The Best Concert Movies Of All Time
A quick note before CHL starts this hlist. We define a concert movie as a flick that documents one or more shows on a tour. More narrative-oriented rock flicks like D.A. Pennebaker's Bob Dylan mash note Don't Look Back, Charles Peterson's grunge chronicle Hype!, and of course the lighthearted GG Allin tale, Hated, don't count this time.
We are running this hlist today because this hweek's birthday boy, Elvis Presley, had his time to shine in 1970's That's The Way It Is. If anyone ever tries to belittle the amount of love that the King got back in his heyday, show them this glimpse into what it was like to see him live post-'68 comeback. We'll cover the best rock docs next week, but for now let's have a look at the best concert films ever, or at least the ones CHL liked enough to include on our hlist.
Some of these are the best documents we have of a band at the zenith of their live creativity, and some are a lively representation of a band in their death throes before they shuffle off into the sunset, or at least until someone throws enough cash at them to belly back up to the stage.
Word has it that the producers and director Martin Scorsese had to pony up a load of cash to erase the lump of cocaine seen inside Neil Young's nose during his appearance on this live film of The Band's last concert on Thanksgiving Night 1976. Elvis' "Mystery Train," featuring '60s British blues maestro Paul Butterfield, is an early standout.