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The All Time Great Concert Films

With Led Zeppelin's imminent O2 Arena show concert film, we thought it would be worth looking at some of the all time great concert films to see what it's up against.

The "Concert Film", prior to the advent of the DVD, was a really special and pretty rare beast. Most bands took great care over the release of live films, often hiring top movie directors and big name producers to help get them right. The films were often as important and as much of an event as a new album or tour.

In recent years, with the cost of recording equipment plummeting and the cost of DVD production at rock bottom prices it's become very easy to release a live film ever couple of years, and that's what a lot of bands do as a supplemental income to the diminishing sales of studio albums. The result is that there has been a saturation of the concert film market and the really exceptional live concert movies are occasionally lost in a fog of cheaper imitations.

We decided to compile the definitive list of really, truly classic concert films for you.

See how many you've seen / own.

  • The Last Waltz (1978) The Last Waltz (1978)

    Martin Scorsese helps The Band say goodbye with the ultimate farewell concert and the single greatest live film of all time

  • The Song Remains The Same (1976) The Song Remains The Same (1976)

    Ignore those weird fantasy bits - at its heart this is Zeppelin live at their peak and it's remarkable

  • Pink Floyd - Live At Pompeii (1972) Pink Floyd - Live At Pompeii (1972)

    Alright - not really a concert film in the traditional sense, but it does capture a really amazing time in the history of Pink Floyd

  • Stop Making Sense (1984) Stop Making Sense (1984)

    The second farewell concert of the list is as much performance art as it is a concert. The Talking Heads might not be everyone's cup of tea but there's no doubting the quality of this movie

  • AC/DC: Live At Donington (1992) AC/DC: Live At Donington (1992)

    One of AC/DC's greatest ever performances was caught on tape at one of the last Monsters Of Rock festivals - unmissable rock and roll

  • The Rolling Stones - Shine A Light (2008) The Rolling Stones - Shine A Light (2008)

    One of the most recent films on this list - the Rolling Stones' 2008 Shine A Light is the best live representation of what makes the Rolling Stones so special

  • Queen Live At Wembley '86 Queen Live At Wembley '86

    The band's final tour provided many highlights and this movie provides fans with a lasting goodbye that still stands up as one of the all time great live performances by ANY band ever

  • Foo Fighters Live At Wembley (2008) Foo Fighters Live At Wembley (2008)

    This film catches the moment when a rock band becomes a Stadium Rock Band - an exhilarating example of why the Foos are the only genuine rock giant to have emerged in the past 20 years

  • Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars (1973) Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars (1973)

    The third farewell concert film on the list (what is it about these goodbyes?) and it's David Bowie's space alien rockstar alter-ego giving himself an almighty send off

  • Rust Never Sleeps (1979) Rust Never Sleeps (1979)

    This 1979 masterpiece somehow manages to capture the beautiful chaos of a Neil Young concert


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