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Concert Film

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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.
  • The trope maker for feature films is Concert Magic from 1948, featuring violinist Yehudi Mehunin. However, musical performances had been a frequent premise for short films for years. See Jammin' the Blues below.
  • Devotional (1993) by Depeche Mode which contains many of the tracks off their then latest album Songs of Faith and Devotion and many tracks off previous albums arranged in their manner of 1993.
  • 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.
  • Monsieur Pointu (1975): A deeply odd stop-motion pixilation version. Paul Cormier, aka "Monsieur Pointu" the famous violinist, plays his violin while the visual effects grow increasingly bizarre
  • 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.
  • Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii (1972): Stars Pink Floyd performing at the Pompeii amphitheater to an audience of zero. Noted for its stylistic influences on later films in the genre and for its capture of the band in the waning days of their pre-The Dark Side of the Moon career.
  • Space Is the Place (1974): Spiritual blaxploitation movie featuring Sun Ra with several scenes where he performs along with his musicians.
  • Stop Making Sense (1984): Stars Talking Heads during the tour for their Speaking in Tongues album; contains all but three songs from that album, plus plenty of their older songs (both commercial hits and fan-favorites) and pieces by frontman David Byrne and side-project Tom Tom Club. Noted for its minimalist, oner-heavy cinematography, and for capturing the band at what critics and fans consider their peak.
  • This Is Spın̈al 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 (well, except for the obvious holdouts) and shows how the audience experienced it too.


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