The Who is one of the most iconic bands in the modern history of the music industry. The band, originally composed of front man Roger Daltry, guitarist Pete Townshend, drummer Keith Moon, and bassist John Entwhistle, has seen its lineup change a number of times over the course of its now fifty years plus making music. Through it all Daltry and Townshend have both remained at the core of the band. And late last year the duo, along with its current roster of backing musicians, marked The Who’s fiftieth anniversary with an extensive global tour. While there were some bumps along the way, the band finally wrapped its tour this past June at London’s famed Hyde Park. The concert was recorded and last month was released by Eagle Rock Entertainment and Universal Music Group in a triple-disc Blu-ray/2 CD combo pack. The experience presented throughout the course of the set’s discs make this recording one more of the year’s best new live overall recordings. The main reason for that is the show’s set list. The twenty-plus song set takes listeners of all ages throughout the band’s expansive catalogue of hits. There is a lot to say here. It will be noted shortly. On a related note, there are some differences between the concert’s CD presentation and Blu-ray presentation that set the two apart from each other. This is another important element of the recording that makes its presentation so important to note. Last but not least of note here is the band’s stage presence throughout the 109-minute (one hour and forty-nine minutes) concert. Daltry and Townshend may be up there in age. But the pair definitely doesn’t show it even despite Townshend’s joke in one interview about how easily he and Daltry getting easily winded. Each element is important in its own right to the overall presentation that is The Who: Live in Hyde Park. Altogether, they make this recording one more of the year’s best new live recordings.
The Who: Live in Hyde Park is one of this year’s top new live recordings. The main reason for the recording earning such acclaim is its set list. The show’s set list runs nearly two hours. Among that massive collection of hits featured in this show’s set list are: ‘My Generation,’ ‘Pinball Wizard,’ ‘Baba O’Reily,’ ‘I Can’t Explain,’ ‘You Better You Bet,’ ‘Who Are You,’ ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again,’ ‘Join Together,’ ‘The Kids Are Alright,’ ‘I Can See For Miles’ and a number of others. Simply put the show includes songs that audiences of all ages know and love. And depending on how one counts the total number of songs, it could be argued that the set list features a total of twenty-two songs. Some of those songs are included as part of a couple of medleys. So the total number of songs could be argued. Regardless of which side one takes on that discussion, the fact that so much of the band’s extensive catalogue of hits is featured in this concert is plenty of reason for audiences to check out the recording. It isn’t the only reason that audiences will want to check out The Who: Live in Hyde Park. Believe it or not the concert’s Blu-ray presentation is actually different in at least a couple of ways from its CD presentation. That is another important element to note in its overall presentation.
The set list that is presented in The Who: Live in Hyde Park is in itself an important reason for audiences to check out this latest live recording from The Who. It is just one part of what makes this recording such an interesting experience for audiences. Between its Blu-ray and CD presentations The Who: Live in Hyde Park audiences actually get two largely different presentations. That is just as important to note of this recording as the show’s set list. Audiences will note in comparing in both its Blu-ray and CD presentations that the Blu-ray presentation includes one-on-one interviews with the band members, fans, and even the band’s counterparts. One of those counterparts is veteran punk rocker Iggy Pop. Pop discusses the band’s mega-hit ‘My Generation’ and its importance in the rock community’s modern history. Townshend–as previously noted–jokes about how easily he and Daltry can get winded in live performances in one interview. And Daltry shares his thoughts on the band’s place in rock’s history among many other topics throughout the show. The fans that are interviewed at the concert show exactly why The Who remains one of rock’s (and music’s) elite acts today. The fans in question come from a number of age groups and are both male and female. That wide sample of fans and their views on the band shows that the band remains just as relevant today. That relevance and continued ability to entertain masses of all ages is the argument as to why The Who remains one of rock’s (and music’s) elite acts. The interviews with the band members (those interviews include not just Daltry and Townshend but the duo’s backing musicians as well) and the band’s counterparts strengthen said argument even more. On the other side of the recording, audiences get in the recording’s CD side the band’s interactions with the audience between songs at the concert. Those interactions are replaced in the Blu-ray presentation with the previously noted interviews. On the surface this is a little bit problematic. That is because it would have been nice to have those moments included both on the concert’s CD and Blu-ray presentation. But in the bigger picture of the recording, audiences still get the whole concert experience between the two presentations. So to that extent the two separate presentations are in whole an important part of The Who: Live in Hyde Park in terms of its overall presentation despite the Blu-ray slightly short-changing audiences. Even with this issue being noted it still isn’t enough to doom the recording in whole. That is because audiences do still get the full concert experience here. Said experience is just spread across three discs. And when combined with the concert’s extensive set list both elements together make The Who: Live in Hyde Park even more of an important recording especially being that of the final show on the band’s worldwide 50th anniversary tour. Even together they are not all that makes this recording such an interesting and important recording. The band’s stage presence throughout the show is just as important to note as the set list and the two distinctly different presentations that make up the body of the recording.
The set list and separate CD and Blu-ray presentations that make up the body of The Who: Live in Hyde Park are both important elements in the recording’s overall presentation. AS important as each element is to the recording’s whole, they are not the only elements that should be discussed in examining the recording. The band’s stage presence throughout the course of the nearly two-hour concert is just as important to discuss as those previously noted elements. It has already been mentioned that Pete Townshend jokingly mentions in one of the one-on-one interviews included in the recording’s Blu-ray presentation, that it doesn’t take much for he and long-time band mate Roger Daltry to get winded. Yet watching the duo on stage here, one wouldn’t know that. That is because the duo (and the other musicians on stage) comes across as giving it their all throughout the show. Townshend’s arm swings in that propeller motion with just as much power as in his younger days. And while Daltry can’t swing his mic with the same power as he used to decades ago, he still has some power. What’s more, the pair still surprisingly has just as much fire in its performance of each song as in its younger days. On a related note in regards to the band’s stage presence, there is no parental advisory sticker on this recording. But there is a certain amount of foul language throughout the recording. Maybe it isn’t enough for whatever parties to consider it deserving of such notice. But there is at least some language throughout that some audiences might find objectionable beginning right off the top as Townshend drops an “F”-bomb as he tells the audience that the band will reach the audience no matter how far away audiences are in the expansive venue. It’s just one moment that audiences should note. So listener discretion should be advised. Even noting the discretion that should be taken in taking in the recording in whole, it still isn’t enough to ruin the overall experience presented in this recording in either its Blu-ray or CD side. Keeping that in mind, the band’s stage presence, when coupled with the concert’s set list and the separate elements included and omitted in the Blu-ray and CD portion of the recording, rounds out the recording’s most important elements. Altogether, all three elements make The Who: Live in Hyde Park a concert recording that is one more of the year’s best overall live recordings.
Eagle Rock Entertainment’s new recording from The Who is a good addition to the personal music library of any of the band’s fans. That is thanks in large part to the extensive career-spanning set list that makes up the main body of the recording. In examining both the recording’s Blu-ray and CD presentations, audiences will note that there are some noticeable differences between the two presentations. The audience interactions included in the recording’s CD presentation have been largely replaced in the Blu-ray presentation with one-on-one interviews with the band members, audience members that were at the show, and some of the band’s counterparts. It would be interesting to find out why the choice was made to go in that direction in this recording. Regardless, audiences still get the full concert experience in the Blu-ray/2 CD presentation of The Who: Live in Hyde Park even if it is spread across the entire presentation. So it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The band’s stage presence is another positive throughout the concert. Even though they aren’t as young as they once were, Daltry and Townshend still own the stage alongside their younger counterparts from beginning to end. That energy is certain to keep audiences fully engaged throughout the course of the concert’s nearly two-hour run time. All three elements combined, they make The Who: Live in Hyde Park, again, one of this year’s best new live recordings and one more welcome addition to the personal music library of any of the band’s fans around the world. The Who: Live in Hyde Park is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:
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