at Brooklyn Bowl. But, tomorrow (Sunday) night it’s time to bring The Band back to Brooklyn. We miss Levon Helm already. His smile…his voice…the courage and strength that he displayed over a 20 year battle with cancer merit celebration.

We are going to show “The Last Waltz” twice, at 8pm and 10pm. It’s FREE and all ages. We’re going to turn the volume up, and put those unforgettably beautiful images on every screen in the place.

If you want to feel Levon’s drums shoot through your spine one more time, come join us.

Peter Shapiro

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