Concert film

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 was 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 mockumentary film This Is Spinal Tap from 1984 notability 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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