"LIVE AT SHEA STADIUM 1982"
Eagle Rock (DVD/Blu-ray)
By John Curley
The Who’s 1982 tour of North America was billed as their “Farewell Tour,” which seems a bit ridiculous now considering the number of tours that they’ve undertaken since then. But at the time, Pete Townshend had tired of being in The Who and was serious about calling it a day. (While Townshend, Roger Daltrey, and John Entwistle toured under the banner of The Who after 1982, it was their last tour with drummer Kenney Jones.) This concert film captures the complete show that The Who performed on October 13, 1982 at Shea Stadium in a rainy New York City. (The disc also includes bonus footage of five songs from the previous night’s show at Shea.) The Who were touring in support of their latest album at that time, “It’s Hard” and were augmented on that tour by keyboardist Tim Gorman. They performed four tracks from “It’s Hard” at Shea that night, including a brilliant take on “Eminence Front.” Other highlights from the concert were a ferocious version of “The Punk And The Godfather,” a soaring “Love, Reign O’er Me,” and a terrific version of the rarely performed 1967 song “Tattoo.”
In the encore, The Who gave a nod to The Beatles’ famous performances at Shea Stadium with great covers of “I Saw Her Standing There” and “Twist And Shout,” both of which featured Entwistle on lead vocals.
The band’s energy level was very high at the show and the film features many shots of Daltrey whipping his microphone around by its lead and of Townshend doing his windmills. As it was the early 1980s, some poor fashion choices were made (Daltrey’s silver suit, Townshend’s New Wave quiff). Daltrey’s repeated requests to the crowd to take a step back to ease the crush at the front serve as a reminder that the Cincinnati concert tragedy had only happened three years before.
Eagle Rock did a fantastic job in delivering a sharp picture and sound on this film. Since the source was a 33-year-old videotape, glitches in the picture do appear from time to time. Still, this concert film serves a nice time capsule for anyone who was a fan of The Who then, in particular for anyone who was at the show, as I was.
Audio options on the disc include Dolby Digital Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS Surround Sound.