A series of music documentaries and concerts are showing in cinemas around Australia over the next few weeks, including the documentary by filmmaker Cameron Crowe ‘Pearl Jam: Twenty’, as well as for one night only ‘Nirvana: Live at the Paramount’ and then in early October ‘Red Hot Chili Peppers: I’m With You: Captured Live Concert’.
‘Pearl Jam: Twenty’ is already in limited release, this documentary covers approximately two decades from the years leading up to the formation of the band, their rise to stardom, some of the controversies that occurred throughout their career including the well known dispute with ticketing outlet ‘Ticketmaster’, to their ongoing survival as a group.
The synopsis of the documentary is as follows;
Pearl Jam Twenty chronicles the years leading up to the band’s formation, the chaos that ensued soon-after their rise to megastardom, their step back from center stage, and the creation of a trusted circle that would surround them—giving way to a work culture that would sustain them. Told in big themes and bold colors with blistering sound, the film is carved from over 1,200 hours of rarely-seen and never-before seen footage spanning the band’s career. Pearl Jam Twenty is the definitive portrait of Pearl Jam: part concert film, part intimate insider-hang, part testimonial to the power of music and uncompromising artists.
The documentary gives a fascinating look into the Seattle music culture in the late 1980’s prior to Pearl Jam forming, it effectively captures the vibe of the music scene and articulates why it was different to what was happening in cities elsewhere around the United States. While focusing on the band itself the documentary explores external influences on each of the members as well as the band as a whole and seeks input from a variety of well known musicians who provide commentary on the era of music from which Pearl Jam first emerged as well as their ongoing popularity over the years.
Chris Cornell, and Kurt Cobain (from archived footage), are among many who’s input is captured in the documentary, which also presents a huge variety of footage from many years of performances in large and small venues, as well as current and archived interviews with each of the band members.
With so much material to cover my only criticism of the documentary is that it didn’t have the time to explore in more detail some of the events to occur over the years the band has existed, the Ticketmaster conflict is discussed but in a fairly brief manner, the impact of Kurt Cobain’s death is discussed but again felt a little rushed but given the wealth of material in the film this is understandable. Overall ‘Pearl Jam: Twenty’ is highly recommended for any Peal Jam fan, and anyone interested in the early 1990’s ‘grunge’ era of music that Seattle gave birth to, I rate it 4 out of 5 stars and it is in limited release around Australia.
With the 20th anniversary of Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ album, on Friday 23 September for one night only screenings of ‘Nirvana: Live at the Paramount’ will take place, hosted by Richard Kingsmill this will be the first chance for fans to see the concert on the big screen. As part of the ticket price to see this feature the audience will also receive a copy of the deluxe 20th anniversary edition of the album ‘Nevermind’.
Lastly on October 4th and 5th, screenings of the Red Hot Chili Peppers performing their new album ‘I’m With You’, will take place with a song-by-song live concert performance which will be delayed for screenings across Australia. The band consisting of Anthony Keidis, Flea, Chad Smith, and new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer (who replaces long time member John Frusciante), will perform the entire new album in sequences followed by some of their greatest hits from the previous three decades.