Music By Turner: Concert DVDs worth wait, and price

The Rolling Stones perform on Sept. 11, 1965, in Westphalia City, Munster, Germany, which was the first of a five-day tour of West Germany. From left are Charlie Watts, Brian Jones, and Mick Jagger.

“You know, I think I’ll just wait for the DVD.”


I’m hearing that statement more and more these days from people concerning major concerts. Prices for even the “cheap” seats are making it too expensive for concertgoers to see their favorite musicians, especially if you are attending with your significant “bother.”

Even going to a Falcons game has caused fans to give the team a “Dirty Bird” of a different variety as the average price at the Georgia Dome runs at the $70 level. But that’s OK by me if Matt Ryan and company can keep winning.

The median cost for a Braves ticket is only $17, but with those nosebleed seats fans must remember (just as with the Falcons), to bring high-powered binoculars so you can zoom in on the giant HD screens and actually see some action.

Whether it’s sports or concerts, once you factor in the ridiculous prices for parking, food, and beverages, it’s just too expensive for folks to afford them like they used to.

That’s one of the reasons why I watch most major sports on television and many concerts on DVDs. For music performances, the crisp picture of Blu-ray discs and the stereo and surround sound options can be stunning, especially on larger high-definition screens.

As the music biz gears up for the holidays, there’s quite a few choice DVDs that are already or soon to be in the stores.

Let’s take a brief look at some of the better new and reissued classic rock releases.


LED ZEPPELIN: CELEBRATION DAY . “Oh, the humanity,” indeed. This one-time 2007 performance probably represents the last time Zep will perform together. Jason Bonham handling his late father’s manic percussion duties helps make this one of the most powerful concerts one will ever experience. Robert Plant’s vocals and a much better than expected Jimmy Page roar with energy throughout. The bass and keyboard work from John Paul Jones proves once again just how crucial his contributions are to the band’s legacy.


NEIL YOUNG: JOURNEYS. Young teams again with noted filmmaker Jonathan Demme on this DVD, which includes interviews as well as tunes from his 2011 tour. Neil has discovered grunge again, and it shows on classics such as Down by the River and a very emotional Ohio.


PETER GABRIEL: SECRET WORLD LIVE. There’s a very good reason why this Grammy-Award winning concert from 1993 has been reissued. Gabriel is in absolute peak form throughout, especially on Steam, Digging in the Dirt and In Your Eyes. Simply brilliant.


THE ROLLING STONES: CHARLIE IS MY DARLING. This release marks the first professionally filmed concert from the band. Recorded in 1965 right after Satisfaction had topped the charts, it features Stones-mania at its best, with hysterical screaming girls climbing on the stage and stopping the show. Brian Jones lives!

THE DOORS: LIVE AT THE BOWL 1968. Another tremendous restoration job visually and musically. Recorded after their third album Waiting For the Sun, Jim Morrison (who actually seems straight and sober throughout) constantly teases and toys with the 20,000-plus fans at the historic Hollywood Bowl. It’s so strange to hear screams from teenyboppers for the hits (Hello I Love You, Light My Fire) along with their startled reactions during “the mock execution” during The Unknown Soldier.


In addition to the Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour and Yellow Submarine DVD reissues that I told you about in my last column, many more DVD releases from classic rock artists are already available or coming soon from Queen, ZZ Top, Patti Smith and the Brian Wilson version of the Beach Boys.

Now, if we can just get a DVD copy of Janelle Monae’s fabulous concert at Westobou from last month … oh well. Maybe next year!