Concert film

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A concert film or concert movie, is a type of documentary film, the subject of which is an extended live performance or concert by either a musician[1] or a stand-up comedian.[2]

Early history

The earliest known concert film is the 1960 documentary Jazz on a Summer's Day. The film was recorded during the fifth annual Newport Jazz Festival.[3] Meanwhile, the earliest known rock concert film was the T.A.M.I. Show, which featured acts such as The Beach Boys, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, and the Rolling Stones.[4]


The term was first used by Bill Drake in the 1969 History of Rock & Roll radio broadcast and is a portmanteau of "rock" and "documentary".[5][6] The term was subsequently used to describe concert films containing appearances by multiple artists.[7][8] In 1976, the term was used by the promoters of the live musical production Beatlemania which documented the evolving career of The Beatles.[9] The 1984 mockumentary film, This Is Spinal Tap, notably parodied the rockumentary genre.[10]


  1. ^ Sandahl, Linda J. (1987). Rock films: A viewer's guide to three decades of musicals, concerts, documentaries and soundtracks 1955-1986. Facts on File, Inc. p. 7. ISBN 0-8160-1281-4. Retrieved 19 August 2016. 
  2. ^ Bailey, Jason (4 April 2016). "Glenn Ligon Deconstructs Richard Pryor’s Stand-Up". Retrieved 19 August 2016. 
  3. ^ Eil, Philip (29 July 2016). "This 1960 Jazz Film Shaped Concert Documentaries as We Know Them | NOISEY". Retrieved 19 August 2016. 
  4. ^ Richards, Kevin (16 December 2009). "Legendary T.A.M.I. Show Featuring James Brown, The Rolling Stones, and More Coming To DVD « American Songwriter". Retrieved 19 August 2016. 
  5. ^ "The Reel Top 40 Radio Repository - The History of Rock and Roll Demo". Retrieved 2009-06-15. 
  6. ^ Hopkins, Jerry (April 5, 1969). "'Rockumentary' Radio Milestone". Rolling Stone (30). p. 9. 
  7. ^ Aletti, Vince (August 31, 1972). "Our Latin Thing". Rolling Stone (116). p. 42. 
  8. ^ Landau, Jon (July 19, 1973). "'Let the Good Times Roll' indeed". Rolling Stone (139). pp. 62–63. 
  9. ^ Spires, Shari (December 26, 1980). "A 'Rockumentary' About the Beatles Comes to Sunrise". The Palm Beach Post. 
  10. ^ Times, Los Angeles (9 May 2013). "'This Is Spinal Tap' LP to be reissued June 11 -- on black vinyl". Retrieved 19 August 2016. 

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