Live At Shea Stadium 1982 (DVD)

The Who

Eagle Rock Entertainment, 2015

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


The Who was on tour in North America when they arrived at Shea Stadium for two sold out shows on October 12th and 13th 1982. They would not tour again for seven years and it was their last tour with drummer Kenny Jones. Keyboardist Tom Gorman was also on hand for these shows.

The entire second show has now been released with five bonus tracks from the first performance. The sound and video are both excellent and have a crispness that belies their age. Many times in a live recording, an instrument is lost in the mix but here everything is in sync, including John Entwistle’s thumbing bass, which provides the foundation for the sound. The only minor issue is the sound of the crowd, which is either turned down or they were not very loud or invested.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The Who in 1982 had settled into a mature groove. Much of their frenetic approach in concert dissipated with the death of Keith Moon. Jones has not fared very well in the band’s history, as Keith Moon was an impossible act to follow, but he provided a steadying if not spectacular hand. This is very apparent in this concert as Townshend, Daltry, and Entwistle are connected and involved. It all adds up to one of the better Who concerts on film.

Their Shea Stadium show was a combination of big hits, well-known songs, and a number of obscurities that were rarely played live. “Dangerous,” “It’s Hard,” “Naked Eye,” “Drowned,” and “Cry If You Want” have disappeared into Who history, so it is interesting to hear and see them performed on stage.

Only two songs, “Pinball Wizard” and “See Me Feel Me,” are from Tommy, which is a relief, as material from the rock opera has appeared on numerous live recordings.

It is their middle career material that forms the foundation for the concert. “Behind Blue Eyes,” “Baba O’Riley,” “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” “Eminence Front,” and “It’s Hard” all benefit from Gorman’s keyboards and show a sophisticated approach to their live material.

The concert came to a rocking end with “I Saw Her Standing There,” “Summertime Blues,” and “Twist And Shout.”

Of the five bonus tracks, “5:15” and “My Generation” were inexplicably left out of the second show, so it is nice to have both as extra tracks as the energy just flows from one to the other.

Live At Shea Stadium 1982 is a nice time capsule of The Who. It is a very different live performance than any with Keith Moon as their music was getting more complex and they were in transition as a band. This release fills in some gaps in their career and is a must for any of their fans.

Rating: B+

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