Pulse – Pink Floyd
This 2006 DVD release contains something that many Floyd fans were clamoring for – a live performance of Dark Side of the Moon released on home video. The downside to watching this epic concert, taped in 1994 at Earls Court, is the absence of Roger Waters. Dave Gilmour has fantastic chops on the guitar, but songs like “Money” truly miss Waters’ unique vocals. The first disc of the concert features a few too many post-Wall numbers for my liking, but the encore after “Eclipse” features “Comfortably Numb,” “Wish You Were Here,” and “Run Like Hell” – one of my personal favorites. The overall visual spectacle of this concert makes this two-disc set a must for any Floyd fan.
Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin
Take the ultimate tour through space-time with Led Zeppelin with this two-disc bonanza of live performances and never-before-seen extras. The journey starts in 1970 at Royal Albert Hall, with a young Robert Plant belting out “We’re Gonna Groove” and all of the early favorites. Jimmy Page fans will consider this one a must have, since it includes a rendition of his beautiful solo piece, “White Summer.” The trip doesn’t end there. Next, it’s back across the pond to MSG where Led Zeppelin played an extended version of “The Ocean” before it was released. Disc two features the famous 1975 Earls Court performance, complete with the double-neck version of “Stairway,” and the 5 hours of concert footage wraps up with the 1979 concert in Knebworth – sadly, one of Bonham’s last. This DVD should be in every Classic Rock fans’ catalogue.
Live! Tonight! Sold Out! – Nirvana
As music DVDs go, this one isn’t very long. Clocking in at about an hour and a half, this collection of live Nirvana songs packs a punch. The songs were hand picked from their archive to ensure that only the wildest would be seen. With fans jumping on stage, Grohl mauling his drum set, and Kurt throwing a guitar through an amplifier, it’s clear they got what they were going for. The highlight of the disc is the band’s montage to “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” a song Nirvana was sick of playing. During a foreign television appearance, they “lip-synched” their parts, refusing to actually play it. The band’s crazy antics are complemented by a diverse song list that any Nirvana fan can appreciate.
UFOs at the Zoo – The Flaming Lips
Music Video Interactive (MVI) is a new disc format, which is DVD compatible containing audio, video, and computer applications all in one. The Flaming Lips’ epic 2006 concert at the Oklahoma City Zoo Amphitheater is one of the first MVIs to hit the market, and it’s fitting that the concert marked the first appearance of their spectacular UFO. In addition to the entire live concert, the feature presentation also features interviews with raucous fans and stage-dancing alien hopefuls. You can also burn the audio to your mp3 player, in case you want to listen to this great live concert on the go. This Flaming Lips’ show is quite the visual spectacle with Wayne breaking out the fake blood during “The Spark That Bled” and Michael donning the oversized hands during “A Spoonful Weighs A Ton.” This MVI is chock-full of half-helium balloons and flashing lights, so you can invite the Lips over to your place anytime.
Whiskey On A Sunday – Flogging Molly
I have always been a fan of Flogging Molly, but I saw their songs in a whole new light after watching this DVD. They did a great job of integrating live performances of songs with the story of each band member. Dave King’s story is a particularly interesting one. His childhood in the tenements of Ireland gives a whole new context to his lyrics. Even the most casual fan will have a new appreciation for the music after these 90 minutes.
Awesome I Fucking Shot That! – Beastie Boys
Leave it to the Beastie Boys to put a new spin on the normally boring concert DVD. The concept for this release was innovative and they pulled it off perfectly. Getting almost every fan’s perspective of the show was a great way to connect with the audience, not only at the show but in the living room as well. It definitely doesn’t hurt that they always put on one of the best live shows around.
Dave Chappelle’s Block Party
This feature length film is the concert I’ve always wanted to see. Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Common, The Fugees, and too many others to list all share the stage for one great day of music. Watching Dave in his hometown and interacting with the people in the Brooklyn neighborhood where the show was held had some touching moments, but certainly some funny ones as well. Mr. Chappelle did an amazing job of uniting a wide variety of people for a wonderful concert and an overall great experience.