Best DVDs for gifting this season

Lady Gaga’s “Monster Ball” tour is showcased on a new DVD.
Eric Thayer/REUTERS
Lady Gaga’s “Monster Ball” tour is showcased on a new DVD.

Beyoncé, “Live at Roseland: Elements of 4’’ For better or worse, Beyoncé’s videos for her latest album, “4,’’ have been buzzed about this year, and the double-disc deluxe edition gathers them all on one DVD. It also includes a concert film shot during her four-night stand at New York’s Roseland Ballroom in August, featuring most of “4’’ plus older solo work and Destiny’s Child material. (Out Nov. 29)

Taylor Swift, “Journey to Fearless’’ and “Speak Now World Tour Live’’ For that person on your shopping list who can’t get enough of Taylor Swift - and obviously there are plenty of those folks - there are two gifts to pick up this year. “Journey to Fearless’’ captures the country-pop star on the road to world domination; on the “Speak Now World Tour Live’’ CD/DVD combo she has clearly arrived.

Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, “Live at the US Festival 1983’’ One of the ideas behind the US Festival, which took place in 1982 and ’83 in California, was to showcase every genre imaginable. Waylon and Willie were two of country music’s most beloved ambassadors, and these two individual concert films immortalize their separate performances. (It’s also comical to see how little Willie’s set list has changed since then.)


“Lady Gaga Presents the Monster Ball Tour at Madison Square Garden’’ It was the juggernaut tour that refused to quit and instead mutated into something bigger (and sometimes better) each time she took it on the road. Lady Gaga’s “Monster Ball’’ came alive through a staggering number of Top 40 hits, costume changes, and dance routines. Shot in her hometown over two nights in February, the film was later broadcast on HBO.

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Martha Argerich, “Verbier Festival 2010’’ The revered pianist may be prone to cancellations, but she showed up - and how - for these pulse-quickening performances of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 1, recorded live at the Verbier Festival under the baton of Gábor Tákacs-Nagy.

“Pearl Jam Twenty’’ A solid documentary on the career of the enduring Seattle rockers from the Academy Award-nominated director Cameron Crowe. The DVD features several extras, including a tour of Eddie Vedder’s house. For the “Ten Club’’ member in your house, also out is a lavish accompanying coffee table book of the same name with many never before seen photos.

Various Artists, “The Bridge School Concerts: 25th Anniversary Edition’’ When Neil Young calls to ask friends to be part of his benefit concerts for children, they come and bring their A-game. This two-disc set offers a sampling of the wide range of performers including Bruce Springsteen, Metallica, R.E.M., David Bowie, Pearl Jam, Fleet Foxes, and Devendra Banhart.

“Talihina Sky: The Story of Kings of Leon’’ If you’re a fan of the rocking Followill clan you will no doubt be engrossed by this chronicle of the members’ back story, from their devout religious upbringing to their rise to rock star status, complete with home video and candid interviews from the road.


Rush, “Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland’’ This disc captures the legendary Canadian rockers on their most recent tour, during which they played the classic album “Moving Pictures’’ in its entirety. In addition to the show itself, the disc includes several tour concept videos and rare live footage from the ’70s.

“Peter Gabriel: New Blood - Live in London’’ Gabriel brought this visually and aurally stimulating tour - which reworks some hits, album cuts, and covers from his “Scratch My Back’’ project in a dramatic orchestral setting - to the Comcast Center this past summer and it was a stunner, particularly the hypnotic and tumultuous “The Rhythm of the Heat.’’