November 9, 2008

THE WHO LIVE AT KILBURN: 1977, rating - A+


Ok, just reviewed this 2 disc DVD and have lots to say about it. First off, as you know I typically give away the CDs and DVDs that are so kindly provided to me be various media companies - but I am KEEPING THIS ONE!

The footage of this concert, The Who at Kilburn: 1977, has been stashed away in the vaults for thirty years but was re-mastered incredibly well. You can find a few clips on You Tube from this performance, but the quality is poor. On the second disc in this set is unseen footage from a performance at the London Coliseum (an opera house) from 1969! Unfortunately the quality of that one was filmed differently and could not be remastered but its still easy to watch because the quality of the performances by Roger, Pete, John and Keith make up for it.

As with all live performances things don't always go perfect. There are a few mishaps and some interesting bantering with the audience. At one point when Roger notoriously flings his mic out over the audience and pulls it back to catch it - he misses, but he doesn't miss a beat in continuing to dance and find another mic :)

Its almost painful to watch the footage of Keith knowing it was his last live performance with them. His boyish face grinning as he pounds out each song. Of course Pete does all his typical Townsend theatrics (and falls once on disc 2), his guitar talent and style is the main focus of many of the songs. And John, a superb bassist, adds his calm charm and deep voice to make them the perfectly well rounded rock band. GREAT STUFF! All the hits you would want plus several surprises.

If you watch them back to back you can see how the band has perfected and polished their act over ten years, although they certainly weren't lacking anything in '69. They were so young - all around 25, and were already a huge success.

For me this DVD has a special significance. I've only seen The Who one time. It was in 1976, a year before this was filmed and the last year Keith played with with the band before his tragic death.

My memory of this day is so clear, I can still see what I was wearing, I can see my boyfriend Scott's red hair and his puka shell necklace. I can feel his hand holding mine so tight as we stood in line for hours, people pushing and shoving (later that same tour several people would die from being crushed in the crowd). I was so scared standing in that line that I told Scott I didn't even want to get on the field so we sat in the stadium seating on Pete's side of the stage with a great view.

The concert was being held at the Angel's Stadium in Anaheim. It was general admission so people had waited overnight in line hoping to rush to the front of the field and get close to the stage. I have searched the Internet for info on this concert but can't find a thing! I know the concert took place, I was there! It had to be the summer of '76 because I was 16 and that's the summer I dated Scott. I did find one photo labeled "The Who at Sunset in Anaheim".

I don't recall any opening act - but there must have been one right? All I know is we sat for literally HOURS waiting and waiting for the show to start. Now, being an outside show we didn't have the usual hints that the band was going to take stage. There was no dimming of the lights for that "THEY'RE ON STAGE" moment.

But there we were, in our seats, the sun starting to set, an orange glow about the sky and seemingly out of nowhere...

the sound of a piano playing the opening of Baba O'Riley
it went on for what seems like ten minutes,
no one on stage,
, in a burst of sound and energy,
there they were!

and Roger BELTs out in his perfect vocals:

Out here in the fields
I fight for my meals
I get my back into my living.
I don't need to fight
To prove I'm right
I don't need to be forgiven...

I'll tell you, it was one of the BEST moments in my long history of attending rock concerts. If you watch this video, you will get a glimpse of what it was like (Roger is also damn good on the harp!) It was great. We had no idea, of course, that it would be one of Keith's last shows.

All this to say:


Thevan said...

thx fer the utube vid! HOW AWESOME WAS THATt!!!!!!!!

ahhh.. ahh.. i'm dumbfounded.. period.

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

Thevan, so glad you liked it! I loved revisiting The Who today.

(but for me...they ceased to the The Who after Keith died :(

carlozzi006 said...

Amazing review, thank you so much.

I love everything about the Who. If I had to pick one band that I can go back and see live in their heyday it would be them.

I'm going to have to get this DVD now!

drewzepmeister said...

Excellent review,Barb!

I've always wanted to get my hands on a mid 70's live recording from the Who. The bootlegs are hard to find. Now I hit a gold mine. Thanks Barb! I'm going to go get this DVD soon!

Jwonderboy said...

Thanks for the review...its going on my xmas wish list!

Bond said...

Excellent review... I get Five for Fighting DVD and you get The Who!?!?!?!?


See, now I never saw the Who...dang it all

peach said...

It's going on my Amazon wish list. I'm jealous that you got to see them live! They never made it to Nashville. When I was 12 they were in Chicago and a classmate of mine went to see them. There was no way my Mom was letting me do that.

Isorski said...

Hey Layla - great review. I just got around to posting my own review at I held off on reading yours until mine was done! I agree that this DVD is a must-own and in your case a must-keep!

Anonymous said...

Your memory can't be that good because those people that were trampled at a Who concert weren't killed later on during the 76 Who tour, they were in fact killed during a 1979 Who tour with Kenny Jones on drums after Keith Moon had already died. You may be confused as to the year you saw the band and that is why why you can't find any info on it.

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

Anon, you know, you're right, my memory is not that good! As I wrote that there was some doubt in my mind. But I know I saw them in '76 cause I was with my boyfriend Scott and that's the year I dated him.

Anonymous said...

This might help you find the show you saw. This web site has every Who concert tour by year, every show they ever played is listed there. The shows include the set list and details about the show. Here is a link to their 1976 tour.

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