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Concerts on film

I’m going to come right out and say it: The Jonas Brothers may just revive the idle genre of concert movies.<br />

I’m going to come right out and say it: The Jonas Brothers may just revive the idle genre of concert movies.

Not only do I say this because the teen trio has a dedicated following of hardcore pre-pubescent fans that will undoubtedly line up endlessly to see Jonas Brothers: The 3-D Concert Experience — in theatres on Friday — but the movie itself was shot using cutting-edge effects that will surely draw those inclined to experience a cinematic rock concert in 3-D form (although U2 did it first in 2007).

While there’s no doubt that today’s focus in Hollywood is primarily on this new way of witnessing gigs, there were many other stunning concert films before the gimmickry of 3-D came along. While the Jonas Brothers may render the traditional concert film extinct, there are certainly some worth revisiting:

The T.A.M.I. Show (1965):
Filmmaker Steve Binder released what some aficionados consider the first-ever concert film. Showcasing the top acts of the day, this rare flick is perhaps most notable for a closing “battle of the bands” sequence between James Brown and The Rolling Stones.

Gimme Shelter (1970):
The Rolling Stones were also the subject of this concert film by the Maysles brothers. Chronicling the band’s 1969 tour, this classic movie captured the tragic Altamont gig that ended in the brutal murder of at least one spectator. As a review in the San Francisco Chronicle stated, “few metaphors are as obvious as Altamont’s for the death of the free-love ’60s.”

Woodstock (1970): With groundbreaking appearances by Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane and Joan Baez, Woodstock is often considered the greatest concert film ever. Not only did it win an Oscar for best documentary, but it set the gold standard for the genre.

The Last Waltz (1978):
Martin Scorsese took it upon himself to direct The Band’s farewell performance in 1976. Not only did he capture the Canadian legends’ skill on stage but Scorsese gives it his visual masterstroke as well.

Stop Making Sense (1983): Directed by Jonathan Demme (Philadelphia), this Talking Heads concert film is a tribute to the showmanship of the pop act behind hits like Burning Down the House. The band may have split up in 1991, but this indelible film is still a stunning work of art.

 
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