The Who delivers with ‘Tommy Live’

The Who’s Tommy is considered one of the greatest concept albums of all time, but it has taken the 50 year old group nearly that long to perform the double album live in its entirety. Tommy Live A The Royal Albert Hall comes to DVD, Blu-ray, 2 CD and 3 LP via Eagle Rock Entertainment today (Fri, Oct 13th). This unbelievable concert film captures the first-ever live performance by The Who of Tommy in its entirety and boasts over two hours and twenty minutes of content from the famed London venue in April 2017.

“I mean, Tommy for me, personally, it was the thing that broke my shell, especially vocally. It’s that kind of piece. It’s nothing to do with notes. It’s got more to do with the sound within them,” recalls vocalist Roger Daltrey during the film’s opening.

As one would expect from such a complicated collection of music, the group used charts during the performance. The songs were often sequed together to reflect the album with a few pauses in between. If the listener wasn’t familiar with the album, they may be confused when one song ends and another begins, but that’s their problem. The eight piece group is polished and sounds like they’ve been performing them their entire career.

“This is my music. I wrote most of Tommy. It was my idea to write a rock opera, I’m very proud of it, but you know, I was only twenty-three,” explains guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Pete Townshend. “It was a long time ago. It’s got some quite key bits I wouldn’t quite put in today.”

The concert is visually stunning with a variety of video effects gracing the large three-dimensional screens behind the band. In fact, the visuals often tell their own abstract stories as the band chugs along. As a bonus feature, fans can watch “The Acid Queen” and “Pinball Wizard” screen footage separately. The lighting they used is something you don’t see to often. Instead of just lighting the stage, the entire venue and audience are lit with themed lighting that includes blue, green, purple and others. It makes for a very unique and cool presentation.

While many 60’s and 70’s rockers have begun to show their age or have called it quits, The Who is still in full force. The band may be 50 years old, but they seem to be enjoying their art. Fans can enjoy Townshend’s signature big hand guitar moves and Daltrey’s microphone swinging as these legends perform the story of the “deaf, dumb and blind kid who sure played a mean pinball” for Teenage Cancer Trust. Plus, it wouldn’t be a Who show without the hits. Following the full album performance, the group returned to the stage for a seven set encore made up of some of its biggest hits including “Who Are You” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”

Gracing the stage with founding members Daltrey and Townshend are Townshend’s brother Simon on guitars and backing vocals, Ringo Starr’s son Zak Starkey on drums, Jon Button on bass guitar, Loren Gold and John Corey on keyboards with keyboardist Frank Simes serving as Musical Director.

Relive the magical performance of Tommy Live At The Royal Albert Hall with this great concert performance. Bonus features include behind the scenes footage and the aforementioned screen footage from “The Acid Queen” and “Pinball Wizard.”

Blu-ray | DVD | 2 CD | 3 LP

1) Introduction
2) Overture
3) It’s A Boy
4) 1921
5) Amazing Journey
6) Sparks
7) Eyesight To The Blind (The Hawker)
8) Christmas
9) Cousin Kevin
10) The Acid Queen
11) Do You Think It’s Alright?
12) Fiddle About
13) Pinball Wizard
14) There’s A Doctor
15) Go To The Mirror!
16) Tommy Can You Hear Me?
17) Smash The Mirror
18) Underture
19) I’m Free
20) Miracle Cure
21) Sensation
22) Sally Simpson
23) Welcome
24) Tommy’s Holiday Camp
25) We’re Not Gonna Take It
26) I Can’t Explain
27) Join Together
28) I Can See For Miles
29) Who Are You
30) Love, Reign O’er Me
31) Baba O’Reilly
32) Won’t Get Fooled Again

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.

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