Concerts and live shows are still banned in New York City for the foreseeable future due to the covid-19 pandemic. For all the sinners who come to this site, that’s a real bummer since you all are probably very much big music fans like we are. Luckily during this pandemic, we have had streaming services to get our concert fix. Here is a selection of rocking concert films currently streaming on various services that will help get you by these uncool times.
The groovy ghoulies from Denmark celebrate three decades of putting out some of the best psychobilly out there. Watch Kim Nekroman slap his custom coffinbass to hits such as “Who Killed the Cheerleader?” and “Gargoyles Over Copenhagen.”
All the attitude and sleaze of the legendary New York band is on full display in this raw documentary on their west coast tour. Outrageous television appearances, fun with groupies and kick ass musical performances show what a force the New York Dolls were. Despite being filmed in gritty black and white, the glam rock style of these early forerunners of both punk and hair metal is fully on display.
In 1970 an all-star line-up of counterculture rock acts including Janis Joplin, the Flying Burrito Brothers, the Band, and the Grateful Dead, among many more toured Canada. Rather than travel by bus or jet, a railroad train was chartered. This results in the ultimate party train with multiple jam sessions happening in different cars and at one point the train stopping dead in its tracks just to reload on alcohol.
This festival is important in that it shows the transition of pop chart dominance from new wave to heavy metal. Dividing the Memorial Day weekend festival in different genre days, the show starts off with new wave acts. Unfortunately, the new wave headliners the Clash begin their downfall at this show. It would take the metal acts on the final day, including Judas Priest and an up-and-coming Quiet Riot, to steal the show and thunder. Thus began the 80s metal era.
The Hollywood Bowl hosts an electrifying performance by the Doors in this classic concert film. Jim Morrison is at his best in this film and you can clearly feel his charisma emitting from the screen.
In the era of Marilyn Manson, GWAR, and even Lady Gaga, it is easy to forget how crazy an Alice Cooper stage show was. This concert from his 1978 tour shows all the Grand Guignol and vaudeville that went into his act, backed by a blistering hard rock attack from the Ultra Latex Band.
The musical brilliance of Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention is in full force in this 1973 concert film. In addition to the jazz rock experimentation of the band, their comedic interludes also show what a truly groundbreaking and entertaining act they were.
It’s not every day you get to meet your idol, let alone jam with them on stage. Rock legends, the Rolling Stones got to do just that with an even bigger legend, blues icon Muddy Waters. This once-in-a-lifetime concert was immortalized in this film.
The English electronic rockers, Muse create a trippy visual and audio experience with Simulation Theory. Part concert and part science-fiction film, Simulation Theory has amazing special effects that transports you to a neon fantasy world.
Penelope Spheeris documents the bands and scenesters of Las Angeles in these two 80s cult favorites. The original film highlights the LA Hardcore scene and features live performances by a pre-Henry Rollins Black Flag, Fear, X, the Circle Jerks and the Germs. Seven years later she returned to the strip to highlight the metal era with Megadeth, Faster Pussycat and Lizzy Borden providing live performances. Even crazier than the kinetic live performances are the revealing and controversial interviews in both films.