Aggression brilliantly on display

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Feb 2013 Aggression brilliantly on display


The Who – Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970

DVD & CD:  Salvo

The Who’s inimitable brand of joyous aggression is showcased brilliantly in this DVD and double-CD package that recalls a momentous performance in front of about 600,000 people.

Both elements capture the surging vigour and sheer intensity of the Who at the very height of their live fervour – with some newly enhanced sound all the better for the CDs to convey the tumultuous rampage of the band’s blistering hard rock onslaught. The companion DVD is a mesmerising, evocative audio-visual record of The Who’s compelling ingredients – Daltrey as rock-god vocalist, Townshend ‘windmilling’ furiously, a clean-shaven Entwistle characteristically static (except for his fast-moving fingers on their bass strings), and Moon boyishly demonic.

Who-1The ebb and flow of the Who’s magnificent sense of control and raw power is evident throughout a set list that mixes older songs with newer compositions. Each disc of the CD runs for very nearly an hour and the DVD film for 85 minutes – appended with two previously unseen performances. The film capturing the ensemble’s volcanic frenzy is interspersed with shots of the crowd; those present were clearly delighted to be witnessing the event, but some of them – now of course of pensionable age – might be a bit embarrassed if they see their “enthusiastic” younger selves.

Vintage songs delivered in the course of an exuberant barrage include ‘I Can’t Explain’, ‘Substitute’, ‘My Generation’, ‘Magic Bus’ and ‘Pinball Wizard’ – the latter as part of a thoroughly committed ‘Tommy’ sequence. The set list also presents an unusual medley incorporating ‘Shakin’ All Over’, ‘Spoonful’ and ‘Twist and Shout’.

Russell Newmark