The best of concert movies

According to CNN, the average ticket price to attend a One Direction concert is $674.23. A cheaper option would be to watch the 3-D movie (now with 20 minutes of new footage), for only $16. Or even better, rent a DVD of one of these classic concert films recommended by readers. But you’ll have to provide your own screaming.

Irish Photo Archive

Charlie Is My Darling (1966)

  • All five picks could be Rolling Stones movies, but best might be the Maysles brothers’ terrific “Gimme Shelter.” Rick Ouellette however suggests this Peter Whitehead documentary of their 1965 tour of Ireland. It shows a band that’s a work in progress, but, as Rick says, “I wonder if One Direction will be around in 50 years!”

Warner Home Video

Woodstock (1969)

  • In “The Omega Man” (1971), the world is in ruins and overrun with killer mutants, but “Woodstock” is still playing for the last person alive, Charlton Heston. And well it should: Nearly every pop group that ever mattered performs for a crowd half a million strong, topped off by Jimi Hendrix’s apocalyptic version of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

United Artists

The Last Waltz (1978)

  • “Ain’t in It for My Health: A Film About Levon Helm” (2010), a fine documentary about the late founding member of The Band, played recently at the MFA. You can see more of him, his fellow musicians, and other stars like Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, and Bob Dylan in this account of the group’s farewell concert, filmed by arch-groupie Martin Scor-sese.

Stop Making Sense (1984)

  • With Jonathan Demme and David Byrne of the Talking Heads getting with the same program, the result is bound to be brilliant. From the beat box on the bare stage playing “Psycho Killer” to the big suit donned for “Girlfriend Is Better,” the film — musically, cinematically, and conceptually — makes a lot of sense.

Message to Love: The Isle of Wight Festival 1970 (1997)

  • Somewhere between the exultation of Woodstock and the terror of Altamont lies the moral ambiguity of this five-day shindig. It featured the Who, the Moody Blues, Leonard Cohen, and many others at their peak, but also Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison at their nadir — the last show for both before their untimely deaths.


  • Robert De Niro plays yet another wise guy in the mob comedy “The Family” (opened Friday). Among his performances, mobster or otherwise, which are his biggest hits? And, looking ahead to next Sunday: Some see the 3-D reformatting of “The Wizard of Oz” (re-released this Friday) as blasphemous. Others think it’s about time. What other classics might benefit from the new technology? Put your picks in the comment section or send them to Cast your votes at

  • Peter Keough can reached at

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