Festival Express Reviews

  • Jun 29, 2015

    I loved the music and the nostalgic aspect of this film.Tragic in as you can see how oh so tired Joplin seemed not long before her end,

    I loved the music and the nostalgic aspect of this film.Tragic in as you can see how oh so tired Joplin seemed not long before her end,

  • Dec 07, 2013

    one of the finest concert movies from the 70s great music and 70s vibe !

    one of the finest concert movies from the 70s great music and 70s vibe !

  • Jun 13, 2013

    Never a dull moment on two fun-packed discs. The only traveling festival ever was both a massive failure and a massive success. This, BTW started just 5 weeks after my first Dead show. Owned.

    Never a dull moment on two fun-packed discs. The only traveling festival ever was both a massive failure and a massive success. This, BTW started just 5 weeks after my first Dead show. Owned.

  • Aug 22, 2012

    I had never heard of this festival tour until I saw the DVD for sale at my local DVD shop. I bought it on instinct, pessimistically expecting a low-budget, partly black-and-white montage with too many stills, but was fortunately captivated by this great, fly-on-the-wall look at what has to be one of the most exciting tours in history. It's all in colour, and there is also amazing sound; somewhat a necessity for capturing the on-stage performances of the great American bands of the time. Moreover, there's a large amount of bonus material, including concert footage of some of the lesser known artists who had the opportunity of a lifetime to play on the same bill as Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead and the Band, as well as jam with them on this rail-trip of a lifetime.

    I had never heard of this festival tour until I saw the DVD for sale at my local DVD shop. I bought it on instinct, pessimistically expecting a low-budget, partly black-and-white montage with too many stills, but was fortunately captivated by this great, fly-on-the-wall look at what has to be one of the most exciting tours in history. It's all in colour, and there is also amazing sound; somewhat a necessity for capturing the on-stage performances of the great American bands of the time. Moreover, there's a large amount of bonus material, including concert footage of some of the lesser known artists who had the opportunity of a lifetime to play on the same bill as Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead and the Band, as well as jam with them on this rail-trip of a lifetime.

  • May 13, 2012

    trip out and flashback, man. this movie is far out. i wish i was there.

    trip out and flashback, man. this movie is far out. i wish i was there.

  • Apr 07, 2012

    Some really good conert footage and behind the scenes of some of the top bands of the 60's and 70's.

    Some really good conert footage and behind the scenes of some of the top bands of the 60's and 70's.

  • Aug 10, 2011

    Like my mate said, wrap yourself up warm and enjoy the ride aboard the festival express. As I was quite ignorant of the genius of Janis Joplin previous to this, it was quite a treasured moment when she appears on stage for the first time and belts out 'cry baby' with astonishing emotion and vigour. All the more tragic when you think she died three months later. At the end, just before she plays the last song with the great Jerry Garcia, she presents the two organisers with a model of the train, 'to always remember the journey', and a crate of tequila, 'to continue the journey'. I don't know but that moment was quite chilling when you think about it. But a great rockumentary nevertheless.

    Like my mate said, wrap yourself up warm and enjoy the ride aboard the festival express. As I was quite ignorant of the genius of Janis Joplin previous to this, it was quite a treasured moment when she appears on stage for the first time and belts out 'cry baby' with astonishing emotion and vigour. All the more tragic when you think she died three months later. At the end, just before she plays the last song with the great Jerry Garcia, she presents the two organisers with a model of the train, 'to always remember the journey', and a crate of tequila, 'to continue the journey'. I don't know but that moment was quite chilling when you think about it. But a great rockumentary nevertheless.

  • Aug 05, 2011

    This is up there with The Last Waltz..... that is the highest possible recommendation I can give this treasure of a rock documentary. I had goose bumps during several of the performances.....and what a concept. 'Woodstock was for the audience. This is for the artists'. Like Last Waltz and Woodstock its everything that the late sixties aspired to be all bunched into one awesome train ride. Its about 3 months before Janis death and she is primal in this. Wrap yourself up in a warm throw with a big cup of cocoa and transport yourself to the groovy years.

    This is up there with The Last Waltz..... that is the highest possible recommendation I can give this treasure of a rock documentary. I had goose bumps during several of the performances.....and what a concept. 'Woodstock was for the audience. This is for the artists'. Like Last Waltz and Woodstock its everything that the late sixties aspired to be all bunched into one awesome train ride. Its about 3 months before Janis death and she is primal in this. Wrap yourself up in a warm throw with a big cup of cocoa and transport yourself to the groovy years.

  • Aug 05, 2011

    Excellent concert 'time capsule' faithfully captures the essence of the best concert films of its day as director Bob Smeaton documents the goings-on of a choice few icons of an era as they travel by train through Western Canada bringing their traveling music festival to five cities. Smeaton's brainchild is not without incident. Fights break out, the militia are called in, and tales are told by the survivors, including a still-embittered Smeaton, who personally bankrolled the entire engagement and, incredibly, regrets having staged the whole affair. In the end, we are left with documented proof of Joplin and Garcia jamming along with Delaney and Bonnie on a train, drinking the continent dry, as well as excellent ensemble performances on stage at the end of the run. A young Buddy Guys tears it up, and Joplin's dynamic performances here are both achingly heartfelt and eerily prescient, considering she'd be gone from us within a month of this festival. Beautifully shot, masterfully(and lovingly) edited in classic, early 1970's documentary-style that brings to mind Scorsese's 'Woodstock' for an official release some thirty years after the fact. A treasure. Painfully preemptive run-time is compensated by lots of DVD extras. ~ Jeffam.com

    Excellent concert 'time capsule' faithfully captures the essence of the best concert films of its day as director Bob Smeaton documents the goings-on of a choice few icons of an era as they travel by train through Western Canada bringing their traveling music festival to five cities. Smeaton's brainchild is not without incident. Fights break out, the militia are called in, and tales are told by the survivors, including a still-embittered Smeaton, who personally bankrolled the entire engagement and, incredibly, regrets having staged the whole affair. In the end, we are left with documented proof of Joplin and Garcia jamming along with Delaney and Bonnie on a train, drinking the continent dry, as well as excellent ensemble performances on stage at the end of the run. A young Buddy Guys tears it up, and Joplin's dynamic performances here are both achingly heartfelt and eerily prescient, considering she'd be gone from us within a month of this festival. Beautifully shot, masterfully(and lovingly) edited in classic, early 1970's documentary-style that brings to mind Scorsese's 'Woodstock' for an official release some thirty years after the fact. A treasure. Painfully preemptive run-time is compensated by lots of DVD extras. ~ Jeffam.com

  • May 02, 2011

    Excellent concert 'time capsule' faithfully captures the essence of the best concert films of its day as director Bob Smeaton documents the goings-on of a choice few icons of an era as they travel by train through Western Canada bringing their traveling music festival to five cities. Smeaton's brainchild is not without incident. Fights break out, the militia are called in, and tales are told by the survivors, including a still-embittered Smeaton, who personally bankrolled the entire engagement and, incredibly, regrets having staged the whole affair. In the end, we are left with documented proof of Joplin and Garcia jamming along with Delaney and Bonnie on a train, drinking the continent dry, as well as excellent ensemble performances on stage at the end of the run. A young Buddy Guys tears it up, and Joplin's dynamic performances here are both achingly heartfelt and eerily prescient, considering she'd be gone from us within a month of this festival. Beautifully shot, masterfully(and lovingly) edited in classic, early 1970's documentary-style that brings to mind Scorsese's 'Woodstock' for an official release some thirty years after the fact. A treasure. Painfully preemptive run-time is compensated by lots of DVD extras. ~ Jeffam.com

    Excellent concert 'time capsule' faithfully captures the essence of the best concert films of its day as director Bob Smeaton documents the goings-on of a choice few icons of an era as they travel by train through Western Canada bringing their traveling music festival to five cities. Smeaton's brainchild is not without incident. Fights break out, the militia are called in, and tales are told by the survivors, including a still-embittered Smeaton, who personally bankrolled the entire engagement and, incredibly, regrets having staged the whole affair. In the end, we are left with documented proof of Joplin and Garcia jamming along with Delaney and Bonnie on a train, drinking the continent dry, as well as excellent ensemble performances on stage at the end of the run. A young Buddy Guys tears it up, and Joplin's dynamic performances here are both achingly heartfelt and eerily prescient, considering she'd be gone from us within a month of this festival. Beautifully shot, masterfully(and lovingly) edited in classic, early 1970's documentary-style that brings to mind Scorsese's 'Woodstock' for an official release some thirty years after the fact. A treasure. Painfully preemptive run-time is compensated by lots of DVD extras. ~ Jeffam.com