Top positive review
22 people found this helpful
on 18 June 2014
Lifelong Who fans like me will buy this anyway and won't need a review from me to encourage them, but for what it's worth I think this is exceptionally good. It's very well produced, but most importantly the performance of the band is simply brilliant.
I was a little sceptical about whether this would really be any good. A fine show, certainly, and Pete and Roger can always be relied upon but I did wonder about the overall effect. In fact, in places I prefer this to the original album - something I never thought I'd say after 40 years of loving the original. Roger's voice has matured and mellowed somewhat and his diction isn't as crisp as it was but, by God, that heart-racing power is still all there when he needs it. The high notes in Is It In My Head, for example, are still spine-tingling and I'm One is an absolute masterpiece here, I think, with thrilling, thoughtful vocals, some fine acoustic guitar from Pete and superb work from the rest of the band. Age has brought a greater depth and sense of meaning to their performances without losing one jot of their sheer visceral power and excitement. I'm thrilled and a little surprised at how good this is.
I also think special mention should go to Scott Devours on drums. I didn't think it possible for anyone to replace Keith Moon, and in a sense it isn't - he was a unique one-off. Devours has the sense not to try to imitate the inimitable but he gets the sense and feel of the man somehow, and although the drumming isn't Moon and never could be, it feels exactly right and I think it's a brilliant performance which really adds to the set.
The sheer impact of the final three tracks of Quadrophenia - 5.15, The Rock and Love Reign O'er Me - is stunning. I used to sit in my room at university sometimes, put on Side 4 of the album and blow my head off through headphones instead of working. I think it's even more powerful than that in this performance, which is really saying something. (It's great to have the mini-Greatest Hits section at the end, but I have to play that separately.)
The Who were always a great live band. I saw them just the once, at The Valley in 1974, and on this evidence they're still just as good - possibly better in some ways. This isn't just piece for fans to add to their collections and forget about. It's a genuinely excellent live performance of great music and one that I'll be playing for years to come. Very, very warmly recommended.