Jerry Garcia & David Grisman* Grateful Dawg *- this is a wonderful look at the other side of Jerry - the banjo pickin’ traditional appalachian/sea shanty singin’ side, and has lots of great in the studio material. Grisman, one of the greatest living mandolin players, isn’t too shabby either. Mostly them recording in the studio for the album Not For Kids Only and some rare Garcia/Grisman and Old & In the Way performances. If you like Garcia, Grisman, roots or old-time, you should watch this. Not jam band at all.
Alison Krauss and Union Station * Live *- Unbelievable concert from the best group performing newgrass/country today. Even if it weren’t for Alison’s stunning voice and amazing songs, Jerry Douglas’ dobro playing is some of the best I’ve ever heard. Period.
Ben Folds Five - Sessions at West 54th Great performance, great video.
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double TroubleLive From Austin, Texas. Your jaw will hit the floor so hard your shoes will fly off.
Neil YoungMTV Unplugged - A seminal performance, and gives rare insight into Neil Young the man, as opposed to Neil Young, the icon.
Stop Making Sense Talking Heads - maybe the best concert movie ever! The Kids Are Alright The Who - if you never saw Keith Moon on stage, this is what all the fuss was about Black and White Night Roy Orbison - origiannly produced as a Cinemax special in 1987, it seems the only time you get to see this now is during a PBS pledge drive - so before you hear “Pretty Woman” you have to endure a plea for money. Better to own the DVD and see Orbsison supported by a band made up of Bruce Springsteen, k. d. lang, Bonnie Rait, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, Jackson Browne, and a bunch of others in its entirety.
Live in Austin and Live at Montreaux are great but my all-time favourite SRV video is Live at the El Mocombo.
Stop Making Sense is one of the best ever concert videos.
Other favourites include:[ul][li]The recent Led Zeppelin DVD set. All of the performances shine, delivering everything that The Song Remains The Same promised, but didn’t.[/li]
[li]Diana Krall: Live in Paris is also a recent favourite. Her recent studio albums have been underwhelming, over-produced and too focused on her adequate but limited singing talents. But, live on stage, she’s able to showcase her wonderful piano playing and improv skills. Plus, she’s sexy as hell.[/li]
[li]Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser is more of a documentary than concert film but it contains lots of great music and arhival footage. An absolutely fascinating portrait of a mad genius. My only complaint is that it’s too short.[/li] Oscar Peterson: Night in Vienna. Taped last year, the concert focuses on Oscars original compositions and the amazing emotion he can still evoke with his playing. At 79, he’s no longer capable of the lightning fast runs of his earlier years but he’s still a formidable talent.[/ul]
The best live concert dvd is The Wall, Live in Berlin, not so much for the musicians though many are fantastic, but for the atmosphere of tearing down Pink Floyd’s wall in Berlin just months after the fall of the Berlin Wall.