I checked out the release day screening of this great White Stripes documentary covering their 2007 Canadian tour at Jack White’s Third Man Records complex in Nashville. Third Man is not only a record store selling vinyl and more, but also Jack’s recording studio/soundstage where it is created from scratch. The screening was in the soundstage room and the vibe is vintage old school, kind of like RCA Studio A. The film itself is a perfect example of what I like most about rock documentaries and it now is among my Top 5 alongside “Gimme Shelter”, “Woodstock”, “Monterey Pop” and “Don’t Look Back”. Many of the classic production values I like are evident here. 3-4 cameras covering performances, closeups, camera motion, most of it handheld all of it conveying intimacy and energy. The behind the scenes storytelling is fantastic too and all the interviews and run and gun stuff tell the story of the tour and what Jack and Meg had in mind offstage as well as on. And the concert stuff looks and sounds fantastic! Put it this way; I bought the blu-ray and it’s worth every cent. I get their music in sight and sound, as well as the story behind it all.
When I try to convince record labels that they MUST be in the business of producing video like this on their artists, this now becomes a prime example. It gives me so much more than I’d get if I downloaded the audio as MP3. I get the full-range experience in surround and in 1080p and the value is all right there. Completely and totally worth $28.
The point is concert/documentary video is the last/best thing that can happen to the music business and it’s entirely in reach of major labels, indies and savvy bands as well. It’s the next best thing to live and it’s on demand, right there on your widescreen at home. The people that get this will endure, thrive and connect with their audience in a richer way. The ones that stick solely with trying to sell CD’s, chasing their tail at terrestrial radio, and giving away the audio masters as free MP3’s won’t.