51 of 58 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Now Nearly 40 years of Maximum R & B, 23 Oct. 2003
Watching this DVD, allows u a chance for a totally different perspective on this fantastic band.
Here the emphasis is less on the merry japes and rock and roll excess of The Kids are Alright, now we see footage of one of the greatest rock and roll bands in the world doing what they do best.
Less pyrotechnics and more polish.
Early footage shows a rather lame and shaky little punk band, in the original sense of the word. Not as exciting on stage as the Beatles in their heyday despite Entwistles comments to the contrary. Daltrey is portrayed as nervous, giggly and insecure. His initial attempts at upstaging Townshend involve shoving a mic under Moons cymbals to produce a barrage of white noise. The act hilariously produces a four lettered reaction from Moon which only lip readers will understand. As for the Monterey Gig, which was their big break, it's hard to really understand their impact on the states as this is the band at their very worst. Crappy rented gear gives a poor sound, Daltrey merely spends the whole segment watching Entwistle for cues and everybody fluffs words chords etc. Compare this version of A Quick one to the one on the Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus and u can readily see the effect that a few months of solid touring in the States did for the bands focus and confidence.
When the next clip appears two years have passed, the london colliseum gig shows a very tight and intense little band even on the gauche Happy Jack they are amazing to watch. As the second half of the clip is focussed entirely on Moon furiously mugging behind Daltrey.
The highlight of the whole DVD for me are the songs from Tanglewood and The Isle of wight. We surely deserve a more complete Tanglewood film at some point. This is the best footage of the original lineup available and they are truly transcendent on this performance. The IOW footage is far superior to the official IOW release which has been sweetened with Foley artists doing crowd noise and adding unrelated footage to pad out the songs as insufficient shots were taken on the night. Just watch Moon bounce his stick off the snare and catch it without looking during young man blues. Worth the price of the DVD alone.
From then on it's really all downhill, the booze and drugs kick in. The band seem sluggish and bloated in a seventies haze. The 1972 footage is all too much lighting effects and too little musicianship and u cant' see Moon.
The 1974 Charlton Concert is frankly crappy. This was slotted in during filming for Tommy and as Pete notes he was too drunk to remember it. Moon seems to have lost the plot on the drums and his lame delivery on Bellboy (complete with Fake backing vocals) is just too sad.
There is a brief resurrection of the original band vibe in a gutsy version of Dreaming from the Waist, but that is sadly where footage of the original Moon lineup of the band ends.
When Kenny Jones joins the band things are not as bad as was once thought. In the concert performances that follow he is competant and solid and this hold the band together superbly during a period when Townshend was losing the plot.
The only real disappointment is the addition of 1989 vintage footage of a hugely augmented Who with percussionists and extra guitarists etc, murdering their own back catalogue like a ropey tribute act. No i take that back i've seen the tribute bands and most of them kick this incarnation of the Who's asses.
Thats just my opinion i know but apart from the final section this is really the best concert DVD of this seminal and hugely influential band. Until they achieve something of the quality of the Led Zep DVD it's all we can hope for.