Indie Memphis, which has brought back its free Concert Film Series to the Levitt Shell for the event’s sophomore year, clearly is trying to give movie and music fans what they want.
“Stop Making Sense,” the acclaimed Talking Heads concert film from filmmaker Jonathan Demme, was the most requested flick the last time Indie Memphis hosted the series, according to Indie Memphis executive director Erik Jambor. So this year, that was the first film that got teed up.
The July 21 showing of “Stop Making Sense,” hosted by Orion Federal Credit Union, kicked off this year’s slate of films. In the weeks to come, additional films will showcase concert performances from The Who, Led Zeppelin and other artists including a special screening to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Monterey Pop Festival that included performances from Jimi Hendrix and Otis Redding.
Moreover, this year’s festival will be able to give fans even more than what’s already been announced, if enough demand is there. Raising $7,500 from the community will allow Indie Memphis to add a bonus show on Aug. 25.
“This all started last year, where we’d been talking to the folks at the Levitt Shell for years about trying to figure out how to do a larger series like this involving outdoor movies,” Jambor said. “And what always seemed to make a lot of sense was something collaborative, building off the strengths of Indie Memphis and the Levitt Shell. So it become doing something like this, where you’ve got a nice extension of their whole free music series, and it’s a way for them to fill those summer months when they don’t really have a lot going on.”
More specifically, those hot summer months, when the weather might otherwise make an artist mad and refuse to go on stage if the performances were live, Jambor noted with a laugh.
All the films in the series will start at dusk, and food and beverages will be available for purchase. This summer’s program is sponsored by Orion Federal Credit Union, Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc., Red Wax Records, Modern Production Concepts, Rock 103 and the Memphis Flyer.
“These are all famous bands you’re now able to see in some of their most historic performances like you were there, in a way,” Jambor said. “You can bring a picnic basket with a bunch of friends, and it’s a great community experience.”
The lineup includes:
- July 28, a screening of “Monterey Pop”, a film about the famed 1967 festival including performances from Jimi Hendrix and Otis Redding.
- Aug. 4, “Elvis On Tour,” hosted by Elvis Presley Enterprises. The film documents Elvis’ 15-city, 15-night 1972 tour.
- Aug. 11, “The Who Live in Texas 1975”, includes classic Who tunes like “Baba O’Reilly”, “Won’t Get Fooled Again” and selections from “Tommy” and “Quadrophenia.”
- Aug. 18, “Led Zeppelin in Concert: Rare Films 1968-1980”, includes some rare performance footage of Led Zeppelin from television, concert, and in-studio films.