Best Concert Films Ever? Screen These Legends

On Apr. 30, Phish 3D hit theaters in a limited engagement, taking concert films into the multiple dimensions of the post-Avatar era. But Phish’s 2D predecessors still have a serious amount of pop-cultural clout.

From Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin to Jimi Hendrix (at right) and Dave Chappelle, they carry so much star power that Phish are probably going to need to create their own constellation to make room for their newfangled 3D experiment.

[Scott Thill, Metromix]
Monterey Pop (1968): There are few periods in pop music as evocative and vibrant as 1967’s Summer of Love, which oversaw an explosion of sonic and social exploration that hasn’t been matched since. And this D.A. Pennebaker classic captured its essential energy, most notably in the performance of Jimi Hendrix, who infamously set his guitar afire during a rendition of “Wild Thing.”

Playing second fiddle to Hendrix is an impossible task, but the Who’s rollicking version of “My Generation” handled it with controlled chaos. So did Jefferson Airplane’s performance, which reportedly inspired French New Wave director Jean Luc-Godard to film the band atop a New York skyscraper—and in turn inspired the Beatles’ rooftop performance on “Let It Be.”

The rest, as they say, is history.