The best concert films and videos to stream online
Written by Camões Radio on May 4, 2020
Concerts won’t happen for a long time, but you can fill the void with these performances by Beyoncé, Radiohead, Lizzo, Kamasi Washington and more.
All live music is cancelled for the foreseeable future. There are rumblings that big concerts won’t return until 2021. If you can’t be at a concert, you can at least watch a concert online.
If not for coronavirus, we’d be in the midst of Coachella’s second weekend right now. Instead, it’s been rescheduled to October (and that might still be optimistic). It’s a perfect time to relive the performance that some have called the best concert of the last decade: Beyoncé’s 2018 headlining set was a tribute to historically Black colleges and Black feminism, filling the stage with majorette dancers, marching bands, nonstop choreography and a cameo from Destiny’s Child. Co-directed by the Queen Bey herself, this concert film is nourishing enough to feed all your #couchella hunger this year.
Streaming on Netflix.
Radiohead: Live From A Tent In Dublin
There’s no shortage of Radiohead live footage online, especially now that they’ve launched the Radiohead Public Library, but they’re giving hardcore fans even more to chew on “now that you have no choice whether or not you fancy a quiet night in,” the band tweeted.
The English band is releasing a new full concert every Thursday evening until social distancing is over, or until their vault runs dry, whichever comes first. The first was this Ireland show from the year 2000, which was arguably when the band were at the height of their powers (and fans will argue). It was the Kid A era, when they were rewriting the rules of paranoid rock and electronic music crossover (including more than a few songs about isolation). They’re still a hell of a live band, but this is when they were really a hell of a live band.
The Tragically Hip: Long Time Running
This one is cheating a little because it’s not a straight-up concert film, but it’s filled with powerful and often deeply sad live footage. It’s a documentary about the Hip’s final tour before Gord Downie died, which culminates in what felt like the last big collective live music moment we experienced as a country: the band’s cathartic performance of Grace, Too at their final hometown show in Kingston, Ontario. A third of Canada watched that concert live from home, and now you can again.
Streaming on Crave.
The Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense
One of the best concert films of all time, if not THE best, this 1984 tour de force by the legendary art-rock band, captured by Jonathan Demme, changed the way we think about the staging of a rock show and music on screens in general. There’s no narrative per se, but the way it goes from David Byrne alone on stage to the full glory of the band at its full powers is captivating and also weirdly suspenseful. Plus: big suit. If you haven’t seen it, remedy that ASAP. For a bonus, check out Bill Hader, Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph’s Documentary Now! Stop Making Sense takeoff Final Transmission free on CBC Gem.
Streaming on Amazon Prime.
Kamasi Washington: Live At The Apollo Theatre
This just-released concert film finds one of the most exciting voices in jazz right now paying tribute to Harlem’s Apollo Theater and its rich cultural history. The tenor saxophonist plays with a 10-piece band, and even that barely contains the grandness of his music and vision.