MTV dusts off classic Amy Winehouse concert

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Image Credit: Chris Polk/FilmMagic.com

Back in the summer of 2007, just days after her smash album Back to Black was certified gold and critics began comparing her to Billie Holiday and Dinah Washington, 23-year-old Amy Winehouse was the headline attraction on the premiere episode of MTV’s then-new live music show, 45th at Night. Backed by the Dap-Kings and pairing with Mos Def for a sizzling rendition of “Love is a Losing Game,” Winehouse was masterful, performing hit songs like “Rehab,” “Back to Black,” “Me & Mr. Jones,” and “You Know I’m No Good.”

Tomorrow at 6:30 p.m., MTV will re-air the “rarely-seen set” (except on YouTube) as a musical celebration of the singer, who died tragically on Saturday. Take a peek at MTV’s promotional clip.

Winehouse was a mesmerizing performer, slinky and playful, her bend-but-don’t-break voice both powerful and elastic, and her 45th at Night performance is a refreshing reminder of her brilliance after three days of morbid details. Yet the sight of her mastering her hit songs — even in her prime — is tinted with sadness since those songs are so personal to her. As a result, her MTV performance is both magical and tragic to watch. It can’t help but remind you of her prodigious talent and beauty and her struggle with addiction that many assume led to her demise. It goes without saying that I’ll never be able to enjoy listening to “Rehab” without the accompanying shadow of her death, but this intimate MTV concert at least reminds you of the shining light beneath the blackness.

“Back to Black” still works for me — it’s so triumphant, and I love how it builds. Is there still a Winehouse song that can’t help but make you smile?

Read more:
Amy Winehouse found dead
Amy Winehouse mourned on Twitter
Amy Winehouse, gifted Grammy-winning vocalist, frequent tabloid subject, passes away

Comments (11 total) Add your comment
  • abadstroller

    Not dissing Amy Winehouse in any way because I happen to believe that she was talented, but I am curious: How much time and reflection need to pass before you can–without irony or pretense–call something “classic”? Is it EW or MTV calling this concert “classic”? I understand that AW was in great form for this show in 2007, but four years later calling it “classic” seems premature at best and opportunistic at worst. As bad TV news reporters say, “Only time will tell….”

    • True Blue

      I understand where you’re coming from, but I think they’re referring to this as classic in the sense of it’ll still appeal to people years from now, not in the sense that it is already legendary. But no one has ever really referred to this particular concert as “classic”, so yeah in this case it seems kind of odd…

  • MrNiceGuy

    So I guess it’s cool for VH-1 to capitalize on her death to boost ratings and commercial fees, but Microsoft gets bashed for offering her music for download. The same is the same including the double standards.

    • abadstroller

      I didn’t know that Microsoft was getting bashed for offering her music for download. Why the hate against Microsoft for this? Microsoft is no less a commercial monolith than MTV or Viacom. Maybe it’s a combination of timing, delivery style, and perception of the company seeking the “revenue enhancement”?

  • CW

    Yeah classic is a bit of stretch. Memorable may be the best choice of words but it doesn’t work as a headline I guess. Either way I loved both studio albums that she released. She had so much promise.

    But for the last few days I’ve been singing F me Pumps and Take the Box from Frank. I love those songs and remind me of the subtle humor in some of her lyrics.

  • Peter

    Amy was a classic before her death so fck all of you!

  • Me?

    The headline should be “MTV plays music – and not at 2am”.

  • Derek

    I think at this point anything music related on MTV could be considered “classic” since that medium is rarely seen

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