'No Room For Rock Stars' Looks To Rock Movie-Goers

Some of my favorite concert experiences took place in a movie theater.

That’s strange to say. It’s not like Hollywood has completely figured out how to replicate the intense energy of a live musical performance. But a handful of films have come close enough to capturing the thrill of the concert experience.

U2 impressed me twice: First with Phil Joanou’s 1988 documentary Rattle and Hum; and later with U2 3D, which made such effective use of the immersive technology that audience members were able to read the set list taped next to Larry Mullen Jr.’s drum kit. That’s impressive.
 
Watching a music-based movie with die-hard fans only amps the experience. I won’t soon forget watching Cameron Crowe’s Pearl Jam documentary during its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival with a theater packed with Pearl Jam junkies. Then there was the time a repertory film festival brought back Martin Scorsese’s The Last Waltz, and the roar of the crowd escalated with each superstar musical guest. But those screenings don’t hold a candle to the time I saw Kenny Ortega’s work-in-progress doc This Is It, which celebrated the musical contributions of pop icon Michael Jackson only months after the musician has passed. It was a joyous wake, an intimate and high-energy release for fans that could only have happened in a movie theater.
 
I’m hoping for something equally memorable when No Room For Rock Stars, a concert documentary about the Vans Warped Tour that plays select theaters for one night only on Thursday, March 1. (For a complete list of participating theaters, click here.)
 
The annual Warped tour was created in 1995 as an answer to the bloated Lollapalooza-type music festivals. It combined two cultures – punk rockers and skate rats – into one delicious arts and music festival. In 1998, it went international, helping launch such bands as Blink 182, Green Day, Sublime and No Doubt. Last year, the Warped tour showcased more than 150 bands including Sum 41, Simple Plan, Gym Class Heroes, Paramore and Less Than Jake. 
 
Rock Stars director Parris Patton, who shot The Who doc Amazing Journey, followed the 2010 Warped tour and captured exclusive footage with pop punk stars Never Say Never, Forever Came Calling and Suicide Silence as they traveled 17,000 miles to entertain the masses in 43 cities. The doc looks like the punk answer to "American Idol," with up-and-coming talents harboring dreams of super stardom hitting the road to prove that they belong in this community. And while I might not be young enough to dive into the mosh pit at a nearby Warped concert, I’m certainly looking forward to catching this documentary in a local theater, where I know I’ll be surrounded by like-minded rock stars hoping to reach their goals on their own terms.
 
Here’s a link to the official site. Give No Room For Rock Stars a shot if it’s playing in a theater near you. And if you dig it, keep the conversation going by renting Andrea Blaugrund Nevins’ The Other F Word, which catches up with punk rock’s "founding fathers" as they move from teenage rebellion to fatherhood. It’s a punk double feature waiting to happen.
 
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