RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

The Who – Tommy – Live at the Royal Albert Hall
Eagle Rock Entertainment

Rating: A

Fans of the Who know that they have played Tommy many times in concert over the years.  So…what’s the big deal about them doing it again? 

Well…wait just a minute buster! 

While the Who has done most of Tommy many times they had not, until what you see and/or hear on this Blu-Ray/CD, ever performed the rock opera in its entirety.  NEVER before had Tommy been played start-to-finish until now. In the past they had always omitted a few songs from the album, but on this concert outing, in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust, the band played them all.

The show is just what you think it should be. The audio is spectacular. The video has specially created animation that make the show even more of a show.

Pete and Roger are the elder statesmen of rock now and that attitude does come off.  These are masters of their craft.  Rog may not sing as well and Pete may not jump around as much, but that matters not. They understand who they are, what they’ve accomplished and why it is important. They also realize it is not as important as some think it is.

Regardless of the philosophy, however, they take the viewer/listener on a ride that, in the moment, is all that matters.

If you need the memory jogged the album Tommy contains some of the band’s most well-known songs.  The set list includes “It’s a Boy,” “The Acid Queen,” “Pinball Wizard,” “Tommy Can You Hear Me,” “I’m Free” and We’re not Gonna Take It.”  The rest of the songs bring to life the characters that  Pete created. It is an emotional ride for Pete even now, as he invested all of his emotions, including his childhood traumas into the story.

As if that were not enough the band come back and play a few other tunes one may have heard before to round out the evening.

Check out “Join Together,” “I Can See For Miles,” “Who Are You,” “Love, Reign O’er Me,” “Baba O’Riley” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”  Not a bad way to end a show…a show that also featured all of Tommy for the first time ever!

This one is as good as I’m making it out to be.  The Who remain a magical force in the world of music.

Long live rock!  Long live Tommy!  Long live the Who!

Track Listing:

2. Overture
3. It’s A Boy
4. 1921
5. Amazing Journey
6. Sparks
7. Eyesight To The Blind (The Hawker)
8. Christmas
9. Cousin Kevin
10. The Acid Queen
11. Do You Think It’s Alright?
12. Fiddle About
13. Pinball Wizard
14. There’s A Doctor
15. Go To The Mirror!
16. Tommy Can You Hear Me?
17. Smash The Mirror
18. Underture
19. I’m Free
20. Miracle Cure
21. Sensation
22. Sally Simpson
23. Welcome
24. Tommy’s Holiday Camp
25. We’re Not Gonna Take It
26. I Can’t Explain
27. Join Together
28. I Can See For Miles
29. Who Are You
30. Love, Reign O’er Me
31. Baba O’Riley
32. Won’t Get Fooled Again

By Jeb “Slip Kid” Wright