Long Live Rock: Celebrate Chaos is a tribute to headbanging, crowd surfing, and guitar playing to die-hard fans, musicians, and the lifestyle of the hard rock music genre. The documentary, filmed before the pandemic, initially focuses on devotees of hard rock festival concerts. Then change your perspective to the point of view of the artists and promoters. Long Live Rock is packed with interviews from members of supergroups like Metallica, Rage Against the Machine, Alice in Chains, and Guns N ‘Roses. His ideas are interesting, especially when it comes to addiction and mental health. But the film’s loose narrative and lack of structure relegate its focus to superficial.
Long live rock begins with a montage of headlines and articles on the fall of rock. R&B, rap, and hip hop have supplanted rock and roll in popular culture. director Jonathan McHugh you do not agree with that notion. It features various Midwesterners who started the Rock on the Range fan festival in Columbus, Ohio. They are nurses, doctors, prison guards, normal middle-class Americans who shackles themselves from the suburbs to surf and get dirty in the mosh pit. Hard rock and heavy metal are more than music. It is a way of life that gave them purpose, camaraderie, and a necessary outlet to break free.
Top-tier musicians revel in the insane energy of performing before thousands of raucous festival fans. Rob Zombie, my favorite interview, laughs at the crowd size of various comic book cons and other similar activities. Rock superstars see that many people on tour every day. There is a kinship relationship that drives everyone from the stage to the crowd. These are the outcasts who have found a special place together. Every show is different, but the adulation and intensity never diminish.
Long live rock explore the darkness of hard rock culture. Drug addiction, alcoholism, and depression are ubiquitous and almost a right of way. Jonathan McHugh has crude confessions from fans and rockers about his destructive behavior. Guns N ‘Roses bassist Duff McKagan frankly talks about nearly dying after his “pancreas exploded” from drugs and alcohol. A recent parolee was stabbed in the chest by a heroin deal gone awry. From the streets to the spotlight, the excitement of rock and roll is fleeting. The desire to maintain that level of adrenaline leads to tragic falls. The suicides of Chris Cornell (Soundgarden), Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) and the fatal overdose of Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots) are discussed by their friends and bandmates.
Long live rock it goes south biting off more than it can chew. The film has multiple tangents that become scattered. There are segments about women in rock. Families living a rock-centric life, including a woman who surfs in her wheelchair. Ice-T, Tom Morello, and other black hard rockers are interviewed extensively about race in the industry. Then you have additional feedback from psychologists and therapists treating people with rock-inspired afflictions. Too much is happening in the short eighty minute runtime. Jonathan McHugh needed to stick to festivals as the main theme. The relationship between the artists and the fans is fascinating, but it gets lost as the movie jumps around.
Long live rock He encouraged me back to the concerts. I’ve been going to hard rock shows since high school. The last year in lockdown has been a total bummer. The film stokes the fires of the fandom and reminds us of what has been lost. I’m sure everyone featured is eager to rock out again. Long Live Rock: Celebrate Chaos is a production of Abramorama and Crowd Surf Films. It will have a limited theatrical release on March 12 and streaming via premium video on demand.
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