06
Jun
08

Let There Be Rock: Top 5 Concert Films

“The Last Waltz” 1978  – The Band, known for hits such as “Up On Cripple Creek,” and, “The Night They Drove Ole Dixie Down,” gives their farewell concert, and invite Eric Clapton, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Emmylou Harris, Ringo Starr, Van Morrison, and others along for the denouement. If that wasn’t enough, it was directed by Martin Scorsese.

 

 

 

 

“Gimme Shelter” (1970) – Good idea: throw a free concert in Altamont, CA. Bad idea: hire the Hell’s Angels as security. Worse idea: pay them in free beer. And, that’s exactly what happened when the Rolling Stones put on this concert in 1969. While Ike and Tina Turner opened for them (as well as B.B. King, who was not filmed), other bands that took the stage included Jefferson Airplane, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Santana, and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. The Grateful Dead opted out. During the Stones part of the concert Meredith Hunter was stabbed, which lead to extreme controversy and the fact that the Stones would not play “Sympathy for the Devil” in concert for another 6 years.

 

“The Song Remains the Same” (1976) – Filmed at Madison Square Gardens and mixed with documentary footage and “dream sequences,” this was, and is, THE Led Zeppelin Fan’s movie. Shot in 1973 but not released until ’76, this was the band at their height (before Plant’s Jeep crash and other factors). The movie has been remixed and remastered, including footage previously not shown.

 

 

 

“Festival Express” (2003) – What happens when you get The Grateful Dead, The Band, Janis Joplin and the Full Tilt Boogie Band, Sha Na Na, Marshmakhan, Ian and Sylvia and the Great Speckled Bird, The Flying Burrito Brothers, and the Buddy Guy Blues Band, and throw them all onto a train going from Toronto to Calgary, which makes stops for alcohol and to play an occasional concert? Yeah buddy. Filmed in 1970, it took until 2003 to clear most of the music rights for the film (Traffic and Ten Years After played, but musical clearance could not be obtained). It’s a fun-filled ride. Note: the DVD has the option to play all the musical sequences (there are performances not shown in the Main Movie).

 

“Let There Be Rock” (1980) – The first of AC/DC’s concert films would unknowingly be the last for then lead singer Bon Scott. Filmed in Paris, France in 1979, the band takes center stage and plays tracks from its first few albums. While they have achieved their place in the Halls of Rock with singer Brian Johnson, this concert is them at their best (#2: Live at Donnington). Note: the only film powered by AC/DC.

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