Movie lovers may not be able to head to their favorite theater but they can just fire up Netflix (or any of those other streaming services out there) and comfort themselves with a film for the night. Heck, they can even make their own popcorn and pretend like they’re in their own private screening room. But for music lovers who crave the kinetic energy of a live concert, just listening to Spotify (or a weekly Nuevo Noise playlist) doesn’t really cut it. Now we know a concert film may not be able to recreate everything you love about going to see live sets at bars or stadium arenas (the screaming fan a feet away, the sweat of the crowd around you), but they may be the next best thing.
So if you’ve found yourself craving live music like the rest of us, we’ve compiled a list of the best live music films out there — everything from stripped down acoustic sets to raucous stadium arena concerts. Whether you’re a fan of Selena eager to rewatch her final performance yet again or are intent on seeing the likes of Romeo Santos, Ricky Martin, Kany García and Shakira show off their talent for fans all over the world, we’ve got you covered.
Check out the list below and ready yourself for your very own music festival at home.
Los Tigres del Norte at Folsom Prison
Directed by Tom Donahue and written by Zach Horowitz and Los Tigres themselves, the film follows the lives of a handful of prisoners as they recount their story and their relationship with the music of the norteño legends. The inmates talk candidly about their situation for being committed and their hopes and dreams, some of which remain in their minds, and others which are long gone. As they recount their stories, they are matched by songs from Los Tigres’ two sets at Folsom, many dealing with immigration and violence, as they have long since dedicated their musical output to subjects dealing with real-life of Mexicans on both sides of the border.
Stream Los Tigres del Norte at Folsom Prison on Netflix.
Shakira in Concert: El Dorado World Tour
If you want to relive the most recent concert outing by one of the biggest Latina stars, look no further than this James B. Merryman directed concert doc. Shot before a sold-out crowd at the Los Angeles Forum, Shakira’s El Dorado tour features both singles from El Dorado as well as classics such a “Estoy Aqui” and “Ojos Así” as the Colombian singer swings her hips, plays the guitar and shows off why she’s a global best-selling recording artist.
Stream Shakira in Concert: El Dorado World Tour on HBO.
Primera Fila: Thalía
Stripped bare of fiery musical numbers and heavy production flourishes, Thalía’s Primera Fila set was an intimate affair. Donning a casual outfit and focusing on showcasing her voice the Mexican singer and actress used the concert (recorded in Miami, Florida back in 2009 at the BankUnited Center) to relaunch her image, offering an unplugged live album that earned her some of the best notices of her career. In between singing songs like “Enséñame a vivir” and “Equivocada,” as well as a medley featuring some big hits (“No Me Enseñaste,” “Tú Y Yo,” “Entre El Mar Y Una Estrella” and “María La Del Barrio”) the setlist caters to old and new fans alike.
Stream Primera Fila: Thalía on Pantaya.
Kany García: Soy Yo en Vivo
From hit singles “Soy Yo” and “Para Siempre” to the dance-worthy “Banana Papaya,” this exclusive music special goes far beyond García’s album of the same name. Filmed at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico, Kany García: Soy Yo en Vivo is an evening full of García’s lyrically rich music. The renowned acoustic-pop singer-songwriter also invites fellow Puerto Rican musicians and Caribbean artists to join her on stage for surprise collaborations and medleys, including Andrea Cruz, Lizbeth Román, Pedro Capó, Natti Natasha, Tommy Torres and Residente.
Stream Kany García: Soy Yo en Vivo on HBO.
MTV Unplugged: Kinky
In an intimate live performance, Kinky joins forces with MTV for their first-ever “unplugged” album, featuring a superstar line-up of guests and new versions of their classic hits. Hosted by Diego Luna, the Unplugged album features collaborations with an international crew of stars including Carla Morrison, La Mala Rodríguez, Banda Los Recoditos, Voz de Mando and Beto Zapata (Grupo Pesado).
Stream MTV Unplugged: Kinky on Qello.
Selena - The Last Concert: Live from the Astrodome
Recorded live on February 26, 1995 in what became, as its title suggests, her final concert Selena Quintanilla’s Astrodome live set is the stuff of legend. More a cultural than a solely musical phenomenon, Selena provided American Latinos and Latinas with a bona fide pop star, and unfortunately their first bona fide pop casualty. Here she works her magic on a medley of ’70s Anglo disco classics before slipping into more familiar Tejano territory with her biggest hit, “Amor Prohibido” and a slew of crowd-pleasing classics. Her band is tight and adept (her brother plays bass); the crowd goes predictably wild at every opportunity. As a document of Selena’s undeniable live appeal, Live the Last Concert is invaluable, and essential for all true Selena fans.
Stream Selena – The Last Concert: Live from the Astrodome on Qello.
Tr3s Presents Juanes MTV Unplugged
Produced by Juan Luis Guerra and arriving at a pivotal moment in the Colombian singer-songwriter’s career, 2012’s Juanes MTV Unplugged showcases the “La Camisa Negra” artist stripping down some of his most well-known hits. Recorded before a live audience at the New World Symphony Center in Miami Beach, Florida, the live album followed Juanes’ much-publicized break with his longtime manager as well as rumors of depression, not that you’d know it from the acoustic set he performed that night.
Stream Tr3s Presents Juanes MTV Unplugged on Qello.
Bunbury Freak Show
Arguably a king of reinvention, Enrique Bunbury truly went off-kilter with his aptly-titled Freak Show tour. Designed as a traveling circus with Mexican luchadores in tow, Freak Show found Bunbury letting loose. Its 2005 documentary version features not just the set-list straight from his album El viaje a ninguna parte, but interviews with the band and the show’s guests, which inlcude Nacho Vegas, Adrià Puntí, Iván Ferreiro and Mercedes Ferrer.
Stream Bunbury Freak Show on Qello.
Romeo Santos: The King Stays King
Capturing the sold out crowd at Madison Square Garden in New York City back in 2012, The King Stays King finds the former Aventura singer promoting his Formula, Vol. 1 album. Arguably lording over a packed audience eager to see Santos strike out on his own, the self-described Rey invited a roster of VIP guests on stage that include Prince Royce, Usher and P. Diddy himself.
Stream Romeo Santos: The King Stays King on Pantaya.
Ricky Martin: Live Black & White Tour
Following up his own MTV Unplugged, Ricky Martin went back to his showmanship roots with Ricky Martin… Live Black & White Tour, which had the “Livin’ la Vida Loca” singer showing off his moves during his performances at the José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum in Puerto Rico. Shuttling easily from Spanish language classics like “Fuego de Noche, Nieve de Día” and global hits like “María,” the setlist serves something for everyone.
Stream Ricky Martin: Live Black & White Tour on YouTube.
Jennifer Lopez: Let's Get Loud
Let Jennifer Lopez take you back to 2003 with her Let’s Get Loud concert, which was shot at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum in Puerto Rico. Featuring hits like “Play,” “If You Had My Love” and “Love Don’t Cost a Thing”, this recorded concert performance gives audiences a taste of why we’re still hearing and dancing to J. Lo tracks close to two decades later.
Stream Jennifer Lopez: Let’s Get Loud on YouTube.
Mis 40 en Bellas Artes
The legendary Mexican musician and composer Juan Gabriel presents his amazing live performance Mis 40 En Bellas Artes. Recorded at the emblematic Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City and accompanied by an impressive production comprised of Mariachi, orchestra and choirs, this concert celebrates JuanGa in all his fabulousness.
Stream Mis 40 en Bellas Artes on Qello.