Wednesday, January 29, 2014

DVD Review: The Stone Roses: Made of Stone

The reunion we never thought would happen is chronicled in The Stone Roses: Made of Stone. Director Shane Meadows (This is England) follows the band throughout the European leg of their tour, with backstage access, rehearsal footage, and more.

One thing this film is not is a career spanning look at the history of the Stone Roses. It starts out that way, and seems like it is going to keep bouncing from the past to the present and back. That ends very quickly after a lengthy interview with the band three weeks before their debut album was released. Aside from a brief five minute opening sequence at the very beginning of the film, that's really all the history you get. Meadows then focuses on the rehearsals and reunion shows. Another interesting way this film diverges from the traditional rock doc is by avoiding the "talking head" interview footage that virtually every other one uses. Pretty much the only interview footage is with fans and is shot on location outside of shows.

That's one thing that really wins me over with this documentary: The fans. You really get to see the fan excitement as the shows get closer, and the agony of not getting into one of the shows. Even if you've never gotten the Stone Roses, you can feel how much people absolutely love this band. Meadows just doesn't sit fans down in a studio and have them say how much they love the Stone Roses in a prepared statement. Instead he gets them just as they get tickets for the show, or don't get tickets.

And then there's the live footage. Made of Stone might have the best live concert footage I've ever seen. It's shot so brilliantly and beautifully, I'd be almost afraid to see them in person. (Almost). The crowd shots are some of my favorite, as you can feel the ecstasy their fans are experiencing seeing a band they never thought they'd see again, or would never get to see.

The Stone Roses: Made of Stone might not be the best introduction to the band, but for die hards, it's a must see. For more information, check out the film's official website. You can also purchase it on Amazon.

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