Review of Boston DVD

L. Bird pkeets at
Thu Sep 2 05:41:57 CDT 2004

Repost from TheShout:

>A somewhat reluctant 4 Star out of 5 for the forthcoming Boston DVD.

Here is the review.


A tricky one, this. Ostensibly a simple report of life at the Who firing 
line in the wake of John Entwistles sudden death in 2002, the 
mundanely-titled Live In Boston turns out to be a highly emotive, 
surprisingly revealing look behind the scenes which even casual fans will 
admire. This is all the more unexpected because, superficially at least, The 
Who now seem more or less past it: the 21-song set, a safe greatest hits 
workout, is full of bum notes, specifically from the tour-shredded larynx of 
Roger Daltrey, and petty protestations from the inexplicably peeved Pete 
Townshend, who repeatedly tells the crowd, a combination of loyal middle 
aged fans and younger frat boys, to "keep your fucking mouth shut". Its not 
dignified or entertaining, and nor is his insistence on windmill guitar 
strumming, which feels nowadays a bit like watching your grandfather 
attempting to DJ. Furthermore, Entwistles stand in Pino Pallidino hardly 
appears on-screen, almost as if his presence was an embarrassment.

Despite all this nit-picking, the DVD redeems itself with the depth of the 
bonus interviews and the quality of the setlist. Townshend's grasp on the 
bands situation post-Entwistle, and his honesty about the emotional turmoil 
the Ox's passing caused, is both impressive and imformative. Clearly knocked 
sideways by this seismic turn in The Whos fortunes, he recounts that he had 
to keep a lid on his emotions in order to help Daltrey deal with it. The 
frontman is equally open about the experience, struggling to find the right 
words to describe the ordeal-although when asked for his initial reaction on 
hearing of Johns death, he grimly quips, "I thought, Oh God, I'm left with 
the miserable one".

The set itself, despite some surprisingly weal noodling where there should 
be huge riffing (Pinball Wizard) and Daltreys strained, off-key vocal 
(Behind Blue Eyes, You Better You Bet, See Me Feel Me), does deliver some 
killer moments, those spine-tingling intros and mid-section breakdowns in 
Baba O'Riley and Wont Get Fooled Again, the crashing opening chords of My 
Generation and Anyway Anyhow know the bits I mean. Finally, 
theres a moment at the end of the show where Daltrey and Townshend stand 
united, facing down the crowd with soldier-like inscrutability as applause 
rains on them. The phrase 'bloodied but unbowed' comes to mind, and with 
this, both their dignity and respectability is restored.

Joel McIver.

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