DVD review: THE WHO – Live At Shea Stadium 1982

THE WHO - Live At Shea Stadium

Eagle Vision [Release date 29.06.15]

Released for the first time as part of their 50th anniversary celebration, this DVD captures the second of The Who’s two nights at New York’s Shea Stadium on 13 October 1982.  It was part of their tour to promote It’s Hard, the Who’s second and last studio album to feature Kenney Jones.

It was later announced as their final tour and as such, although it featured a number of tracks from It’s Hard which were only ever played on this tour, it included all the usual classics – ‘Pinball Wizard’, ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’, ‘My Generation’, ‘Substitute’, ‘Who Are You’, ‘I Can’t Explain’, ‘See Me Feel Me’, ‘Baba O’Riley’ and the like.

Officially released for the first time the DVD features restored footage and newly mixed sound, and in the context of a recording of a stadium gig over 30 years ago – and pre-Live Aid – it’s pretty impressive, and a surprise that it’s been kept under wraps for so long.

The clothes may be dated and a strange mishmash -  Daltrey and the Ox suited throughout, Jones in rocker’s cap sleeved T, and Townsend quiffed and in loose leather biker jacket and pants that today would be described ‘loungewear’  (to you and me pyjama bottoms) but it doesn’t diminish the band’s typically powerful performance which is well captured visually and sonically.

Compared to more modern recordings the audience is somewhat audibly muted, which detracts from the ‘atmosphere’ of the recording, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  I think there was some suspicion that, kept in the vault for so long, the footage would be of dubious quality.

But no, it’s a ‘must have’ for any Who aficionado and one that will sit comfortably next to inevitable The Who Hits 50! live DVD when it inevitably surfaces.  Cleverly timed to hit the shelves as The Who exit the stage from closing out this year’s Glastonbury.  ****

Review by Pete Whalley

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