Have you been outside recently? Kind of sucks doesn’t it. I mean it’s hardly inspiring to get out there and enjoy the fruits of this country’s live music scene, so if you’re anything like us here at Music Feeds HQ you’ve probably been firing up a couple of live concert DVDs to to help you get over the guilt of being too soft to brave the cold and actually get out to a gig.
While some might call this a poor substitute, the production quality of these things has come a long way, as has home entertainment technology (your home speaker system is probably better than the ageing PA your local venue bought off Gumtree). It might not not be as exciting and emotional as squeezing your way to the front row to catch a glimpse of your favourite band, but there is something to be said for being able to sit back in comfort and watch the show from multiple camera angles none of which include a white guy with dreads edging into your view.
So don’t beat yourself up for wussing out on going out and take your pick from our list of the 7 Best Live Concert DVDs To Watch At Home This Winter… brought to you by the new Samsung SUHD TV.
Nine Inch Nails – Beside You In Time
To be honest I couldn’t really decide between this and And All That Could Have Been, but Beside You In Time won out because being filmed on the more recent tour – 2007’s With Teeth Tour to be precise – the light show is just that much more bloody bonkers (not to say the huge screens of the Fragility Tour weren’t awesome mind you, so do yourself a favour and check out both).
Seriously I don’t think anyone puts as much love and care into crafting an amazing live show as Nine Inch Nails/Trent Reznor does, and this tour was one of his most spectacular. Also worth noting is Aaron North who absolutely kills his guitar parts by literally beating the shit out of his guitar half the time.
Nine Inch Nails: Beside You In Time is out now on digital, Blu-Ray and DVD
Sigur Rós – Heima
Trust enigmatic Icelanders Sigur Rós to subvert the entire idea of the live concert DVD by instead taking us on a journey around their volcanic island home, visiting everything from their studio to community singing groups to a man who makes instruments out of stones and plant stalks.
Featuring some stunning live footage from the free concerts the band played as they traveled around the country filming this (their set at sunset in a field being particularly awesome), and closing with a truly cataclysmic finale in the capital of Reykjavik, not only is this one of the most visually amazing entrants on this list, being largely set in the landscape of Iceland it’s also the most wintery. Enjoy with a lot of hot toddies/hot chocolate.
Sigur Rós: Heima is out now on digital, Blu-Ray and DVD
Talking Heads – Stop Making Sense
David Byrne does everything with his own theatrical take on things, and that wasn’t about to change when he set out to make a concert film, literally deconstructing then-reconstructing Talking Heads throughout the show. Starting off with only Byrne on stage, with a new member or two joining him onstage with each successive song, the band is literally built around him as he dances and parades enthusiastically across the stage.
Featuring the first appearance of his now famous “big suit” Stop Making Sense was a critical and commercial success, and saw the re-release of the live version of Once In A Lifetime as a single, with the entire audio recording of the show also being released as a soundtrack.
Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense is out now on digital, Blu-Ray and DVD
Beastie Boys – Awesome, I Fuckin’ Shot That
Some bands need a crazy light show, or hordes of dancers to impress their audience and deliver a memorable live show. Beastie Boys are not that kind of band, and they proved that with their Awesome, I Fuckin Shot That live concert DVD, that was entirely shot by fans on camcorders handed out at their Madison Square Garden show on their last proper tour back in 2006.
If high production value matters to you, this probably isn’t the live concert DVD for you. But if just sheer awesomeness of performance and catchy songs are closer to your heart, look no further. Plus, their songs are so fucking hot they’ll even warm up this freezing winter.
Beastie Boys: Awesome, I Fuckin’ Shot Thatis out now on digital, Blu-Ray and DVD
Justice – A Cross The Universe
If you thought Justice were just a pair of limp-wristed former fashion designers gone electro, all you really need to do is watch this tour doco/live concert DVD to see that a) these guys know how to party, and b) they put on one of the most brutal live shows in dance music.
Judging from the live footage in A Cross The Universe, Justice live is about as mellow as seeing Slayer. Tracking the duo as the traverse the US, the shows are all strobes and near death metal level heaviness while their off stage antics are even more entertaining. I don’t want to ruin anything for you guys, but suffice to say this film is a love letter to the twisted excesses one can reach in the land of free.
Justice: A Cross The Universe is out now on digital, Blu-Ray and DVD
Pink Floyd – Live At Pompei
As much as all the above entries are amazing, Pink Floyd kind of nailed the whole concept better than anyone back in the ’70s with this deceptively simple idea. Why not film a concert played to no one but a camera crew in an ancient roman amphitheatre in the ruins of Pompei? Rock n’ roll has been trying to catch up this ever since.
The real beauty of this film however is that it transcends the medium of live concert DVD, briefly taking us into the studio even to hear the band working on The Dark Side Of The Moon (only included after the 1974 re-release of the film). The performance elements are nevertheless some of the best and most creatively edited live music sequences ever shot, including the iconic shot of Roger Waters banging a huge gong as the sun sets behind it. Oh and drummer Nick Mason’s glorious handle moustache blowing in the breeze is also a highlight.
Pink Floyd: Live At Pompei is out now on digital, Blu-Ray and DVD
Rammstein – Live In Amerika
When first putting this list together it was mainly just Rammstein live shows. I mean there are plenty to choose from. But in the name of variety/doing what I’m told, I’ve decided to pick only one, and I’ve gone with Live In Amerika, not because it’s my favourite (Live At Volkerball) or the weirdest (Live In Berlin) but because it’s so much more entertaining to watch an American crowd try and sing along with the German lyrics.
Oh and it’s also one hell of a spectacle-filled show, with singer Till Lindeman making as many costume changes as your run of the mill pop star, although instead of strappy backless numbers he’s sporting huge fire spewing metal wings or some other such crazy contraption. Watching this DVD it’s hard to escape the unavoidable truth that flame throwers kind of make everything better.
Rammstein: Live In Amerika is out now on digital, Blu-Ray and DVD