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Never mind Kilburn...it's the Coliseum you want to see!,
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This review is from: The Who - At Kilburn 1977 + Live at the Coliseum [DVD] [NTSC] (DVD)
For me, The Who's golden era was between about 1966 until 1975/76. After that, Moonie sadly got too messed up to play as he used to, and then after his death...well, what can I say? Zak Starkey isn't doing a bad job at all at the moment, but nobody is Keith Moon. Irreplaceable.
Anyhow, I've watched and re-watched the Coliseum footage. It is prime era Who in my book. Though they seemed to reach their peak as far as playing Tommy went, in 1970 when they recorded Live at Leeds and played the Isle of Wight festival for the second time.
However, there is a great deal to recommend this performance - though sadly the lighting isn't one of those things! It is often very difficult to see what is going on on the stage and sometimes it is in complete darkness. I'm guessing that it wasn't completely black as it looks, but that the camera and film quality wasn't as good as it is today. What a pity!
I would say (although I love Keith and am utterly biased), that he is the one most on form during this performance. Pete plays some distinctly dodgy notes on the guitar, and his backing vocals are nowhere near as good as I've heard them during other performances, the same goes for John and Roger as far as the vocals go. Let's give Keith's vocals a miss on A Quick One - as Pete rightly says "Keith Moon singing...with a small "S"!!" He has a point!
The only other thing I would say about this concert is that Pete seems to be in a tremendous hurry! Some of the songs are done at a seemingly ridiculous speed and at one point I was thinking that Keith would collapse out of sheer exhaustion during the concert. Mind you, credit where it's due, Keith and John kept up, no matter how fast Pete played. Maybe someone had a pint for him at the bar for afterwards and he thought he'd better get to the end fairly quick.
The Kilburn concert I find quite hard to watch, particularly because of Keith's physical deterioration. And also that the band are pretty under-rehearsed and Pete has also admitted that it wasn't one of their best performances and that they were all physical wrecks by that point. You can see that they're enjoying playing together though, as it had been well over a year at that point since they had all played together on stage.
Anyhow, my point is, this is worth the price for the Coliseum footage on its own, despite the less than perfect sound quality and the rotten (in most parts) picture quality. It is especially essential for Who super-fans like myself, if only to hear Keith playing some of the most extraordinarily fast and accurate drums breaks imaginable!