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Who, The: Live at Shea Stadium 1982 (SD Blu-ray)

Back in 1982, in what was then supposed to be The Who's farewell tour (we now know how that turned out) they made a two night stop in New York's Shea Stadium on October 12 & 13. I actually happened to be in attendance on the first night as a young 16 year old who had been listening to the band since the late '70s and this was my first live experience with them. Touring in support of what would be their final studio album until 2006s Endless Wire, It's Hard, the band played a few tunes off that new album and a host of other classics from their '60s & '70s catalog. This Eagle Rock release, which comes in SD Blu-ray as well as DVD, features the entire second night, plus a few bonus tracks from the first nights show, complete with newly mixed sound and restored footage. With 30 songs in total, there's a lot of Who here to sink your teeth into.

One of the things I remembered from the October 12th show back in 1982 was the lack of guitar firepower from Pete Townsend that evening, and watching here the concert from the following night, that was still the case and probably exemplified where the guitarist was at that point in time. Opting for a twangy Fender Telecaster in place of his usual Gibson Les Paul or SG, Pete relied less on volume and power chord thunder, going for a more subtle approach alongside Tim Gorman's very prominent keyboards. He's no less spectacular, but if you are expecting the raucous Townsend from the '70s you won't get that here. John Entwistle is his ever remarkable self, those amazing bass lines permeating each and every track, while Roger Daltrey is also in fine form, probably a tad rough from the previous night's performance, but still showing that he was one of the finest singers in rock. Playing with the band for the last time on this tour was Kenney Jones, a fine drummer but with huge shoes to fill, and you can see him doing his thing but paling in comparison to the uncanny skills of the late Keith Moon who he replaced a few years prior.

The set list was changed up slightly from night to night, and here on the 2nd evening at Shea the band played a few tunes from It's Hard, namely "Dangerous", "Emminence Front", "Cry If You Want", and the title cut, all getting a decent reception from the crowd despite those songs being so new at the time, with lead single "Emminence Front" seemingly being the most popular. Much of what you'd expect from the band is on display here, including "Baby O'Reilly", "Who Are You", "Won't Get Fooled Again", "I Can't Explain", "Pinball Wizard", and "Behind Blue Eyes". Some surprises include a fine "Sister Disco", a stunning "Love Reign O'er Me", "Naked Eye" (though it's pretty tame), and early hits "Substitute" and "Tatoo". Normally thunderous tunes like "Young Man Blues" and "Summertime Blues" are less gritty due to Townsend's more laid back approach here, but Daltrey certainly shines on them.

The audio & video is pretty decent throughout, not spectacular, but more than enjoyable on source material that is now over 30 years old. A few bonus tracks from the first night are included, featuring "My Generation" and "5.15", which are sorely missed from the second night performance. Fans of The Who will certainly need this in their collection, and overall it's a great show, but just keep in mind that the band were in a different place in 1982, so if you are looking for one of their usual wild performances from earlier in their career you might be a tad disappointed.


Track Listing

  1. Substitute
  2. I Can't Explain
  3. Dangerous
  4. Sister Disco
  5. The Quiet One
  6. It's Hard
  7. Eminence Front
  8. Behind Blue Eyes
  9. Baba O'Riley
  10. I'm One
  11. The Punk And The Godfather
  12. Drowned
  13. Tattoo
  14. Cry If You Want
  15. Who Are You
  16. Pinball Wizard
  17. See Me Feel Me
  18. Love Reign O'er Me
  19. Long Live Rock
  20. Won't Get Fooled Again
  21. Young Man Blues
  22. Naked Eye
  23. I Saw Her Standing There
  24. Summertime Blues
  25. Twist And Shout


Bonus Tracks from the first night
Substitute
I Can't Explain
My Generation
A Man is a Man
5.15

Added: July 10th 2015
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Eagle Rock Entertainment
Hits: 1718
Language: english

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