Houston '75.....Oh My!

Scott Schrade schrade at akrobiz.com
Sun Feb 6 20:22:25 CST 2005

Wow.  Who heaven.  A Who dream come true.  An entire concert
from '75.  Above-average video quality & surprisingly good sound.
I can't say enough about this 'unofficial' release.

Sure, there are some rough spots (more on those later), but to get 
this much rare, high-quality Who footage on a single DVD is one of
those treats that - maybe - comes around once in a decade.

First, the packaging.  It's a skinny, cardboard-type case with a more
professional-looking design than most commercial releases.  These
people went all out.  Great pictures, none straying too far date-wise 
from the era of actual content - which boots are sometimes notorious
for.  I couldn't even find a spelling or grammatical error in any of
the text!  Wonderful attention to detail.

The actual Houston '75 footage is wild.  Two cameras.  One, upper
level left, OX-side - and one seemingly on the right-center side of
the floor, fairly close.

The quality of the video is great.  Very clear.  The only bummers
being the camera placements.  Shots from the upper-level left cam-
era often have OX drifting out of view, behind some stage speakers.
And the floor camera shots sometimes get blocked by fans moving

Another slight bummer is that the cameras heavily favor shots of
Pete & Roger, Moon coming in third, & our beloved OX getting
short shrift once again.

BUT!!!  I must stress, these 'slight bummers' I've mentioned barely
put a dent into the excitement & joy I felt watching this DVD.  It's
a winner despite any of the nitpicking.

The sound is pretty good, too!  Loud, crunchy guitar.  Good vocal
level most of the time.  Thankfully loud drums, having a crisp, flat
(in a good way) sound.  And the bass is there, too - however, it 
seemed to get louder at various points.  No biggie.

Moon is fucking nuts.  And in fantastic form.  Not '69-'70-era form,
but arguably the next best thing.  The 16th-note snare rolls, the sweep-
ing combination tom-cymbal runs, the stick-spinning, the stick-breaking!
And his in-between song banter had me laughing out loud.  He really
seems together & not too inebriated.  Moon, not Townshend, rules
this Who performance.

Pete is great.  Not overly animated but there are still plenty of leaps,
windmills, etc.  Along with some minor autodestruction.  Pete, too,
is very 'in control.'  Excellent playing.  An amazing balance of complex-
ity & power with the guitar.

Daltrey sounds in top form.  Super-strong.  Complete command of 
his voice.  As usual, he's stunning in his intensity.

OX is.....well.....he's the OX.  Has he ever played poorly?

Moon is wearing his gas/petrol station attendant uniform. (!)  Pete
wears the giant, white, slack bell-bottoms & the super-tight, sleeve-
less striped shirt.  OX is in a black jacket & black trousers.  And
Daltrey is in his tan animal-skin looking outfit with the questionable
scissor alterations.  Not the prettiest era Who, but, oh well....

Fucking great concert.  During "However Much I Booze" (what a 
live rarity!) Pete uses a music stand with lyrics for help!  You don't
see that every day.  And he *still* flubs the lyrics!  Ha!  Who cares!

Apart from the above-mentioned rarity, it's the usual '75 setlist, in-
cluding the big chunk of "THOMAS."

What an outstanding document of the mid-'70s Who.  You'll be a
bigger Who fan after you've seen this show.  It's *that* compelling.

And that's only part of this DVD.  Then there's a high-quality trans-
fer of the 42 minutes that exist from the Pontiac '75 show (think
"Roadrunner / My Generation Blues" from TKAA).

Then there's about a ten or fifteen minute interview with Keith Moon
from a 1975 British TV show.

THEN!!  There are the Who-related excerpts from the 1972 "Roadies"
documentary & the French "Fete D L'Humaninite" film.  These in-
clude both live clips & interview segments.  All very rare.

Finally, there is a lip-synched performance of "Long Live Rock"
from the Old Grey Whistle Test TV show which sticks out like a
sore thumb because the quality isn't especially good & it isn't
as rare as the footage that surrounds it.

Grade-wise, I can give this unofficial DVD release no less than an
A+.  It was obviously designed & put together *by* Who freaks, 
*for* Who freaks.  And they did a bang-up job.  Well worth the price.
I'm reminded of the part during "Squeeze Box," from the Houston
footage, when the audio feed is lost for 8 seconds & an actual
*apology* pops up on the screen informing us that the glitch was
unavoidable, as it was on the master tape.  Such care.  


- SCHRADE in Akron

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