A genre as old as the sound movie itself. Filming a concert by a musical artist, group or any other sort of performer(s) (comedians, acrobats, stage musicals,...) is essential for many entertainers. It shows off their skills and gives the fans who weren't able to watch a concert in person to get a grisp of the experience they missed. Audience Participation
and a Concert Climax
are also a huge part of these events. The concert film may be accompanied by a CD capturing the event for people who rather listen to it than watch it.
Concert films are sometimes considered a Cult Classic
or a Cult Soundtrack
, because the respective genre or artist is usually mostly interesting for fans themselves. Though a well made concert movie can also attract new fans. Concert films were popular during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, when video footage of musical artists was pretty scarce since not many people owned a video recorder to watch and tape concert broadcasts from TV. The arrival of MTV and other music video networks in the 1980s shifted the focus more towards short music videos and less towards entire concerts. Since then most concert movies are usually sold direct-to-video.
- Buena Vista Social Club (1999): Documentary and concert film, directed by Wim Wenders about the Cuban band of the same name.
- Concert For Bangladesh (1972): A benefit concert, organized by George Harrison.
- Jammin' the Blues (1944): Ten-minute short film of a jam session featuring a murderer's row of 1940s jazz musicians.
- Jazz On A Summers Day (1960): Jazz concert movie from 1958.
- The Last Waltz (1978): Famous film of the last concert played by The Band (the original lineup anyway, as they later reunited). Featured an impressive array of guest stars that included Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell, and Bob Dylan.
- Live Aid (1985): 24 hours footage of many rock artists for the benefit of starving people in Ethiopia.
- Mad Dogs and Englishmen (1970): Concert film depicting roots-rocker Joe Cocker's rushed tour in front of an oversized band.
- Monterey Pop (1967): The first rock concert movie, filmed at Monterey Pop (1967).
- 9 Songs (2004): Part Erotic Film, part concert movie featuring several British rock bands.
- Space Is the Place (1974): Spiritual blaxploitation movie featuring Sun Ra with several scenes where he performs alongs with his musicians.
- This Is Spinal Tap (1984): Despite being a mockumentary about a heavy metal rock band it features a lot of live footage.
- Woodstock (1970): The most famous concert movie of all time. Shows every huge 1960s band and artist and shows how the audience experienced it too.