DVD Review: The Who Live in Texas ’75

The Who when they were great, with Keith Moon slashing away on the drums, vintage stuff that starts off with a superb rendition of “Substitute” followed by “I Can’t Explain”  Even the deplorable “Squeeze Box” sounds good in this setting and on this outing…thankfully followed by the antidote… “Baba O’Reilly”.

This is an amazing trip back with an 8 page booklet to boot and film footage that is in the style of the old TV show, Rock Concert. The material is at the mercy of the stage lighting but it feels real and sounds excellent. Roger Daltrey is in good voice and after so many Superbowl and other high-profile gigs of the new millennium it’s amazing how those pounds and wrinkles just melt away.   This is a raw, hungry Who, superstars with a mission and playing an enormous amount of hits for their fans.  Pete Townshend strains for the notes on his part in “O’Reilly”, but the youthful abandon of The Who as the entertainers in their teenage wasteland is amazing…November 20th 1975 at The Summit in Houston, Texas is now etched in stone with selections from the rock opera Tommy as well as essential hits and a splashy and very exciting “Roadrunner.”

This is the Who as I remember them when they played Boston in 1973…there was nothing quite like it…and by the time Quadrophenia rolled around, so did a bit of the magic, which pretty much evaporated with the passing of Keith Moon.

This IS the magical Who that we know and love with Moon in great form…and his bandmates orbiting his controlled chaos.  It’s simply wonderful and essential for your collection.

Some notes: Keith Moon passed away on September 7, 1978, less than 3 years after this performance captured the madman drummer in his prime.  Born on August 23, 1946 he had just turned twenty-nine and here on this tape a true force, making this an essential snapshot of one of the all-time great rock drummers at the absolute peak of his power.

Townshend, born May 19, 1945 was thirty and looks even younger…he has not aged gracefully.  So why am I pointing out so much of the then and now?   Because these “historical documents” are extraordinary looks into the magic generated by these now classic rock acts.   To put it in perspective, a hundred years from now The Who Live In Texas ’75 could be the film future generations of music fans turn to for their first Who fix.

The entire view we have contemporaneous with the Who’s success (those of us old enough to have lived through the early days) is thrown out the window when the history is not discovered in chronological order.    Some human living on Mars might experience The Who for the first time with this DVD (in whatever format it shows up on).  And that would not be a bad thing.  It could be a very, very good thing.  Let’s have more of these “historical documents.”

Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com, Gatehouse Media, Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, and a variety of other media outlets. Joe also produces and hosts Visual Radio, a seventeen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed Jodie Foster, director/screenwriter David Koepp, Michael Moore, John Cena, comics/actors Margaret Cho, Gilbert Gottfried, Gallagher, musicians Mark Farner and Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad, Ian Hunter of Mott The Hoople, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals, political commentator Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.