10 Great Electronic Music Performances on DVD
A couple of months ago, we covered the first stirrings about The Chemical Brothers concert film Don't Think, which had a few select screenings at carefully coordinated spots around the globe. On April 9, Don't Think will be released on DVD to an eagerly waiting world, and it got us thinking — lately, videos and films capturing killer live shows by top-shelf electronic/dance artists have become kind of commonplace. But that hasn't always been the case, so we decided to take a look back over the last several years at some of the most memorable concerts by daring DJs and synth-straddling groups ever to be caught on camera.
Kraftwerk - Minimum-Maximum (2005)
Might as well begin with the guys who started it all. The legacy of Kraftwerk had long been in place by the time these German giants came out of hiding for their 2003-4 Minimum-Maximum tour, where they employed an eye-popping array of specially designed visual effects to accompany their groundbreaking grooves and show the young guns how it's done.
LCD Soundsystem – Shut Up And Play The Hits (2012)
These New Yorkers made major news in 2011 when they announced they'd be playing a big blowout of a farewell show at Madison Square Garden. This documentary about the end of the band and the way they went out features some fearsome concert moments — this excerpt from "North American Scum" is just the tip of the iceberg. The DVD isn't out yet, but hopefully we can look for it later in 2012.
Fatboy Slim – Incredible Adventures: In Brazil (2008)
Mr. Norman Cook himself, the man who helped bring Big Beat to the world back in the '90s alongside the Chemical Brothers et al, has never stopped setting stages on fire, and in this Brazilian show you can see how Slim seems particularly pumped up by the atmosphere and the audience.
The Prodigy – Live: World’s On Fire (2011)
Speaking of '90s techno titans who are still going strong today, The Prodigy blazed a trail with their blend of electronic beats and rock & roll energy, and a fierce frontman in Keith Flint. The band's own Warrior's Dance festival in 2010 featured no shortage of scorching acts, but The Prodigy's own WD set is something to see.
Daft Punk - D.A.F.T. (1999)
The French duo's 1999 DVD D.A.F.T. -- cheekily subtitled A Story About Dogs, Androids, Firemen, and Tomatoes -- is ostensibly a collection of Daft Punk videos, but if you dig a little deeper and peek into the bonus material, you'll find concert footage that offers you several different camera angles for the same song.
Depeche Mode – Tour of the Universe: Barcelona 20-21/11/09 (2010)
Okay, so Barcelona, where this concert flick was filmed, doesn't exactly constitute the entire universe. But once you settle into this sweetly shot live DVD of the British synth-pop pioneers hauling out hits old and new and investing them with as much panache as ever, you won't be so picky about semantics.
DJ Shadow – Live! In Tune and On Time (2004)
The man who made new inroads in turntablism in the '90s and beyond, DJ Shadow is well represented by this collection, which finds him digging into tunes from each of his albums up to that point, and taking advantage of the DVD/CD double-disc format to offer the best of both audio and video.
Pet Shop Boys – Cubism In Concert (2007)
One fine evening in 2004, the Pet Shop Boys put on one of their one-of-a-kind concerts in Mexico City, serving the assembled multitudes well by offering up everything from their earliest hits,'80s classics like "West End Girls" and "It's A Sin," to such 21st century tunes as"Home and Dry" and "Flamboyant."
Deadmau5 – Live At Earl’s Court (2011)
In the last couple of years, Deadmau5 has emerged as part of a new generation of DJ superstars whose widespread, superstar appeal would have been nearly unthinkable for electronic artists of a previous era, and a big part of what people love about him is his ability to bring the beats home in a live setting, which is what you'll see here in no uncertain terms.
Electric Daisy Carnival Experience (2012)
All we really need to do is mention a mere few of the artists who appear in this documentary on the massive electronic music festival that moved to Las Vegas in 2011, and you'll understand why you ought to see it. Let's see — Afrojack, Benny Benassi, deadmau5, Duck Sauce, Kaskade, Laidback, Moby, MSTRKRFT, Simian Mobile Disco...and that's just for starters.