THE WHO – Live In Texas ’75

Title: The Who Live in Texas '75

Director: n/a

Release Date: October 09, 2012

Who DVD

 117 mins / www.eaglerockent.com

 

BY LEE ZIMMERMAN

 

The differences between then and now couldn’t be more apparent. This version of the band soars on the strengths of its four original members rather than two survivors and a bunch of hired hands. The energy is palpable, a nonstop whirlwind of kinetic motion, each man (save bassist John Entwistle of course) spinning out of control in his own inimitable way. Townshend darting back and forth, back arched, legs askew, arms poised in his famous whirlwind sweep. Daltrey, the dramatic, perfectly poised rock god, tossing the microphone and retrieving it with an outsized grand gesture. Moon, the mad dervish, bearing down on his drum arsenal with a fierce determination that belies his clownish persona.

 

Of course, 37 years is bound to create a contrast. The set list for starters; here they’re introducing new material, the numbers from Who By Numbers, while today’s Who is revisiting an archival classic in Quadrophenia.  The look is different, Townshend – with beard and hair–  dressed in a white suit with bellbottom trousers, Daltrey still bearing his trademark curls and physique-fitting leather jumper. Yet, the biggest difference remains the determination; even ten years removed from their beginnings, the Who still had something to prove and their brash, riveting performance retains more than a hint of their insurgent origins. Technical limitations aside (an emphasis on one angle shot from stage right primarily, too few shots of the band in tandem, a home movie kind of quality that reflects the technology of the era, etc.), this is the quintessential Who at their best. There are occasional details worth noting — Entwistle’s harmonies during “Behind Blue Eyes,” Townshend’s confession that “However Much I Booze” is part of his mantra to stay sober,” Moon’s intros and outbursts when handed a mike — but most of the gems of the set might be well anticipated. There is, for example, no more riveting refrain in all of Rock than the “See Me, Hear Me, Feel Me” coda from Tommy and for that matter, no more dynamic combo than this band in its prime. With no frills and no bonus material, the concert stands on its own. And that’s just fine. As a stirring reminder of all Rock aspires to be, Live In Texas ‘75 couldn’t be more affirming or essential.

 

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