Although there have been plenty of concert movies over the long history of musicians touring, there has never been anything quite like Taylor Swift: The Eras Concert. The documentary is set to hit theaters this weekend and is almost guaranteed to become the same type of phenomenon that the actual concerts were.
In time for that movie’s release, though, now seems like the perfect time to look back at the long history of concert docs to understand where The Eras Concert comes from. Here are three concert films you should check out after seeing Taylor’s latest.
Often thought of as the definitive concert documentary, Stop Making Sense has experienced a resurgence recently thanks to its re-release by A24. The movie documents a Talking Heads concert (well, really four Talking Heads concerts), and does not feature any of the usual behind-the-scenes intrigue that sometimes define these movies.
Instead, we can just be mesmerized by the actual performances of the entire band, who slowly come to the stage after singer David Byrne starts the show by himself. Whether you’re a Talking Heads fan or not, Jonathan Demme’s direction transformed Stop Making Sense into the most mesmerizing concert documentary ever made.
No one puts in the work quite the way Beyoncé does, and Homecoming allows us to see that work on full display. Giving the public the chance to watch her legendary performances at Coachella, where she was accompanied by a marching band, Homecoming also gives us insight into how the legendary singer and entertainer prepared for these seismic shows.
Featuring some of the best editing you’re ever likely to see in a concert documentary, Homecoming is a marvel to behold, and manages to fully immerse you in what it must have been like to be present for such a rapturous, thrilling pair of performances.
One of several concert documentaries Martin Scorsese has made over the course of his career, The Last Waltz follows The Band as they perform their last concert together in San Francisco in 1978. Featuring interviews with the band and several famous faces around them, The Last Waltz is really thrilling because of the many incredible performers who take the stage during the concert, including Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell, and Muddy Waters.
Whether you’re a fan of The Band or have no idea who they are, it’s worth checking out The Last Waltz to see how Scorsese shoots the whole thing and to see legend after legend take the stage.
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