25 best concert Blu-ray discs (photos)

Though there aren't a ton of great music concerts on Blu-ray yet, there are still several to choose from. Here's a look at our current top picks represented by a variety of genres and artists.

David Carnoy
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Kobo e-books and audiobooks.
David Carnoy
1 of 25 Amazon.com

'AC/DC Live at Donington'

With a new 35mm film transfer for the high-definition Blu-ray version, this is a decent upgrade over the DVD--the one to get if you're an AC/DC fan.

See pricing for AC/DC Live at Donington [Blu-ray] from Amazon.com
2 of 25 Amazon.com

'Chicago and Earth Wind and Fire at the Greek Theater'

This was one of the last discs we added, and it came down to Elton John, Paul Simon, ZZ Top, or these guys. All in all, a great concert that also looks and sounds really good.

See pricing for Chicago and Earth Wind and Fire at the Greek Theater [Blu-ray] from Amazon.com
3 of 25 Amazon.com

'Chris Botti Live in Boston'

Sting's former trumpet player is now a star in his own right. Backed by the Boston Pops and special guests Josh Groban, Yo-Yo Ma, John Mayer, Katharine McPhee, Lucia Micarelli, Sting, and Steven Tyler, Botti puts on an excellent show.

See pricing for Chris Botti Live in Boston [Blu-ray] from Amazon.com
4 of 25 Amazon.com

'Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds: Live at Radio City Music Hall'

This concert has gotten high praise for its lossless 5.1 24-bit/96kHz Dolby TrueHD, lossless 2.0 24-bit/48kHz PCM and a high bit-rate pristine VC-1 1080p video. In other words, a great-looking and -sounding disc.

See pricing for Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds: Live at Radio City Music Hall [Blu-ray] from Amazon.com
5 of 25 Amazon.com

'David Gilmour--Remember That Night'

Though this doesn't offer fantastic video quality for a Blu-ray, the sound quality is quite good and Gilmour puts on a great show. Hard to pass up if you're a Pink Floyd fan. Guest appearances by David Bowie, Gram Nash, and David Crosby.

See pricing for David Gilmour--Remember That Night [Blu-ray] from Amazon.com
6 of 25 Amazon.com

'Diana Krall Live in Rio'

Diana Krall fans tend to prefer her "Live in Paris" concert, but that's currently available only on DVD. This may be second best, but it's still very good.

See pricing for Diana Krall Live in Rio [Blu-ray] from Amazon.com
7 of 25 Amazon.com

'Foo Fighters Live at Wembley Stadium'

Featuring lossless audio and impressive high-def video, you get 18 Foo Fighters tracks from the band's two sold-out shows at Wembley Stadium in 2008. A high point for the band, it definitely rawks.

See pricing for Foo Fighters Live at Wembley Stadium [Blu-ray] from Amazon.com
8 of 25 Amazon.com

'Hit Man: David Foster and Friends'

If you're a sucker for mainstream artists, this tribute to "hit man" David Foster is filled with them. Filmed at the Mandalay Bay in Vegas, "Foster and Friends" is generally considered a very good-looking and -sounding Blu-ray concert disc. Don't worry, it's OK to like Kenny G and Josh Groban. Really.

See pricing for Hitman: David Foster and Friends [Blu-ray] from Amazon.com
9 of 25 Amazon.com

'It Might Get Loud'

Technically not a true concert Blu-ray, "It Might Get Loud," is Davis Guggenheim's ("An Inconvenient Truth") 2009 documentary about three of rock's greatest guitarists, Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), The Edge (U2), and Jack White (Whitestripes). A must-own for guitar freaks.

See pricing for It Might Get Loud [Blu-ray] from Amazon.com
10 of 25 Amazon.com

'John Mayer: Where the Light Is--Live in Los Angeles'

Not everyone's a John Mayer fan, but this disc does offer really good sound and video quality. So, if you are a fan, you'll be pleased.

See pricing for John Mayer: Where the Light Is--Live in Los Angeles [Blu-ray] from Amazon.com
11 of 25 Amazon.com

'The Killers Live at Royal Albert Hall'

The Killers haven't reached legendary status yet, but this Blu-ray is considered one of the better-produced concert videos of recent memory.

See pricing for The Killers Live at Royal Albert Hall [Blu-ray] from Amazon.com
12 of 25 Amazon.com

'Kings of Leon Live at the O2, London, England'

Great band, great show. Only downside: this is a straightforward reproduction of a concert (read: no particularly fancy camera work).

See pricing for Kings of Leon Live at the O2, London, England [Blu-ray] from Amazon.com
13 of 25 Amazon.com

'Led Zeppelin--The Song Remains the Same'

While we await the arrival of the Led Zeppelin 2 DVD concert collection to arrive on Blu-ray, this the next best thing. Based on the band's 1973 New York concerts, the sound has been remastered in 5.1 surround. That said, it gets higher marks for its picture quality than its audio quality.

See pricing for Led Zeppelin--The Song Remains the Same [Blu-ray] from Amazon.com
14 of 25 Amazon.com

'Madonna Sticky and Sweet Tour'

This disc takes you to Madonna's late 2008 concert in Buenos Aires, a place she says holds special meaning for her (you can guess why). Though the camera seems to avoid closeups, the original Lady Gaga still delivers what her fans want at 51. Whether it's what you really want will depend, of course, on how much you like Madonna.

See pricing for Madonna Stick and Sweet Tour [Blu-ray] from Amazon.com
15 of 25 Amazon.com

'Michael Jackson--This Is It'

Though the video isn't as sharp as we'd have liked to have seen for HD, "This Is It," which chronicles Jackson's rehearsals leading up to what was scheduled to be a daunting 50-date tour, is surprisingly engaging and well done.

See pricing for Michael Jackson--This Is It [Blu-ray] from Amazon.com
16 of 25 Amazon.com

'Pink Funhouse Tour--Live in Australia'

Pink doesn't get the attention of Madonna or Lady Gaga, but she puts on an impressive show. Some consider this one of the best concert tours of 2009.

See pricing for Pink Funhouse Tour--Live in Australia [Blu-ray] from Amazon.com
17 of 25 Amazon.com

'The Police: Certifiable'

This disc continues to be a little hard to find (it looks like it has been discontinued) but it's considered a great concert disc, with excellent sound and video, especially if you're a Police fan. Shot in Buenos Aires.

See pricing for The Police: Certifiable [Blu-ray] from Amazon.com
18 of 25 Amazon.com

'Pretenders: Live in London'

This is a well-shot concert in a small venue setting. Looks and sounds great--a must for Pretenders fans.

See pricing for Pretenders: Live in London [Blu-ray] from Amazon.com
19 of 25 Amazon.com

'Purple Rain'

OK, it's a fictional movie, not a concert Blu-ray, but Prince is up on stage a lot.

See pricing for Purple Rain [Blu-ray] from Amazon.com
20 of 25 Amazon.com

'Rolling Stones--Shine a Light'

Here's another one that's not a true concert video, but Scorsese's Rolling Stones documentary mixes concert footage from the band's Bigger Bang Tour with commentary. Warning: Some people didn't love it--but perhaps that's because the aging Stones just look a little scary in high-definition. For those looking for something that's more of a pure concert, other Stones options include the "Live at the Max" disc, which started out in IMAX theaters 20 years ago.

See pricing for Rolling Stones--Shine a Light [Blu-ray] from Amazon.com
21 of 25 Amazon.com

'Roy Orbison: Black & White Night'

As its title implies, this concert was shot in black and white, but it still benefits from a move to Blu-ray, with a sharper picture and better sound. Features guest performances by Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello, T-Bone Burnett, J.D. Souther, Jennifer Warnes, k.d. lang, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Waits.

See pricing for Roy Orbison: Black & White Night [Blu-ray] from Amazon.com
22 of 25 Amazon.com

'Rush: Snakes and Arrows Tour Live'

Filmed in Rotterdam, Holland in late 2007, this has every Rush song you could want on it and the Blu-ray disc is a nice step up from the DVD.If you're a Rush fan, do not deny yourself.

See pricing for Rush: Snakes and Arrows Tour Live [Blu-ray] from Amazon.com
23 of 25 Amazon.com

'Talking Heads--Stop Making Sense'

Some consider director Jonathan Demme's "Stop Making Sense" the best concert movie of all time. Whether that's true is certainly debatable, but what's not is that it looks and sounds better on Blu-ray than on DVD.

See pricing for Talking Heads--Stop Making Sense [Blu-ray] from Amazon.com
24 of 25 Amazon.com

'The Who: Live at Kilburn'

Gotta have some Who in the round up, though it was a tough call on which disc to include. This is early Who, when Keith Moon was still around. Filmed in 35mm and restored in high-definition for the Blu-ray release.

See pricing for The Who: Live at Kilburn [Blu-ray] from Amazon.com
25 of 25 Amazon.com

'Woodstock: '3 Days of Peace & Music Director's Cut (40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition)'

This film won an Oscar for best documentary back in 1970. The newly released version includes additional footage. The original soundtrack--based on 8-track recordings--has been converted to Dolby TrueHD 5.1-channel lossless, as well as Dolby Digital 5.1. It's a miracle it sounds as good as it does. The only drawback is the price of the package, which Amazon sells for around $50.

See pricing for Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music Director's Cut (40th Anniversary Two-Disc Special Edition) [Blu-ray] from Amazon.com

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