For millions of fans around the world, The Who has defined the quintessential rock band for nearly four decades. The band's extraordinary music and lyrics have left and indelible imprint on music history, and their live pe... more »rformances are legendary. Songs:
Lots of other musicians performing with The Who which adds to the great performance. The picture quality looked great on DVD too.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
John to Pete: You Really Think You're Going There Without Me
Brian J Hay | Sarnia, Ontario Canada | 03/17/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"During the playing of John's song, "My Wife", the cameras capture a sequence that literally, says it all. The band has just entered an instrumental break. Pete is introduces the line, John tosses his pick to the wind and grabs up great handfuls of bass strings. From there, it's a race. At their best the Who were always like that. They played as if they were trying to run away from the each other but kept landing in the same place. They were evenly matched and "read" each other so well it usually worked. Mistakes happened, but hell, those only showed how many chances they were willing to take. Crowds loved that and it literally, cemented their reputation as the greatest live band ever. When Keith died they were still an excellent band but his part of that chemistry was lost. John (Rabbit) Bundrick was (and still is) fine with it, but Kenney Jones wasn't. It was that simple.Then Zak Starkey came along. When (yet) another tour was announced for the spring of 2000 critics were quick to label it to end up as another zip-less grab for money. Little did they know. Zak had been with the band for a few years and largely restored the vitality Keith had injected. More important, he gave Entwistle and Townshend someone they could "run" with again. When they stripped the band back down again the old fire came back. In the spring, summer and fall of 2000 they hit north America with a roar that hadn't been seen from anyone from any genre in decades. New material or no, the most explosive live band in rock was back! Live at the RAH more than illustrates this. That it's a "greatest hits" set (with an "all-star" guest list to boot) put me off for a while. Don't make the same mistake. The catalogue the Who have to offer is a great one. When it's performed this amount of passion by a band like this it never gets old. Roger can't quite hit all the high notes any longer, Pete doesn't jump a often, or as high and John's singing voice, never great, by this time was close to shot. All of this matters little. Roger has enough passion for ten singers. As well, he brings a level of intelligence and understanding to the material that's rare in the industry. And don't forget, he never takes any nights "off". What Pete lost in leaping ability he's gained in musical finesse. This man is playing the guitar the way he did thirty years ago but with all the skill that time and practice have added. Nobody plays like him. Nobody! John was a fabulous player. Ultimately this band may end up missing him even more than they missed Keith. His ability to pick up Townshend's threads and add immediately add to them was the glue which held them together.The importance of John (Rabbit) Bundrick can't be overstated. He's played with the Who since the late 1970's and it shows. It's hard to imagine keyboard player better suited to working with this outfit. He's literally all over everything Pete and John do as fast as Keith ever was. The guest stars, for the most fit in well. Eddie Vedder is a long time friend of Townshend and a fan. To watch him up there you could swear he knows their music as well as they do. Brian Adams looks a little nervous (for about ten seconds) but then cuts loose. His rendition of "Behind Blue Eyes" is classic. Nigel Kennedy comes in and plays the violin part from "Baba". He and Townshend have so much fun it has to be illegal (somehow anyway). Noel Gallagher doesn't leave the impact on "Won't Get Fooled Again" that Eddie Vedder leaves on "I'm One" but he doesn't hurt anything either. The only guest stars who fall a little short are Paul Weller and Kelly Jones. Weller and Townshend just don't mesh all that well. Kelly Jones, unfortunately, leaves you wanting Roger back on the mike to remind everyone what "Substitute" is "supposed" to sound like. The only other problem lies with the neck mounted camera used to spotlight John's bass solo. This was just a bad idea. It was supposed to give a close look. All it does is give wide angle close-ups that make Entwistle seem disembodied from the rest of the concert. It's too bad. The solo was a good one. Thankfully that camera was only used on the one segment. This is nit picking though. The performance is a great one. The camera work is superb and the sound quality is fabulous. Buy it, turn it up and enjoy a great rock band doing their thing."
Out here in the fields...
Robert Dumas | Pawling, NY USA | 10/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was really torn about purchasing this DVD. I love the Who, but was worried that this show might contain shopworn and perfunctory performances from a band well past its prime and relevence.
Live at the Royal Albert Hall is, I think, the ultimate Who documentary -- should music historians wish to the study the group years from now.
While the band isn't as kinetic on stage as they once were (thank goodness!) -- they still have plenty of gas in the tank. Pete Townshend windmilled, Roger Daltry swung his mike like a crazed rodeo clown, John Entwistle rattled the rafters with his bass runs -- and Zack Starkey (all hail Zack) is clearly Keith Moon reincarnated. (Are we sure he's Ringo's son? Did Barbara - Ringo's wife - hang out with Keith much???)
This concert was a fundraiser for a cancer research charity, so in that spirit, many of the Who's musical friends stop by to sit in on several songs. This was a wonderful addition as it lent new texture and life to some old time songs. It didn't work everytime, but for the most part -- a delight!
Eddie Vedder sounds amazing on "I'm One." The Sterophonics' Kelly Jones turns "Substitute" into a modern day punk anthem. Paul Weller's (The Jam) acoustic duet with Townshend on "So Sad About Us" is a wonderful surprise. The only one of these guest appearences that fails is Bryan Adams' flaccid treatment of "Behind Blue Eyes." A singer of dubious talent, Adams belongs on stage next to Roger Daltry about as much as I do. And while most guests chose more obscure songs from the Who catalog thus muting possible comparisons, Adams chose the high-profile "Behind Blue Eyes," my personal favorite Who song. Um, let's just say that Roger sings it better.
That one little set back aside, I am so happy I purchased this little slice of rock 'n' roll history. Besides the special guests, it's all here: Pinball Wizard, Bargain, Baba O'Riley, Won't Get Fooled Again, Who Are You, You Better You Bet, The Real Me, 5:15... and on and on. They do quite a few tunes from Quadrophenia, in fact, and that makes me happy too.
The sound, the lighting, the format -- it's all excellent. If you are a Who fan, a rock fan -- this one is for you!"
It's as if the Who have been reborn!
Matthew Bush | Seattle, WA United States | 10/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I saw The Who perform here in Seattle back in their heyday, they were unquestionably one of the top live rock groups on the scene. By the time they played a benefit for Kampuchia (1979?) and their 1982 "Farewell Tour", they had devolved into a mere shadow of their former selves, going though the motions, looking tired and uninspired. I remember remarking that the song "My Generation" with the lyrics "Hope I die before I get old" were conspicuously missing from those final tours.
Now, all these years later, after reading rave reviews of this Albert Hall 2000 DVD, I bought a copy, and was floored. From Pete Townsend's opening chords of "I Can't Explain" it was as if the Who magically recaptured the power,intensity and stage presence they had thirty years ago. Songs like "Relay" "My Wife" "Magic Bus" "Bargain" "5:15" are played as well as I've ever heard them. In fact, I can't think of another rock band formed in the past 25 years that can touch these guys' energy even though Townsend, Daltrey and Entwistle are pushing 60. The younger members of the band, Zac Starkey on drums and John Bundrick on keyboards fit right in, excellent musicians.
I recognize that this was a benefit show, and these often involve special guests. However, the Who is such a great band that the appearance of guests only subtracts from the show in my opinion. One exception is violinist extraordinaire Nigel Kennedy who does a great job on Baba O'Reilley, and on another positive note, at least Phil Collins (the usual benefit guest) wasn't invited.
The frosting on the cake is that the show is impeccably filmed (although I agree with another reviewer that the edits every 3 seconds is too much) and the sound is first rate. This is what DVD is all about."
This is what a music DVD should look like
A fan of the Who and Pearl Jam | Albuquerque, NM United States | 07/30/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great concert with fabulous sound. I saw the Who 3 months before this was filmed and this captures their then-present sound and show. As for the guest stars, don't be afraid of Bryan Adams! He actually sounds good doing Behind Blue Eyes, he has a bit of a sneer to his singing, and doesn't sound like you'd expect. The reason I gave this 4 instead of 5 stars is because of the omitted songs. There were 2 or 3 songs played at the concert that were edited out of the DVD. One of them was a perfect version of Getting in Tune with Eddie Vedder singing along with Roger. I've heard a bootleg recording of it and it is appalling that they would leave in Kelly Jones doing a terrible vocal on Substitute on the DVD, and cut out this great song with Ed Ved. Kelly Jones sings the song with all the annoyance of an Oasis cover version. Also the guitarist from Oasis should be ashamed of standing next to Pete Townshend and only being able to play a wimpy 2-note solo on possibly THE rock anthem of all time, Won't Get Fooled Again. He should not have been invited to the concert. I think many of the guests were used to appeal to the British audience, which is fine, but then don't cut out Getting in Tune, which sounds leaps and bounds over Substitute. Yes, we get a fine version of Ed Vedder singing on Lets See Action and I'm One, and also on the end jam, but Getting In Tune should have been in this DVD. Kelly Jones should not have.Other than those complaints, what was left in the DVD is a great performance. The editing of the video is a little to quick/MTV. But the sound is great and the Who is awesome."
The Who still rocks
David E. Levine | Peekskill , NY USA | 04/15/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As I write this review, I have tickets to see The Who in concert and I bought this DVD to whet my appetite. Consider my appetite well whetted!! This concert was recorded on November 27, 2000 and the band is better than ever. I can't wait to see them. What I particularly liked about this DVD is that the footage of both Peter Townshend on the guitar and John Entwistle on bass really provides intricate detail. The camera work is superb and you really get to see how they do what they do. Townshend was a contemporary of Hendrix and Clapton, so he is often underrated. When you see close up, what he does and listen to him, you realize that he belongs in the select group of super guitarists of the Hendrix/Clapton stature. In this DVD, he still exhibits his showmanship with his windmills, jumps, and occasional lapses into course language.Interestingly, Townshend was using Fender Stratocasters in this concert even though historically, he has used both Gibson Les Pauls and SGs. Indeed, Gibson produces an SG model named after Townshend. The Fenders are very different guitars, with single coil pickups rather than humbuckers yet, Townshend produces that same great sound.This DVD is over 2 hours and twenty minutes long. You definitely get your money's worth. there is also a second disc with effects and extras. I disagree with several reviewers who claim that the sound quality is poor. I thought it was fine. In fact. in listening to some of their numbers, such as "Who Are You," and "Baba O'Riley" if you close your eyes you could almost think you are listening to the studio recording. Other songs are highly improvised such as "The Kids Are Alright," which is both lengthened and includes changes.The ending is emotional. This concert was a benefit for a charity supporting teenage cancer patients. The concluding song is, predictably enough, "See Me, Feel Me" and the group is joined in this finale by great musicians who had cameo appearances in this concert. At this point, Roger Daltry's voice is beginning to tire (it had been strong through most of the concert) but it doesn't matter. Indeed, his voice becoming slighly coarse at the end just adds to the great effect of a live concert. They are further joined on stage by a group of teens who are beneficiaries of the charity. To see them on stage, happy, singing along, smiling, and jumping excitedly to the music brings a real lump to the throat. This is a great DVD and I highly recommend it."