By Emily Stockham

What do U2, The Jonas Brothers, Kings of Leon, Katy Perry, Glee and Miley Cyrus all have in common? Actually, this may not be your first thought- they are all in fact stars of their own three dimensional concert/fly on the wall documentaries. 

With 3D cinema screenings becoming the norm it appears musicians are cashing in on the experience in order to give a new dimension to fans that are loyal and most importantly for fans that have never experienced them ‘live’. 

Sure there have been tons of music documentaries over the years intertwining the realms of music and film giving a glimpse to life on the road and the stresses and strains of touring and being world famous but the introduction of 3D makes it an interactive experience and is predominantly focused on live shows perhaps sometimes glossing over backstage antics or only offering a sneak peek. 

It can surely only be celebrated that we have yet another way to enjoy entertainment and is definitely a triumph for younger fans for example, who may not be able to attend live concerts due age limits or extortionate pricing, or even more likely, lack of a willing guardian to take them. But in the next breath I can’t help but feel a little exasperated- I am a huge music fan and I feel slightly saddened that there is a potential that the experience of live loud and ear shattering music could be lost in exchanged for the a film version from the comfort of a chair whilst wearing a pair of rather geeky glasses. Rather than an intimate look into the band’s lives with a stark contrast between their stage personas and backstage antics the rise of the recent 3D concert-films has lost the ‘documentary’ aspect and just embraced the chance for a piece of glossy self-promotion that will reach the masses. 

That is not to say that the 3D concert-film is obsolete. 

I can confirm that my ultimate guilty pleasure is the zany and candy coloured lady that is Katy Perry…there I said it. So after experiencing her concert live at Hammersmith Apollo,London, I was intrigued to find out what else her 3D film had to offer. I was pleasantly surprised. 

Whilst I am a fan of Katy I am fully aware that she is often viewed as a marketing magnet jumping onto the bandwagon of just about anything and when I heard she was going to release a 3D film version of her sell out world concert my heart sank a little bit. Yes, there was footage from the concert which was unnervingly realistic- I genuinely felt like I was back standing in Hammersmith Apollo- but also we got a glimpse at Katy’s years growing up, the story of how she battled through record label struggles and saw her backstage too. It seemed that nothing was not for show and the audience even catch the demise of her marriage to funny man Russell Brand. 

I personally think this is a bold move for a pop star who marketed as fun, preened and polished and ecstatically happy 24/7. There seemed to be nothing held back in Katy’s 3D concert-film and it made for great viewing to the surprise of many critics expecting it to be a glossy self-loving fest of candy and pop songs. 

Katy has said that the film offers the chance for fans to enjoy the concert if they could not attend to one of the live shows but her feature length film definitely provides a glimpse of the ‘behind the scenes star’ that harps back to the old days of your standard music documentary.

About The Author

Emily Stockham

Emily is from South London and has a degree in English Literature. Emily is a marketing assistant who writes about films and music in her spare time. Horror and grindhouse are her thing – although she will happily watch anything if it means a trip to the cinema.

  • I think screenings of concerts are actually a good idea.  Last year at the local multiplex, I saw the Foo Fighters documentary Back and Forth followed by a live streaming of a performance of their latest album and I can safely say it was one of the best cinema experiences I had!  Would quite happily sit though more of the same. 🙂