Concerts and Music Documentaries

Fans at a music concert

In March 2020, most of the live music industry shut down. While opportunities to see live music are starting to return, concerts are still relatively rare and many of us are not yet ready to be part of a crowd.

For those music fans looking to scratch that "live music" itch, look no further than Alachua County Library District's extensive collection of concerts and music documentaries on DVD. Turn the lights down low and the volume up and enjoy some of the most thrilling concerts and performances captured on film.

Amazing Grace

This universally acclaimed and beloved documentary presents the live recording of Aretha Franklin's album Amazing Grace at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Watts, Los Angeles, in January 1972.

The Dance
Fleetwood Mac

The Dance documents the 1997 reunion that proved Fleetwood Mac's musicianship was in peak form. It's comprised of 22 top songs including fan favorites "Landslide," "Gypsy," and "The Chain."

Dave Chappelle's Block Party

Join Dave Chappelle as he travels through the heartland and makes a special stop in his hometown to pass out invitations to attend the event of the decade. It's a front row seat for outrageous comedy with music from artists including Kanye West, Erykah Badu, the Roots, and the Fugees.

Jay-Z in Fade to Black

What was, at the time, the final live show of multi-platinum, Grammy-award winning artist, Jay-Z, performing at Madison Square Garden.

Jazz on a Summer's Day

Filmed at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival in Rhode Island and directed by world-renowned photographer Bert Stern, Jazz on a Summer’s Day features intimate performances by an all-star line-up of musical legends including Louis Armstrong, Thelonious Monk, Gerry Mulligan, Anita O’Day, Chuck Berry, Dinah Washington, and closes with a beautiful rendition of "The Lord’s Prayer" by Mahalia Jackson at midnight to usher in Sunday morning.

The Last Waltz

The Band, one of rock's superstar groups, decided to call it quits after 16 grueling years on the road. The group held this farewell concert on Thanksgiving Day, 1976, at San Francisco's Winterland, the site of their first performance. The performance is interspersed with interview footage.

Long Strange Trip: The Untold Story of The Grateful Dead

Examines the long career of the Grateful Dead, featuring new interviews with the surviving members of the group and never-before-seen footage of the group's performances.

Monterey Pop

Monterey Pop is the first filmed document of a rock festival. The Monterey Pop Festival was held on California's Monterey Peninsula in 1967 and helped launch the careers of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Otis Redding. Moments such as Pete Townshend destroying his guitar and Jimi Hendrix burning his were immortalized in this film.

Neil Young: Heart of Gold

Neil Young: Heart of Gold is a love letter to the consistency and familiarity of Neil Young's voice, a floating silver reed with all the colors of moonlight in it. The songs are from Young's albums Prairie Wind, Harvest Moon, and Harvest. For the premiere of Prairie Wind, Young gathered long-time bandmates and old friends like Emmylou Harris for a performance that has the feel of a casual reunion picnic. Held at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium--the original home of the Grand Ole Opry, and a room with what may be the finest acoustics in the universe - the whole ensemble nattily attired in neatly tailored traditional western get-ups, it is as if the ghosts of the Ryman are singing through them. Young's songs speak to ensuring continuity between the past and the present, while cutting a path into the future, and he and his fellow performers open themselves so wholly to their surroundings that they become a part of it.

Nirvana: Live at the Paramount

Nirvana shot to stardom in the early 1990s with the release of their seminal album Nevermind. Hailing from a small town outside Seattle and led by the talented but fragile Kurt Cobain, the album was a surprise success and spawned numerous offshoots and a whole new movement known as "grunge." The band were never entirely comfortable with this label or their mainstream success in general and disbanded in 1994 after Cobain's suicide. This release captures them at their peak, playing a hometown show at Seattle's Paramount Theatre on the back of the Nevermind tour.

Stop Making Sense

Widely hailed as the greatest concert movie ever made, director Jonathan Demme's celebrated film captures Talking Heads live at Hollywood's Pantages Theatre in December, 1983. The film's legendary opening sees David Byrne walk onto an empty stage and give a mesmerising, stripped-back rendition of "Psycho Killer." From here the set and the band literally evolve song by song until both are complete and Byrne appears in his iconic "big suit." Capturing the infectious energy of a unique Talking heads performance, Stop Making Sense is an unforgettable musical and cinematic experience.

Under Great White Northern Lights

In 2007, Emmett Malloy joined the White Stripes's Canadian tour to record their concerts in venues ranging from concert halls to bowling alleys to fishing boats to tiny town squares.


Wattstax documents the concert that came to be known as "the Black Woodstock," held on the anniversary of 1965 Watts Riot with 100,000 in attendance.

Descriptions adapted from the publisher.
By CameronB on November 2, 2021