When most people think of an Imax film, most thoughts that come to mind are high speed travels through the Grand Canyon or climbing to the top of Mount Everest through blizzard conditions, but not rock and roll. At Imax theaters now is All Access, which offers a new twist to the state of the art theater world that is Imax by presenting a look into the many cultures, genres and generations of the world of rock stars. Never before on the big screen have so many musicians been brought together to perform and share thoughts close up on the big screen.

Produced by brothers Jon Shapiro and Peter Shapiro (Tie-Died, American Road), All Access attempts to bring the audience closer to today’s musicians by allowing a closer look into their worlds on the stage and off with performances and interviews. All Access features concert pairings of B.B. King with Trey Anastasio and the Roots, George Clinton’s P-Funk with Mary J. Blige, Dave Matthews with Al Green. Sting with Cheb Mami and Carlos Santana with Rob Thomas. Other performers include Moby, Kid Rock, Sheryl Crow and Macy Gray.

All Access opens up with many of the artists talking candidly about what music means to them. Trey Anastasio shares insight by saying, “Music is a clearer indication of what’s in somebody’s soul than language.” Carlos Santana mentions, “When you get inside the music like musicians do, gravity disappears.” Sting describes how, “The music tells you a story, it gives you a mood that is common to everyone’s understanding.”

The rendition of the blues classic, “Rock Me Baby” performed by B.B. King with Trey and the Roots is definitely one of the biggest highlights of the film. Combining blues, hip hop and jams, the performance of “Rock Me Baby” truly bridges together 3 different genres of music on one stage at one time. B.B. King talks afterwards about jamming with Trey and the Roots by saying, “Man, these guys just play things – I don’t find these notes on my guitar. I don’t know where they get their guitars, but they hit notes that I can’t find!”

Co-Producer and Wetlands owner Pete Shapiro told JamBase, “Being on stage and directing Trey with B.B. and The Roots was an amazing moment for me. Here I was a huge fan of all three artists watching them on stage playing all together for the first time ever. It was awesome. That performance brought together three different scenes for a memorable moment in music history. My goal was to capture a moment like that and preserve it for music fans everywhere through the state of the art system of sound and screen that Imax offers.”

Other moments that stand out are Parliament Funkadelic and Mary J. Blige joining forces for a medley of Flashlight, “One Nation Under a Groove” and Macy Gray’s performance of “I Can’t Wait to Meetchu.” The camera work of All Access is very well done and you can’t help but smile when you feel like you’re standing right next to Trey exchanging guitar licks on stage with B.B. King or looking out to a sold out amphitheater crowd from the stage at a Sting concert.

Moby’s anthem song “Inside” off his hit record Play, perfectly bridges together each scene as you travel from various concert settings, ranging from Chicago’s Soldier Field to Los Angeles’s Grand Olympic Auditorium. Moby offers up his feelings and sums thing up best about the coming together of artists in All Access by saying, “I think it’s wonderful. No one I know listens to just one type of music, and every performer that’s doing this, I like – I mean I love George Clinton, I like Kid Rock, I like B.B. King. It’s a really fascinating mix of people and my personal opinion is that the eclecticism and hybridization music is, essentially, the future of music.”

Catch All Access at an Imax theater near you and experience the sounds and visuals of some unique super-charged performances and collaborations. For more information please visit

Special thanks to Pete Shapiro

Mike Powers
JamBase | San Francisco

For more photos from this event, check out
[Published on: 4/20/01]

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