July 6th, 2012
01:48 PM ET
Katy Perry's just opened 3-D concert documentary, "Katy Perry: Part of Me," joins a long line of films that attempt to show the artist(s) both in performance mode and out of it (although it's probably arguable that for many performers, as long as a camera's rolling they're never really "off").
The landmarks of the concert doc mold are hailed for making a viewer feel as though he or she got a backstage pass to the event - even if it happened before the viewer was old enough to get in.
So while critics say that fans and non-fans can both marvel at Perry's "Part of Me," if you want to rock with the classics, we recommend these five concert documentaries:
1. "Gimme Shelter" (1970) - Long before Martin Scorsese "Shine[d] a Light" on the Rolling Stones in 2008 (another great documentary), directors Albert and David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin chronicled the Stones' 1969 tour, focusing on the devastating free concert at California's Altamont Speedway, to critical acclaim.
2. "Stop Making Sense" (1984) - Directed by Oscar winner Jonathan Demme ("Silence of the Lambs"; "Philadelphia"), this documentary of The Talking Heads' three-night showing in Hollywood is beloved for being inventive, and thought to be one of the best, if not the best, concert film ever made.
3. "Madonna: Truth or Dare" (1991) – "Truth or Dare's" on- and off-stage access to Madonna's 1990 Blond Ambition tour gives us classic Madge, making it just as essential to the concert doc genre as the Material Girl's been to the changing tides in pop music.
4. "Woodstock" (1970) - As "Woodstock" makes one think of an era never to be seen again, the documentary that caught it on film stands apart as a unique experience.
5. "This Is It" (2009) - With footage captured just before Michael Jackson's 2009 death, "This Is It" will be remembered for much more than simply taking us behind-the-scenes of the late King of Pop's preparations for a string of London shows - it's also the last look at an icon.
"The Last Waltz" (1978) - If this were a Friday Six, "The Last Waltz" would be in the list proper - Martin Scorsese's documentary of The Band's 1976 final concert also includes appearances from other legends, like Muddy Waters, Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan.
Did we leave your favorite off the list? Let us know in the comments!
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