The most anticipated concert film of all time will hit theaters on October 13th when ‘Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour’ is released.
But Taylor Swift is not the first musician to release a concert film. Artists including Beyoncé, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles have all released concert movies, while Oscar-winning filmmakers like Martin Scorsese, Peter Jackson, and Jonathan Demme have taken a crack at translating the magic these performers create on stage to the big screen.
In honor of the release of ‘The Eras Tour,’ Moviefone is counting down the top 20 concert movies of all time!
Note: For this list we are including both concert movies and documentaries about musicians that include concert footage.
Tells the story of Justin Bieber, the kid from Canada with the hair, the smile and the voice: It chronicles his unprecedented rise to fame, all the way from busking in the streets of Stratford, Canada to putting videos on YouTube to selling out Madison Square Garden in New York as the headline act during the My World Tour from 2010.
Trip (Dane DeHann), a young roadie for Metallica, is sent on an urgent mission during the band’s show. But what seems like a simple assignment turns into a surreal adventure.
“One film that won’t f-f-f-f-fade away”
1 hr 41 minJun 15th, 1979
“Be yourself and you can be anything”
1 hr 33 minJul 5th, 2012
Hammersmith Odeon, London, July 3, 1973. British singer David Bowie performs his alter ego Ziggy Stardust for the very last time. A decadent show, a hallucinogenic collage of kitsch, pop irony and flamboyant excess: a musical symbiosis of feminine passion and masculine dominance that defines Bowie’s art and the glam rock genre.
“The historic farewell performance of the king of glitter rock.”
1 hr 30 minDec 23rd, 1983
A once-in-a-lifetime live, global original concert event offering fans from around the world a front-row seat to witness the groundbreaking magic of the Rocket Man back at Dodger Stadium and showcasing Elton John as audiences have never seen him before, paying tribute to the icon and the seminal moment in 1975 that cemented his global success.
The best of Led Zeppelin’s legendary 1973 appearances at Madison Square Garden. Interspersed throughout the concert footage are behind-the-scenes moments with the band. Includes blistering live renditions of “Black Dog,” “Dazed and Confused,” “Stairway to Heaven,” “Whole Lotta Love,” “The Song Remains the Same,” and “Rain Song” among others.
In 1987, to capitalize on his growing success in Europe, Prince toured extensively to promote the album of the same name and sales increased accordingly. However, the United States remained resistant to his latest album, and sales began to drop; it was at this point that Prince decided to film a live concert promoting the new material, for eventual distribution to theaters in America.
“If you go to only one concert this year… the Prince movie is the one!”
1 hr 24 minNov 20th, 1987
On the 30th of January, 1969, the Beatles performed an unannounced concert from the rooftop of their Apple Corps headquarters at Savile Row, within central London’s office and fashion district. Experience the final and unforgettable iconic performance of The Beatles in a special 60-minute presentation, digitally remastered into the image and sound quality of IMAX DMR technology. Directed by Peter Jackson.
An intimate look at the Woodstock Music & Art Festival held in Bethel, NY in 1969, from preparation through cleanup, with historic access to insiders, blistering concert footage, and portraits of the concertgoers; negative and positive aspects are shown, from drug use by performers to naked fans sliding in the mud, from the collapse of the fences by the unexpected hordes to the surreal arrival of National Guard helicopters with food and medical assistance for the impromptu city of 500,000.
A detailed chronicle of the famous 1969 tour of the United States by the British rock band The Rolling Stones, which culminated with the disastrous and tragic concert held on December 6 at the Altamont Speedway Free Festival, an event of historical significance, as it marked the end of an era: the generation of peace and love suddenly became the generation of disillusionment.
Directed by Cameron Crowe and carved from over 1,200 hours of footage spanning the band’s career, ‘Pearl Jam: Twenty’ is the definitive portrait of Pearl Jam. Part concert film, part intimate insider-hang, and part testimonial to the power of music.
From the rain of Japan, through threats of arrest for ‘public indecency’ in Canada, and a birthday tribute to her father in Detroit, this documentary follows Madonna on her 1990 ‘Blond Ambition’ concert tour. Filmed in black and white, with the concert pieces in glittering MTV color, it is an intimate look at the work of the music performer, from a prayer circle with the dancers before each performance to bed games with the dance troupe afterwards.
Directed by Martin Scorsese, part documentary, part concert film, and part fever dream, this film captures the troubled spirit of America in 1975 and the joyous music that Dylan performed during the fall of that year.
A concert film documenting Talking Heads at the height of their popularity, on tour for their 1983 album “Speaking in Tongues.” The band takes the stage one by one and is joined by a cadre of guest musicians for a career-spanning and cinematic performance that features creative choreography and visuals. Directed by Jonathan Demme.
“Why stop making sense? Why a movie? Why a big suit? Where do the odd movements come from? What will the band do next?”
1 hr 28 minNov 16th, 1984
Released in 1977 and directed by Jerry Garcia, is a film that captures performances from the Grateful Dead’s October 1974 five-night stand at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. This end-of-tour run marked the beginning of an extended hiatus for the band, with no shows planned for 1975. The movie also faithfully portrays the burgeoning Deadhead scene. The film features the “Wall of Sound” concert sound system that the Dead used for all of 1974.
In this wildly entertaining vision of one of the twentieth century’s greatest artists, Bob Dylan is surrounded by teen fans, gets into heated philosophical jousts with journalists, and kicks back with fellow musicians Joan Baez, Donovan, and Alan Price.
Martin Scorsese’s documentary intertwines footage from “The Band’s” incredible farewell tour with probing backstage interviews and featured performances by Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, and other rock legends.
“It Started as a Concert. It Became a Celebration.”
1 hr 57 minDec 31st, 1978