The Band :: Wollman Skating Rink, Central Park, New York City, June 30, 1971

The Band certainly went through the ringer — alcoholism, drug addiction, shady business dealings, mental health woes, etc. — but when they stepped onstage together, that all disappeared. Check ‘em out on this audience tape from way back in 1971, entertaining the throngs in Central Park on a warm summer night. The Band weren’t jammers; they generally stuck pretty close to the script in a live setting. But the songs have an added warmth, those irreplaceable/irrepressible voices blending magically with deceptively complicated arrangements. There’s a sense of support amongst the quintet that you don’t hear in many other places, an all-for-one spirit that lifts both the musicians and audience.