on 14 April 2010
I'll be honest I'm a die hard Who fan. There is little Moon era concert material that I wouldn't watch and cherish forever but this collection is a bit of a mixed bag.
The Kilburn show from 1977 is a more poignant performance than anything entertaining. The band are rusty and under rehearsed, the set list is a truncated version of the concerts they played through 1975-6, but after a break of over a year the rot has set in. Whilst Entwistle has slimmed down a little and looks his best ever Moon has bloated up and resembles Robert Newton more than ever. Keith as everyone is aware would be dead within the year and despite many claims to the contrary it's him that lets the side down on this performance.
From Baba O'Rielly onwards Keith breaks the spell, bands thrive on a collective headspace where they are all of one mind. If one person loses concentration the whole thing goes down like a house of cards. When Keith can't keep up when the track speeds up at the end the band start to unravel. Every number after this features howling mistakes. Daltrey forgets the words to Dreaming from the Waist, I'm Free is about a minute shorter thanks to Entwistle going to the end of the song when Townshend is attempting to play the middle "Tommy's Holiday Camp" is risible since no one can remember what key it's in. Only "My Wife" manages to pull the band together into some form of unity. Overall though the performances are spirited but nearly all end up in a car crash. Townshend is visibly and audibly upset at the performance and at one point shouts to Jeff Stein the Director "you might as well send the camera's 'ome!"
It really is a foul tempered gig, the crowd are shouting things at the band which we can't hear on the sound track but are clearly upsetting to the performers. Keith shouts at Pete before "My Generation" - "Play a F***ing number Townshend" and Pete's treatment of a Roadie leaning on his amps during "My Wife" is appalling (you have to see it to believe it).
So Kilburn is worth watching but more as period peice and as Keith's last full concert before his death but overall the effect is one of seeing all your hero's with their pants down.
The "Bonus" disc on the other hand is the legendary show at the London Colisseum in 1969. This is the band at the peak of their powers and is frankly astonishing to watch. This is basically the Live at Leeds set but with Camera's capturing ever stick throw, whirling mic and windmill. For those that worry about such things there is an issue with a lack of camera angles, poor lighting and some missing bits of film but in exchange for this you have probably the best footage of one of the greatest rock bands in the world playing at the top of their powers. This is sadly only a couple of months before the death of Neil Boland (essentially Keith's fault) and the subsequent slide of Moon into alcohol and drug abuse. In this film the band are not only able to summon up magic seemingly at will but they are in between songs hilariously funny. Listen to the banter between Townshend and Moon before they start Tommy and the long preamble to a quick one. Best still the comments about moving into the Colliseum for the week but "all the seats would be covered in chewing gum, and all the little binoculars would be gone".
Watch the Kilburn show once but show your children and anyone who wants to start a rock band the Colisseum it is absolutely required viewing for anyone wanting to know about performance and star quality. Moon is mesmerising in his utterly tireless attack of his kit.
Buy - this DVD for the bonus disc it is essential
on 5 February 2015
This is a review of the BluRay DVD of the 1977 Who concert filmed at Kilburn in north London. This gig was recorded for the documentary, The Kids Are Alright. Parts of the show made it into that film, but the rest of the set was hidden away for 30 or so years, keeping longtime fans waiting for its release. The resulting document, The Who at Kilburn: 1977 benefits from the extensive technical set up (high-quality film, multiple camera angles, careful audio recording, etc) but also reveals a band a little rusty after nearly a year off from touring. Overall, it provides a fascinating look at the Who at that particular moment, despite the uneveness of the band's performance. It is known to be the Last concert performance from Keith Moon.
The DVD also features the 1969 Coliseum concert, this was a couple of months before the Who live at Leeds / Hull etc and the track listing similar, mainly Tommy. It is a good performance of the Who at their peak. However, it is not filmed as well as the Kilburn gig.
Now I agree with a few reviewers that the Kilburn gig is angry and pretty rusty, but it still has its moments of magic. Keith is all over the place, Roger forgets his lines and Pete is not a happy chap, But John seems pretty solid. But when the 4 of them are together after the best part of a year without playing live it is compelling viewing. It's not quite car crash bad, but some of the clips are a bit cringeworthy. But, it does go to show how they have that amazing energy and even a fairly shambolic performance like this can still sound great. It was like when they played at Live Aid in 1985 loads of people said it was poor, well I didn't really know who they were until then but they caught me eye, or should I say ear? So whilst they are not at there best they are still well worth watching. Some of Townsend's antics are great, the windmill, the jump, the slide etc. No idea how he didn't do himself a mischief!
The DVD comes with a booklet that gives some background info about the concerts, but it would have been nice to see a tracklisting. The Kilburn gig is about 65 mins and the Coliseum about 70mins. There is also the mini opera from the "Quick One".
So all in all a moment in rock history worth watching.
on 1 February 2011
It's not entirely fair to blame Moon for the lacklustre performance at Kilburn. Yes, he's clearly unfit and not the drummer he was but he holds it together pretty well and his roll on the toms at the end of the synth break on Won't Get Fooled Again is magnificent. The whole band is out of practice and you'd have thought they could have put in some rehearsal knowing they were going to be filmed. The main culprit here is Townshend who goes so far off course during Who Are You that the rest just give up trying to discern any recognisable melody or rhythm and stop playing. He looks in a foul temper throughout the whole show, casting murderous glances at everybody.
On the other hand, the Coliseum gig depicts the band at their peak, tight and completely together. The banter on stage between Moon and Townshend is hilarious and it's great to hear some different songs slipping in like Tattoo and Fortuneteller. An essential purchase for this footage alone.
on 5 December 2011
A 2 disc set features the Who at the top of their game in December 1969, including the bonus tracks--a full version of Tommy when it was fresh and cutting; the energy is almost tangible in your room; standard set as per live at Leeds but much more--the band sizzle; some say the film quality is poor--but in fact it seals the deal--this is the 1960s with all the hazy memories that would be shattered by HD remastering if it was posssible--all the live favorites--Magic Bus, Substitute, My Generation, Young Man Blues, Summertime blues... and Tommy... Townsend burns the air, Moony bashes your ears, Entwhistle's bass rumbles through your guts and Daltrey's shopwmanship is at its wildest; this is ideal for younger fans to see what the Who was all about;
The other disc features a 1977 concert for a Who film, the Kids are Alright; this bookends the other disc with the Who at the very end of their classic period; abit tired and a bit too polished? Moony seems a little less animated and this is his last concert with the band before... still a good round-up especially latter-day classics... won't get fooled again, Baba o riley, Behind blue Eyes... and a smattering of oldies and covers... still shows the band had legs even after the excesses and emotional problems of the early-mid 1970s.
on 14 December 2014
despite some reviews on here, I feel this is the most exiting Who show ever,with the original four members
filmed in 35mm film , and remastered for blu ray, could have been more rehersed, but the Who , are at their wildest,
and loose where some songs break out to a full jam, though a few are done in their complete form
the who are at their best, with Kieths drumming at its most explosive par excellence, im very gratefull
this show was set up, with Kieth during his last months alive, its great this was captured, for me the number one
most exciting live performance ive seen, the who at Kilburn, and also a bonus concert, at the colisieam
on 26 April 2015
A really interesting DVD,the main gig at Kilburn is really good,despite the odd hiccup,the older one is In the opera house and the filming is prehistoric,sounds ok though.Well with a look,recommended.
on 17 October 2015
The Kilburn gig is pretty good but it seems as though Pete has really 'got one on him' which is why he wanted this whole gig re-filmed because he wasn't satisfied and it was to be used in parts for 'The Kids Are Alright ' film. The rest of The Who seem to be in good nick but it has a bit of 'Bad Atmos' about it. The Tommy extras are not brilliant and a bit grainy in quality but interesting all the same.
on 27 January 2016
I'm not a huge Who fan but this is pretty essential viewing to see Keith Moon up close and witness the full power they had in the 70's, all in nice 35mm. The Who's importance to British rock music, punk and Brit pop included, cannot be overestimated and it's clear that At Kilburn we had a band at their zenith.
on 20 April 2015
As for real as it get's for a `70's Who gig - warts 'n all and in your face. There's some previous comments here that are somewhat negative and I can only guess that these "reviewers" discovered The Who circa `89, by which time they were flawless and choreographed (thankfully they reversed that idea in 1999 and got back to a 5-piece). I also wonder what they're listening to this with as it really doesn't translate very well just using your flat screen in-built speakers.
I saw The Who with Keith Moon, 4 times in the 70's, each show different, each flawed and raw and with certain songs so powerful I would question why they would bother with a studio recorded version. The volume level of their PA was beyond belief and I remember my rib cage being hammered by the bass and not being able to hear very well for a day or two. You left the show physically drained and aching all over. These were small theatre shows in Glasgow, with the same PA as they're using at Kilburn. I went to one stadium show at Park Head (Celtic F.C.) Glasgow and stood well up front close to the stage. During the first couple of songs I saw people doubled up clasping their ears as they just couldn't handle the volume. My friend and I couldn't hear a word either of us shouted at each other in appreciation after the first few songs and gave up even trying.
Oh, yeah, a review of this show... why bother, it's very good indeed and for those detractor's on Moon's performance, let me say this - BS!
For those that don't know, Moon played to whatever Townshend was doing, one of the reason's why he never used a drum riser; for he didn't like them and most importantly for him, he had to see as much of Townshend as possible. I could not care less that he lost the place a bit towards the end of Baba O'Riley, I've got loads of bootlegs where exactly that happened, too. I detest that comment found in a "review" here that "he let the side down". So if you want to know what The Who sounded like on any given average night start here. I'll treasure this show forever.
on 24 May 2012
At the start, Roger Daltrey announces that "We dunno what this is gonna be like, coz we ain't played most of these songs for about a year" followed up after a few songs by Pete Townshend saying: "Well this wasn't worth filming, Stein. You might as well send the cameras home". This is The Who at the end of the road, rusty, out of shape, clearly unhappy, and loose (an adjective rarely used for this band). Of course it's The Who, so it's still head and shoulders above what any other band would be like after a year without playing on stage. Only My Wife gets the juices flowing, the rest is a disappointment.