Nutshell Film Review: It Might Get Loud
Now let’s not get crazy here. This is not at all suggesting that “It Might Get Loud” is a new film, nor is this implying that Nutshell is becoming a movie review site. Sure, they will weasel their ways onto our front pages from time to time, but that’s only if they have something meaningful and relevant to Nutshell to share. This documentary (or dare I say “rockumentary”) from 2008 smashes together three of the greatest guitarists ever to walk the earth to simply “talk about electric guitars”. Jack White (The White Stripes), Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) and The Edge (U2) all come together to create a film classic that had surprisingly never been done before.
The first thing to point out is how incredibly uncomfortable Jack White looks to be throughout the entire film. Not only does he tell a camera privately that the three will most likely break out into a fist fight, but he also watches The Edge and Jimmy Page introduce themselves without saying a word. But you do have the privilege of seeing him make a “guitar” (a few pieces of wood, a glass bottle, a guitar jack and a guitar string) that completely functions and play music with a nine year old version of himself. Eerie? Absolutely.
The guitar tech for The Edge also has his own little cameo appearance, basically to explain how The Edge will never reuse a guitar effect, so naturally has to carry around a 20+ switch effect pedal for every single show.
The meat of the film starts when the three all sit down to actually start the conversation. Talking about how guitars are fading as the popular instrument, how technology is taking over in the world of guitar playing, and how guitar playing is an emotional outlet sets the stage for this movie.
Another core section focuses on things from the respective musician’s careers. The venue of an early U2 show, an Airline Guitar used with The White Stripes, and the recording palace of former Led Zeppelin albums were the focus, along with various stories pertaining to those mementos. If you’ve ever wanted to see a little kid stomp on a guitar, you’d enjoy this part of the movie.
The movie continues to dive deeper into these musician’s pasts. Touching on things like Page’s first bands, The Edge’s nontraditional view of “Spinal Tap”, and Jack White’s early blues influences gives you an in-depth look to where these three men came from and how they’ve created who they are today.
And here’s the part 90% of the people who watch this movie want to see. These three legendary musicians all plug in their guitars to play together. The first is U2 hit “I Will Follow”, in a moment that the The Edge never thought would happen: teaching Jimmy Page a song. It’s not soon after that White and The Edge watch in amazement as Jimmy Page plays the opening riff of “Whole Lotta Love”. The three then all begin playing together again in a rendition of the White-written “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground”.
“It Might Get Loud” is definitely a movie for all music lovers to check out. Nowhere else can you get into a detailed history of three guitarists that are this huge anywhere else. The amount of respect between these three men is phenomenal, and it shines throughout the entire movie. Check out “It Might Get Loud” today, it may just change your perspective on the basis of these three musicians and the rock and roll genre as a whole.