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The Who - 'Live At Shea Stadium 1982' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     October 08, 2015    
 
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A wonderful live document of one of England's greatest Rock bands.

By 1982 The Who had struggled on through two poorly received post-Keith Moon albums. Along with being wrecked by addictions and differing personalities, the changing face of music had left them firmly stuck in the past. This was to be their grand farewell... or so we thought at the time!

It's clear watching this DVD that so much of the legendary turmoil and energy that had enthused TW in their live presentations was missing by this point. Kenny Jones could never compete with Moon in personality or his sonic onslaught; in fact singer Roger Daltrey famously claimed he could no longer dance to the rhythm of the drums like he had done with Moon! However, even the worst show was better than most of their competition and there is still much to enjoy here.

Bassist John Entwistle and Daltrey are both dressed in suits, the latter in gold with cropped blonde hair looking more like a young Billy Fury. Guitarist Pete Townshend appears very much a product of the eighties decked out in a leather box jacket and striped bottoms as he jumps around the stage, throwing windmills around his guitar. Jones, relegated to little more than hired gun behind these three legends, still plays his heart out. The sound is presented in DTS and 5.1 surround sound but the picture quality (at times) bleeds into the colours, which is common for many shows filmed during the eighties.

The set-list is impressive; 'Substitute', 'Can't Explain' and 'Who Are You' are all there alongside lesser know songs like 'The Punk And The Godfather', 'Dangerous' and 'The Quiet One' (featuring Entwistle on vocals). The track selection clearly reminds us how TW were never content to rely on hits alone, though the omission of 'My Generation' is a puzzler. It is however added within the five bonus tracks on this release, filmed from another night of the tour.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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At times, Daltrey's voice sounds weak, especially during '...Godfather', and Townshend has the usual look of discontent as he sings just the intro to 'I'm One'. If it were not for Entwistle's incredible bass playing, you might forget he's there as the camera rarely fixes on him throughout the concert. The size of the Shea Stadium, unfortunately, distances the band too far from their audience, and it is only when too much pushing at the front alerts Daltrey to the crowd that you feel any connection between them.

Some of the highlights for me are 'Baba O'Riley' and 'Love Reign O'er Me', along with Townshend taking lead vocals for 'Eminence Front'. Visually, there are some lovely distanced shots of the band playing under a giant letter 'H' of their iconic logo. Finishing on a medley of early Beatles material, in honour of The Fab Four, didn't really work me – it is not as if they were short of their own material!

Not the best show you will see from The Who, but still a wonderful live document of one of England's greatest Rock bands.

Ray Paul

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