The other day on the blogs we asked for your favourite live DVDs. Now, based on your suggestions and our own faves, we’ve compiled a list of the top 20. First up: REM’s ‘Tourfilm’. Recorded 1989. It captured a band at the peak of their powers. Michael Stipe had an appalling haircut at the time, though.
Nirvana, ‘MTV Unplugged In New York’. Recorded Nov 1993. This live performance at NYC’s Sony Music Studio wasn’t actually released on DVD until 2007. It was worth the wait, though – packed with extra material, including originally unreleased live versions of ‘Something In The Way’ and ‘Oh Me’. Click here to buy the DVD.
Radiohead, ‘Meeting People Is Easy’. Recorded 1997. Yes, it’s whiny and relentlessly downbeat, but there’s something about the sombre mood and fast-cut cinematography that makes it a perfect accompaniment to ‘OK Computer’. Click here to buy the DVD.
The Rolling Stones, ‘Gimme Shelter’. Recorded Dec 1969. This one follows the band on the last weeks of their 1969 US tour, and was originally screened at the 1971 Cannes Film Festival. Fun fact: George Lucas was one of the camera operators at the Altamont Free Concert (which is included on this DVD). Click here to buy the DVD.
Talking Heads, ‘Stop Making Sense’. Recorded Dec 1983. Recorded over three nights at Pantages Theater in Hollywood, this was the first live DVD made entirely with digital audio techniques – which the band paid for themselves (at a whopping $1.2 million). Click here to buy the DVD.
Oasis, ‘Lord Don’t Slow Me Down’. Recorded May 2005-Mar 2006. There’s some unique backstage access from their global tour, but the best parts are during the directors’ commentary. Noel and Liam’s verbal jousting is priceless. Click here to buy the DVD.
Led Zeppelin – ‘The Song Remains The Same’. Recorded 1973. Robert Plant called it “a load of old bollocks” and John Paul Jones had to wear a wig in some reshoots, but it’s ace just for ridiculous fantasy scenes at the start, and Peter Grant attacking bootleg merch sellers. Click here to buy the DVD.
Muse, ‘HAARP’. Recorded June 2007. A live DVD/CD combo, this was recorded at London’s Wembley Stadium for a crowd of about 180,000. Not too shabby. NME also ranked this one of the best live albums of all time. Click here to buy the DVD.
Pendulum, ‘Live At Brixton Academy’. Recorded Dec 2008. Brixton Academy is home to many rock’n’roll shenanigans (like the NME Awards) but it hosted a pretty wild Pendulum gig. This DVD includes footage filmed by 12 fans, providing home viewers with a pretty nifty view of the stage. Click here to buy the DVD.
Sigur Ros, ‘Heima’. Recorded 2006. Not only does it take you to their big festival appearances and smaller-scale concerts, but there’s also footage of a small acoustic show for the band’s friends and family, live from a tiny coffee shop in Iceland. Click here to buy the DVD.
The White Stripes, ‘Under Blackpool Lights’. Recorded Jan 2004. 26 songs recorded at The Empress Ballroom in Blackpool – including covers of Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton and Leadbelly. Apparently, Meg played a joke on director Dick Carruthers, switching the writing on Jack’s arm between songs. Click here to buy the DVD.
U2, ‘U2 360° at the Rose Bowl’. Recorded Oct 2009. Remember that huge spider stage they built? You can see it in this live footage from the band’s Rose Bowl show in Pasadena, California. It was originally broadcast via YouTube – but you can watch it in better quality on this DVD. Click here to buy the DVD.
The Band, ‘The Last Waltz’. Recorded Nov 1976. Filmed on Thanksgiving day at San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom by Martin Scorsese, you can find guest appearances from the likes of Eric Clapton, Neil Diamond, Van Morrison, Ringo Star and Neil Young. Click here to buy the DVD.
Justice, ‘A Cross The Universe’. Recorded March 2008. This documentary/live CD is from the band’s North American tour and was directed by the band, with the help of Romain Gavras and So Me. The live video bits are pulled from the duo’s show at San Francisco’s Concourse Exhibition Center. Click here to buy the DVD.
The Cure, ‘Trilogy: Live In The Tempodrom Berlin’. Recorded Nov 2002. This two-disc DVD has ‘Pornography’, ‘Disintegration’ and ‘Bloodflowers’ in their entirety. You can also find some special features (like a special microphone-situated camera that allows you to look up Robert Smith’s nose). Click here to buy the DVD.
Blur, ‘No Distance Left To Run’. Recorded 2009. OK, so it’s more of a documentary, but it’s got live footage, as well. It earned the band their first Grammy nomination (for “Best Long Form Music Video”). Click here to buy the DVD.
The Cribs – ‘Live At The Brudenell Social Club’. Recorded Dec 2007. From their three-night stand of the first three albums a few Christmases ago. The backstage footage that edits it all together is vintage Cribs hilariousness. Click here to buy the DVD.
Arctic Monkeys, ‘At The Apollo’. Recorded Dec 2007. It’s directed by Richard Ayoade (the man behind that wonderful new film ‘Submarine’), and it comes along with a CD of the live set. This one also took home the “Best DVD” award at the Shockwaves NME Awards 2009. Click here to buy the DVD.
Arcade Fire, ‘Miroir Noir’. Recorded Dec 2008. The documentary about the making of their 2007 album ‘Neon Bible’ also includes footage shot by the band themselves while on tour. It was co-directed by Vincent Morisset (who also worked on the interactive ‘Neon Bible’ video). Click here to buy the DVD.