DVD Review: The Who at Kilburn 1977

April 23, 2009

The Who at Kilburn show was a one-off gig that the band booked to get some footage for a Jeff Stein movie tentatively titled The Kids Are Alright.

They’re at the top of their game, despite Roger Daltrey’s excuse that opens the show that they hadn’t played most of these tunes in a year. They open with “I Can’t Explain” and it inspiring to watch Pete Townshend play the riff on his Number 1 Les Paul (oh the mini humbuckers of it all). His tone is killing throughout, as is the very stoic John Entwistle. You can see as many as five—count ’em—Hiwatt heads stacked up behind Pete for a completely kick-ass backline. “Behind Blue Eyes” is an excellent showcase of the range of tones that can be sqeezed out of a Les Paul/Hiwatt rig. They’re kind enough to provide killer close-ups of Pete’s hands on the “Pinball Wizard” intro, and it’s as good a rhythm guitar lesson as you’ll find anywhere. You want power chords? Take a look at “I’m Free.”

Fans of the movie will instantly recognize the “Won’t Get Fooled Again” footage, but most of this has been stashed away for 30 years. It’s a must-have for fans of the Who, or anyone who likes great rock singing, drumming, bass playing, or guitar.

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