What do the far-flung likes of the Rolling Stones, Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz and Elliott Smith have in common? All are the focus of newly-issued films now available on DVD, Blu-ray and digital.
Tell me more: Rock fans wanting to see a Rolling Stones concert that captured the Brits at their best should check out the recent release “From the Vault: Live at the Tokyo Dome 1990.” Filmed during the Stones’ 10-date run at the Tokyo Dome in 1990 where the band marked its first-ever live dates in Japan, the footage has been fully restored and the audio has been newly mixed by Bob Clearmountain to achieve something equaling the power of the 130-minute performance in front of 55,000 excited fans.
The set list is truly perfect, balancing the band’s best ’60s and ’70s classics with five standouts from the Stones’ outstanding 1989 comeback album “Steel Wheels.” The highlights come fast and furious including the soulful “The Harlem Shuffle” bolstered by the work of the Uptown Horns, the disco-rocker “Miss You” featuring Bobby Keys’ terrific work on sax, the straight-on rocker “Rock and a Hard Place,” and an incredible performance of the band’s masterwork “Gimme Shelter” with Mick Jagger and singer Cindy Mizelle trading potent lead vocals. Information: eagle-rock.com.
Tell me more: “Just Let Go” is far more than a concert film. While the title features Lenny Kravitz and his excellent band performing during a 2014 European tour, the film offers a revealing look at the extensive process that the rocker and his troupe goest through to prepare for a tour, and how playing concerts is an entirely different experience than recording in the studio. Director Paul Dugdale is able to deliver the concert performances, rehearsals and interview segments with a unified vision.
The performances sizzle; “Dirty White Boots” (with Kravitz tearing up on lead guitar), a searing cover of the Guess Who’s “American Woman,” the funky “Dancin’ Til Dawn,” acoustic “Sister” and blistering version of “Are You Gonna Go My Way” capture the power of each song. Information: eagle-rock.com.
Tell me more: Katy Perry has scored plenty of hits since the release of her 2008 album “One of the Boys,” but it are the singer-songwriter’s extravagant concerts that impress most. So fans of the popular pop star will be thrilled with her concert film “The Prismatic World Tour Live” which offers a dazzling mix of music, theatrical effects, fearless acrobatics, eye-catching costumes and radio hits galore.
Filmed in Sydney, Australia in December 2014, Perry and her cast of dancers and musicians are fully showcased across the seven-act production by director Russell Thomas. A popular songstress able to masterfully blend dance-minded disco pop with light rock, high points on the concert film include the animated “Roar,” EDM-styled “Wide Awake,” piano-anchored ballad “By the Grace of God” and sparkling “Firework.” Information: katyperry.com.
Tell me more: The first full-length documentary to ever explore the life and music of acclaimed singer-songwriter Elliott Smith (1969-2003), “Heaven Adores You” is as heartfelt and introspective as the song craft of its gone-too-soon subject. Utilizing a blend of gritty visual images of the locations he called home (primarily Portland, New York City and Los Angeles), performance video and audio of Smith, and interviews with those who knew him best, “Heaven Adores You” is a compelling portrait of Smith and his long artistic shadow.
Even music fans not familiar with Smith will be impressed by his life story and excerpts from his original songs, including “Miss Misery,” “Son Of Sam,” “Happiness” and “Waltz #2.” Information: heavenadoresyou.com and eagle-rock.com.
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