Is this what Chuck Berry meant by “reelin’ and rockin’”?
The latest announcement from Toronto International Film Festival organizers includes three rock-concert films, with performances from most of the biggest names in the business. For sheer multigenerational drawing power, the mightiest of the three is 12-12-12 The Concert for Sandy Relief, including Bruce Springsteen, the Who, the Rolling Stones, Billy Joel, Kanye West, Alicia Keys, Roger Waters, Chris Martin, Michael Stipe, Eddie Vedder, Diana Krall and the surviving members of Nirvana, who performed with Paul McCartney to close the show. The event, which was also simulcast live through television and Internet outlets, raised more than $30-million (U.S.) for victims of the 2012 hurricane.
That concert is surpassed, at least in the number of acts, by Made in America, in which director Ron Howard documents rapper Jay-Z’s inaugural Budweiser Made in America Festival, in Philadelphia last September (the second one takes place early next month). The event, intended as a cross-cultural mix of rap, indie rock and electronic music, drew almost 80,000 people to see more than 60 acts, including Jay-Z and Beyoncé, of course, as well as Drake, Nine Inch Nails, Deadmau5, Skrillex , Gary Clark Jr., Jill Scott, the Hives, X, Run-DMC and Public Enemy.
But the winner for aural volume and size has to be Metallica Through the Never, which features just one very loud heavy-metal band (drummer Lars Ulrich, guitarist Kirk Hammett, singer James Hetfield and bass player Robert Trujillo) and is a fantasy film in Imax 3-D. Metallica’s identity crisis was documented in the 2004 documentary Some Kind of Monster, but this time they’re playing, not talking. The dialogue-free Metallica Through the Never – directed by Nimrod Antal (Predators) – mixes a concert movie with a story about Trip (Dane DeHaan), a Metallica roadie sent to find a disabled truck and retrieve an item for the band, but who ends up on a trip to hell pursued by a horse-riding Death Dealer. Which is no less than what you should expect when you sign on as a Metallica roadie.