Monday, August 10, 2009

Favorite rock 'n' roll concert films

When considering music films, for a favorites list, there are so many different kinds of musicals and movies about music that the category begs to be narrowed.

For this list of five favorites, I’m looking only at rock ‘n’ roll movies, and then only those which present the music as concert footage -- they show the musicians, performing as themselves, on stage before a live audience. All are documentaries of a certain stripe, even if they were staged for the purpose of making the film.

So, here are my five favorite rock ‘n’ roll concert movies:

Gimme Shelter” (1970): Directed by Albert Maysles and David Maysles; Performers: The Rolling Stones, also with Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, Tina Turner and more
The Last Waltz” (1978): Directed by Martin Scorsese; Performers; The Band and various guest musicians
Monterey Pop” (1968): Directed by D.A. Pennebaker; Performers: Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Simon and Garfunkel, The Mamas and Papas, Otis Redding, and more
Stop Making Sense” (1984): Directed by Jonathan Demme; Performers: Talking Heads
The T.A.M.I. Show” (1965): Directed by Steve Binder; Performers: The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, The Supremes, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Lesley Gore and more