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The dirty movies that will rock you!

Our reader Mariano Garcia selects five historical rockumentaries that will get even the coldest of souls shaking and jumping!

Throughout the decades there have been some dirty concerts that are still talked about today. Live Aid’s 1985 concert is a well-known example, with many in the crowd having their particular favourite artists performing on the day. Many of these have been recorded for posterity, so people in the future can watch and see what all the fuss was about. With this in mind, we’re going to look at our top five iconic rocking concert movies from the seventies.


1. Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars (DA Pennebaker, 1973)

David Bowie performed along with his glam-rock band, the Spiders from Mars, as Ziggy Stardust. It was captured by D.A. Pennebaker, which is just as well because Bowie announced to his fans that he was no longer going to perform as Stardust, much to the shock of his fans. Footage mainly includes live performances of hits and covers, as well as some backstage footage.

The film is also pictured at the top of this article.


2. Woodstock (Michael Wadleigh, 1970):

Captured from start to finish, you get a real feel of what it was like to watch musicians like Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead and Sly and the Family Stone. With promoters nearly bankrupt, they had fortunately held onto the film and recording rights and made their money back through this concert movie directed by Michael Wadleigh.


3. The Kids are Alright (Jeff Stein, 1979):

Jeff Stein shot footage of fans, crew, and the band to make this revolutionary rock music documentary, even filming them in Woodstock (1969). Stein’s snappy editing propelled this concert movie into the stratosphere, with funny moments captured for fans and music lovers. When balanced with footage of their daily lives, this perfectly captures the band in all aspects of their lives.


4. The Last Waltz (Martin Scorsese, 1978):

Martin Scorsese recorded the farewell performance by Canadian rockers The Band. The Band performed some of their hit songs sometimes accompanied by other performers, such as Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton. With interviews of each band member interspersed throughout, Scorsese manages to get footage of the band when they were on the road touring and performing on stage, with all their quirks.


5. Elvis: That’s the Way It Is (Dennis Sanders, 1970):

In 1970, Elvis Presley made a triumphant return to music after making movies for several beforehand. His sell-out concerts were immensely successful, breaking sales records in the process, and it was all captured in this concert movie. Beginning at his headquarters and ending at a Las Vegas performance, this amazing film captures many of Presley’s famous fans, including Sammy Davis Junior and Charro.


There’s something about live events that enchant us. Aside from music, sports events, like the Super Bowl, Masters, and US Open Tennis, annually have us hooked, as do performers like David Copperfield and Cirque du Soleil. However, these types of live shows don’t always require people to be present as they can also be streamed on the internet.

Sports events like esports can also be streamed on different platforms, including Twitch and Discord, with online games also being played on them. There are even sites that are dedicated to games including live poker and live bingo, where people can play with players around the world. What’s more, they can play whenever or wherever they want at times when it’s convenient for them to do so.

So there you have it, our dirty top five list of rocking concert movies captured in the seventies. Even if the music isn’t to your taste, the special moments caught on camera have retained aspects of popular culture that would otherwise be long forgotten. These concert movies have allowed different eras of music to stay alive and gain new fans. They’ve also inspired people to make music of their own for others to hear, which is something special within itself.

By Mariano Garcia - 11-01-2023

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