Who's in Theaters

Jim M NakedI at comcast.net
Mon Aug 9 22:43:21 CDT 2004

----- Original Message ----- From: "L. Bird"

> Tickets are now available for the Regal Theaters' showing of IOW 1970.
> http://www.regalcm.com/index_who.asp#buy

I just got back from this showing.  Overall, obviously, it's a fantastic
record of the band at the height of their abilities and I'll buy it
unhesitatingly.  You all know the film, so I won't comment on the basic
content of it.

We got to the theater a few minutes before the show and it was probably 80%
full.  That was good to see.  There was a very tedious introduction from
Murray Lerner which nearly put me to sleep.  The Townshend interview opened
with the comment which was posted here about Pete not liking working with
the band, which drew loud laughter.  He was in a jovial mood and it will be
good to see the rest of it.  Funny, he also made a comment about the line
"Listening to you, I get the heat" saying he doesn't know what it means,
just the same as Mark said yesterday!

When the concert started it was *quiet*.  There were immediate shouts from
the crowd "TURN IT UP", "LOUDER, THIS IS THE WHO!!!"  People were walking
out, presumably to have a word with the manager.  It wasn't until half way
through Young Man Blues that they did turn it up about as loud as you could
reasonably expect.  That was luckily in time for Pete's inspired feedback

Another problem with the showing was that the projectionist didn't use the
entire screen.  They must have been using the HDTV DVD source, not film,
because there was some graininess even at that size (about 3/4 of the
screen).  I'm sure that will not be a problem on TV scale.

The sound was acceptable, but not spectacular.  I think it's an improvement
over the CD, but it's hard to tell given the difference in listening
conditions.  I think the drums could still be more distinct, however I swear
I could hear the air whooshing through Roger's mic when he swung it.

Although I had been prepared for the failures of the film, I couldn't help
coming away very disappointed by the missing material.  No Substitute or
Naked Eye.  Tommy without Amazing Journey and Sparks!  That is truly
criminal.  Also missing were 1921 and Smash the Mirror.  So much for this
being the "complete Tommy."  And, the places where they jumped around left
blank gaps of several seconds, making it hard to ignore.

I was also prepared for the running order change, but it bothered me more
than I thought it would.  On CD I kind of prefer to have Tommy all on one
disc, like Leeds.  The movie really ought to be in its proper sequence.
Would it have been very difficult to fill in the missing parts and assemble
them in the correct order?  I suppose the video footage for it may be gone.
If the footage still exists and they chose not to make the effort, that's a
very bad decision.  This could be *so* much better.

Let's see, what else?  I was expecting much more instrument destruction from
the comments I've read.  Pete threw his guitar up and caught it, then kind
of crouched down and looked like he dropped it, but that was it.  I was
expecting a big smash up, making a performance of Tommy impossible.  That is
not what was shown tonight.

All in all, it was a fun way to finally see the film for the first time, in
a room full of Who fans.  Thanks, Keets, for mentioning it.

Jim M

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