November 5, 2013

The Rolling Stones’ ‘Sweet Summer Sun’ and the best live concert DVDs ever…
by Tom
Tom

by Tom Goodwyn

hmv London; 05/11/2013

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hmv.com Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows.

The Rolling Stones’ ‘Sweet Summer Sun’ and the best live concert DVDs ever…

After five years of reissues and umming and aahing about whether they’d ever go on tour again, The Rolling Stones hit the road again this summer for a series of huge outdoor shows as part of their ’50 & Counting’ world tour.

The centrepiece of the legendary rockers’ jaunt were two shows at London’s Hyde Park on July 6 and 13 which were filmed and will be released on Monday (November 11).

To celebrate this, we thought we’d look back at some of the other great live DVDs and present five of our favourites.

Nirvana: Unplugged in New York

Nirvana - 'Unplugged In New York'

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Nirvana recorded stellar studio albums, played to hundreds of thousands of people and inspired an entire generation of bands, but easily the most powerful moment in their career was this 1993 taping of the group’s unplugged show for MTV.

Stripped down to their basic elements, Nirvana’s songs show their raw primal power and just what brilliant songwriters they were. This gets more and more heartbreaking to watch as the years go by. 

Stop Making Sense

Talking Heads – ‘Stop Making Sense’

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Shot over the course of three nights at Hollywood's Pantages Theater in December 1983, Talking Heads ploughed $1.2 million of their own money into this live DVD.

Made entirely with digital audio techniques and directed by Jonathan Demme (who would later go on to direct critically acclaimed movies like Rachel Getting Married and Philadelphia), the film runs contrary to most DVDs with no quick cuts or flashy light show. Indeed the band’s frontman David Byrne actually starts their set while their crew are still setting up and is then joined by one new musician per song.

20 years on, this movie remains innovative, challenging and easily the most unique concert film.

Queen: Live at Wembley '86

Queen - 'Live at Wembley 86'

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Captured on July 12 1986 at the original Wembley Stadium, this was Queen at their absolute peak and pomp. In front of a sold-out stadium, this 28-song set is the defining portrait of Queen with Freddie Mercury, clad in his yellow military jacket, holding each and every person in the palm of his hand.

This is rock n’roll’s greatest entertainer in the form of his life.

Woodstock

Woodstock

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This 1970 film sums up the legendary 1969 festival perfectly. Over three hours long and featuring selections from Crosby, Stills & Nash, The Who and Jimi Hendrix’s sets, the movie mixes documentary footage of how this one time event came together with some of the most iconic live performances in history.

Awesome; I Fuckin' Shot That!

Awesome; I Fuckin' Shot That!

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Never a band to do anything by the book, when it came to filming their 2006 show at Madison Square Garden, Beastie Boys decided they’d try something pretty novel. Instead of hiring a film crew, the trio instead handed 50 camcorders to members of the audience in exchange for a refund on their ticket, with the only instruction given being that the new camera crew must never turn their cameras off.

It’s shonky at times, but always captivating.