Give the Band credit. When the Canadian avatars of American roots-rock decided to call it a day, they nailed it in grand fashion. On Thanksgiving Day 1976, Levon Helm, Richard Manuel, Rick Danko, Robbie Robertson, and Garth Hudson held "The Last Waltz" at San Francisco's Winterland Ballroom. The Band played their faces off with the usual Dixie-down aplomb, and backed guests including Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Muddy Waters with vigor while Martin Scorsese filmed the bittersweet celebration for a concert documentary of the same name.
There were reunions (though never with Robertson) until the Band died out, as well as packages like the new Live at the Academy of Music 1971, all leading to one conclusion: "The Last Waltz" happened too soon. Today, when heroes relive their glories until they're tattered, it's clear the Band is much missed because it stopped at its peak.