Toronto Rocks

// October 16th, 2017 // Justin Timberlake
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On July 30, 2003, close to a half a million people gathered in Toronto for one of the most spectacular concerts of all time in fact, the largest ticketed single-day event in history. The Rolling Stones headlined the show, accompanied by 13 other acts, including AC/DC, Rush, the Guess Who, and Justin Timberlake. Now, this amazing day has been captured on DVD.Like most festival shows, the Toronto Rocks concert, a SARS benefit held on July 30, 2003 before a teeming crowd of 490,000, is a pretty mixed bag. For one thing, the Guess Who, Rush, AC/DC, and the Rolling Stones–the headliners–are all well past their primes. They’re still kicking, of course, and fans of each will relish their sets. But no headliner save Rush exudes the freshness and spark evident in the tantalizing snippets of the performances we don’t see on this single-disc DVD: Canadian acts like Blue Rodeo, the Tea Party, and Sass Jordan (with a still-riveting Jeff Healey on guitar). The Stones command more than their fair share of screen time, and some would say they’ve earned it. Meanwhile, we’re also served three helpings of Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi’s ho-hum Have Love Will Travel revue. Who steals the show? The Isley Brothers, led by founding singer Ronald and axeman Ernie, who blaze through “Who’s That Lady” and their classic “Shout” with a band of lock-tight musicians and dancers.

The DVD includes the kind of full-size color booklet every concert disc should come with, a choice of Dolby Digital 5.1 surround and uncompressed PCM stereo sound (both great), and a dose of “bonus” backstage ballyhoo. A unique extra is the director’s broadcast call of the camera shots for AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck,” revealing the frantic, real-time demands of a live shoot. –Michael Mikesell

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3 Responses to “Toronto Rocks”

  1. James Baack says:

    A Must for any AC/DC or Stones Fan. Incredible video. I was one of the 1/2 million or so lucky ones to see the show; driving up from Kansas. I had no idea this DVD existed but I stumbled across it on Amazon sold by Goodwill Industries of Denver for $10 bucks.It starts off describing how SARS was affecting Canada. No mention that the supreme court of Canada had struck down the cannabis laws that summer. The crowd was so polite and the Canadian’s so friendly (less the Timberlake pelting). The temp was in the 80’s…

  2. Matthew Grey says:

    full day of rock, pot, and topless girls This is a great DVD that should be on a priority list for all Stones and AC/DC fans.The great thing about this is the pure rawness of The Rolling Stones performance. I’ll explain. I feel for too long the Stones on stage have been so polished and professional that its lost a little of the excitement. The feeling that I got from this is that they plugged in and let it kick. When Justin Timberlake performs “Miss You” with Mick and disappoving fans show their angnst by throwing bottles…

  3. Anonymous says:

    When i first heard about this amazing concert i thought “no way in hell would i be able to afford tickets to that”. But with toronto hurting so much from SARS they put the tickets at an incrediably low price of only $16 american. so me, my dad, and my cousin drove from rome, ny all the way to toronto just for this show. we got there a bit late so we only saw justin timberlake, the guess who, rush, ac/dc, and the stones but considering the price 5 bands were well worth it. timberlake isn’t…

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