The cure for Bieber fever

In case you weren’t aware, Justin Bieber is currently at a theatre near you. 

  • Feb. 14, 2011 6:00 p.m.

In case you weren’t aware, Justin Bieber is currently at a theatre near you. 

Bieber Fever. You might not catch it, but it’s official –– you can’t get away from it.

While thousands of pre-teen girls flock to see their pint-sized pin-up do his thing this weekend on the big screen (and in 3-D, which is good news for all the Dad’s who get dragged to the show. Those big, thick glasses make it easy to catch a nap without anyone knowing!), I thought this would be a good opportunity to take a peek at some of the more significant concert movies of all time. 

Granted, everyone’s musical tastes are more personal than even film choices. (Case in point: Stop Making Sense with the Talking Heads is probably one of the more innovative concert flicks ever made, unfortunately it’s so out there, only die hard Heads fans appreciate it.) So I certainly don’t expect everyone to agree that the following six-pack are the absolute best, but they are worth a look-and-a-listen.

So fire up the Blu-Ray, crank up the surround, and see what you think about these beauties.

#1)  The Last Waltz (1978). Documenting their farewell concert in San Francisco on Thanksgiving, 1976, Robbie Robertson and company somehow secured the services of a guy named Martin Scorsese to direct.  And boy, did he show up on a banner day: Dylan, Clapton, Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young are just some of the legends to hit the stage for a grand send-off.

#2)  Madonna: Truth Or Dare (1991). For whatever reason, this project has become less acclaimed over time, even by Madonna fans. Yet, it’s fascinating stuff, reminding us just how big the Material Girl was two decades ago. 

And, as far as backstage fireworks go, it doesn’t get any better than Warren Beatty having a lover’s spat with the headliner, or the city of Toronto wanting to lock her up and throw away the key. TMZ owes someone here for the future inspiration.

#3) A Hard Day’s Night (1964). Playful. That’s the best way to describe the Fab Four’s faux documentary (really, it’s as much a comedy as it is a concert film) during the peak of Beatlemania. It’s easy to love the music, which I do, but what I really adore is the sheer innocence of the era.

#4) U2: Rattle and Hum (1988). This one’s a bit of a guilty pleasure.  A straight concert film shot during The Joshua Tree tour in grainy black and white, there’s nothing overly special about the presentation –– nothing, that is, except the talent on stage. A brief wash of colour during Where The Streets Have No Name only adds to this project’s sweetness.

#5)  Gimme Shelter (1970). It should’ve been an ordinary concert movie, showcasing the greatest rock n’ roll act in the biz. Instead, The Rolling Stones’ gig at California’s Altamont Speedway became so much more than just a show, and thus, so did this documentary.  Capturing much of the violence and tragedy, it’s an engrossing, sometimes disturbing sit.

#6)  Michael Jackson’s This Is It (2010). If you haven’t caught this gem yet, do yourself a favour and rent the disc. Even if you weren’t a raging Michael Jackson fan, the sheer ability of the man is something you have to see to believe.