Concert videos are supposed to give fans the experience of seeing a band live. Sometimes it makes you want to see a band even more. Other times, it makes you happy that you didn’t plunk down $200 for a ticket. Some people could do without them, but some fans love concert videos because it may be the only way to see their favorite band live. Most of these videos offer great visuals, an energetic performance, or just a good time. These are the ten that will leave an impression on you long after the video ends.
- Live from the Vic in Chicago– Cage the Elephant
I’ve mentioned how awesome this band is live already, but this DVD is visual proof. This concert feels like you’re actually seeing the band in person. There are no fancy effects, no cutaway scenes to see what’s happening backstage and no editing to make the concert look slicker. What you see is what you get. The show is full of energy from the entire band, especially from enigmatic singer Matt Schultz. The setlist is stellar. It has the best songs from their two albums, plus an awesome cover of “Psycho Killer” by The Talking Heads. This video shows that Cage the Elephant is one of the best new acts in rock music.
- Beside You in Time- Nine Inch Nails
This is another high energy show that will have you jumping around your living room. Reznor and company deliver the hits along with material from With Teeth. Nine Inch Nails can really put on a show and though it may not be insane like their early performances, it’s energetic and crazy enough to keep you entertained. Not only is Reznor great, but his tour band is fantastic as well. You can’t go wrong when you have Jeordie White aka Twiggy from Marilyn Manson and Aaron North providing kick ass musical backup.
- Guns, God, Government- Live in LA– Marilyn Manson
Both versions of this concert are great, but I specifically chose this one because the footage comes from one show whereas the other one is a collection of clips from various shows. Manson really proves himself to be a hell of a frontman. Crazy costumes, insane stage antics, including tearing out pages from the bible, and out of this world performances fill this DVD. For his song “Cruci-Fiction in Space” Manson is raised on a platform to the point where it looks like he’s touching the roof of the stadium. While people may write him off now, this video shows why he was one of the best performers of his time.
- Festival 2005- The Cure
The Cure have quite a few concert videos, so it was really hard to pick just one. Cure fans know that Cure In Orange is phenomenal, but wanting to spotlight another one of their concerts I chose this 2005 release. This is when Porl Thompson rejoined the band, so this is a pretty epic show. The setlist is massive with 30 songs being performed. Robert’s vocals are spot on and he has a lot of fun with the crowd. One thing that makes the concert unique is the type of footage that it uses. The quality ranges from professional to fan footage. It makes each song exciting and interesting. The band performs songs from just about all their albums, including the masterpiece Pornography. Any Cure fan must have this.
- Under Blackpool Lights– The White Stripes
This is the first DVD released by The White Stripes and it’s their best. If you don’t understand why this group was one of the most loved bands during the 2000’s then watch this show. This band is amazing live! Jack’s energetic and really gets to show off his amazing guitar skills. You’ll be awed with how White starts off performing one song and flawlessly transitions into another without stopping. Also, the chemistry between him and Meg is just adorable. It’s a truly amazing concert that shows why this band is sorely missed today.
- Bullet in a Bible– Green Day
Green Day is an awesome band and they’re even better live. Over the past few years Billie Joe Armstrong has really dedicated himself to becoming a frontman who interacts with the crowd and makes sure they have a good time. He succeeds as he pumps up the audience, puts on different outfits, dances on stage and of course plays the hell out of guitar. Another thing that makes this video great is the behind the scenes footage that’s included. The footage ranges from serious thoughts about performing in front of a large crowd, partying after the show, and them preparing for the show. It’s a really great video that proves they are one of the biggest bands on Earth.
- MTV Unplugged in New York/ Live at the Paramount– Nirvana
It was really hard to pick just one video by Nirvana, so I went with these two because they show both sides of the band. The Unplugged video shows that the band doesn’t lose its stride in an acoustic setting. Even though they did more covers than their own songs, they managed to make them their own. Listen to “Man Who Sold the World” and tell me it isn’t better than Bowie’s version? The Paramount DVD on the other hand shows how energetic and destructive they are in an electric setting. Most fans will say their set at the Reading Festival was better, but I feel this show is superior because this is before Nirvana mania hit, so they seem to enjoy performing, rather than loathing it. They even perform “Smells Like Teen Spirit” without a fuss.
- HAARP– Muse
Muse is a fantastic band that is still highly underrated in America. They’re energetic, innovative, crazy, and fun, which is what you’ll find on this DVD. The band has two other concert videos, but for this one, everything is bigger and better. They’ve pulled out all stops to make sure this is the best show anyone has ever seen. Also, it’s pretty sweet how Matt Bellamy has a freaking robot bring out his guitar! This video will leave you mesmerized with both their live set and Matt’s dreamy vocals.
- Live!- Blonde Ambition Tour ’90– Madonna
This show absolutely blew me away when I first saw it. It shows how much of a tour de force Madonna was in her heyday. Not only does she sing her ass off, she dances it off too. Beautiful costumes and intricate sets make each song an experience. You feel like you’re in the story that Madonna is telling. And of course it’s provocative and erotic, did you expect anything else from the diva? Unfortunately, this one still isn’t out on DVD, but hopefully, it will see a re-release soon. It really needs it.
- Live in Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour– Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson was the greatest entertainer ever. Though his later years were plagued by controversy and court cases, it doesn’t change the fact that he was a great performer. This is the concert that proves so. When it was first broadcast on HBO, just about every household tuned in. Just as with Madonna’s show, this concert is an experience in itself. Even though you’re sitting at home watching it you feel like you’re a part of the crowd watching Michael perform the mysterious anti-gravity lean or him suddenly towering over you during “Beat It.” It’s an awesome show filled with his biggest hits and his best dancing yet. Plus, the ending where he flies over the audience in a jetpack suit is exhilarating (even though it isn’t really him).
Did your favorite concert video make the list? Is there one that I missed? Let me know in the comments below!