DVD review: THE WHO – Tommy Live at the Royal Albert Hall

THE WHO - Tommy Live at the Royal Albert Hall

Eagle Vision [Release date 13.10.17]

Such is the impact they have made on British music over the years that I am of the theory that even the casual music listener could name at least 5 songs by The Who. The band’s latest release comes in the form of new CD/DVD “Tommy- Live at The Royal Albert Hall” and captures the rock opera in its entirety for the first time since the late Eighties.

Filmed in April of this year, in support of the Teenage Cancer Trust, the show was originally planned to be an acoustic affair- I, for one, am glad they went down the full band route as the bring the story back to life.

One of the surprising things about the performance is the notable absence of a host of well-known friends in cameo roles- in the past the band have enlisted the likes of Billy Idol, Phil Collins, Elton John etc when performing Tommy or Quadrophenia live and on this occasion have foregone this and played it straight down the line.

The subject matter of Tommy is an uncomfortable one at times, particularly as the subject continues to unfold throughout the entertainment business on an almost weekly basis. The soundtrack is at times dark and menacing but it does also include the standout tracks “Pinball Wizard” and “I’m Free”- in addition, there is also a seven song section after the opera that includes “I Can’t Explain”, “Who Are You”, “I Can See For Miles” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again”.

Bonus material on the DVD edition includes a behind the scenes feature and animations for “The Acid Queen” and “Pinball Wizard”- both of which contain the live audio from the stage performance. ***

Review by Nikk Gunns


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