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  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • Full Frame
  • Dual Layer (RSDL )
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • English: DTS 5.1 Surround
  • English: Dolby Digital Stereo
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  • Featurette
  • Animated menus
  • Behind the scenes footage
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  • Multiple angle

The Who - Live At Royal Albert Hall

Warner Vision/Warner Vision . R4 . COLOR . 144 mins . G . PAL


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Blue Light Disco
Seminal 60s popsters The Who round out their November 2000 British tour with a one-night-only charity gig at London’s Royal Albert Hall to support the Teenage Cancer Trust. A multi-platinum selling band synonymous with teenage anthems of adolescent angst and equipment smashing live performances, The Who continue to play to sell-out crowds throughout the world despite officially calling it a day way back in 1982.

If you are not a fan of The Who, then I guarantee this performance will quickly convert you. This definitive recording features 23 of The Who's biggest hits, including Who Are You, My Generation and See Me, Feel Me. Much more than a bunch of aging rockstars dragged from a closet to perform a one-off, this remarkable performance is a testament to The Who’s ageless appeal, limitless energy, and Pete Townshend’s talents as a songwriter and musician. The material sounds as contemporary as the day it was written, and it’s all wrapped up with Roger's naff microphone swinging and Pete’s now infamous windmill-style guitar thrashing.

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All those in favour, raise your hand.

The Who are clearly energised by an emotional attachment to the Teenage Cancer Trust, and this is a feeling obviously shared by several well-chosen guests. More than just a parade of celebrities paying homage to Townshend and Co., the visitors challenge The Who to add new colours to classic tracks. Oasis’ Noel Gallagher adds a psychedelic tinge to Won't Get Fooled Again and Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder adds understated melancholy to I'm One. Other highlights include The Jam's founder Paul Weller joining Pete Townshend for a lovely acoustic rendition of So Sad About Us, and Stereophonics guitarist-vocalist Kelly Jones crashing in for a rendition of my personal favourite Substitute. The complete set list is as follows:

Track Listing

  1. I Can’t Explain
  2. Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere
  3. Pinball Wizard
  4. Relay
  5. My Wife
  6. The Kids are Alright
  7. Bargain
  8. Magic Bus
  9. Who Are You
  10. Baba O’Riley (with Nigel Kennedy)
  11. Drowned
  12. Heart to Hang on to
  13. So Sad About Us (with Paul Weller)
  14. I’m One (with Eddie Vedder)
  15. Behind Blue Eyes (with Bryan Adams)
  16. You Better You Bet
  17. The Real Me
  18. 5:15
  19. Won’t Get Fooled Again (with Noel Gallagher)
  20. Substitute (with Kelly Jones)
  21. Let’s See Action (with Eddie Vedder)
  22. My Generation
  23. See Me Feel Me (with Eddie Vedder and Bryan Adams)

From what information I can find, it seems we only miss out on one track – curiously another featuring Eddie Vedder – Getting in Tune.

By the end of the evening, and after a set clocking in at an astounding 2 hours 20 minutes, Daltrey's voice is totally shot and Townshend looks ready to collapse, but such is the energy they have poured into the performance.


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Man with blurred hands.
This fantastic gig is presented as a superb two-disc set with the complete gig on one dual-layer disc, and a bunch of extras provided on an additional single-layer disc. In terms of both image and audio this is a top quality production, with loads of detail available both visually from an 1.85:1 anamorphic image and aurally from a Dolby Digital DTS encoded soundtrack. The image itself looks absolutely fantastic – easily the best looking live footage I have every seen. Perfectly clean and very sharp, the image has perfect black levels and great shadow detail (a must-have for concert footage). The colours are vivid and well-balanced. Despite an abundance of smoke and lights, there are no compression artefacts at all and only slight aliasing is exhibited due to the sharpness of the image.

The only fault I could possibly find with the image is a large Bryan Adams that appears in the middle of the image for about 3 minutes around the 1 hour 25 min mark.


In terms of audio, the DTS presentation is absolutely mind-blowing - your loungeroom erupting with crystal-clear sound from both the band and audience - even the audience heckles are perfectly reproduced. The surrounds are perfectly utilised to produce a full and totally immersive sound experience. The subwoofer is used continuously to give the bass notes and kick drum the required body. There are not enough superlatives at hand - this must be heard to be believed.


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G...A...B..B..B... fook it...
The production values lavished on the audio and video transfer continue into the menus and extras. The menus are not 16x9 enhanced, but are animated with concert footage playing in the background. There's an easter egg if you are interested - see it you can find it! In terms of extras we have a pretty complete presentation here.

Documentary - Teenage Cancer Trust: Featuring a short introductory interview with Roger Daltrey, this feature provides background to the Teenage Cancer Trust and contains the mid-gig speech and cheque presentation by Roger and its acceptance by the founder of the charity (Dr Adrian Whiteson). This is pretty dry stuff and I am very thankful that it was removed from the concert footage itself.

Backstage Footage: set to a rehearsal version of Let’s See Action featuring Eddie Vedder, we see footage from stage setup, sound check and rehearsals. Presented at a ratio of 1.85:1.

Pinball Wizard Multi-Angle Version: Just what the name suggests. You may select from seven different camera angles. Small versions of each of the angles are shown on the left and bottom of the screen, with the selected angle taking up the rest of the screen.

Rehearsals: Starting with band rehearsals in Sanctuary Studios London, we move through rehearsals with most of the special guests. Features some great footage including Pete and Paul Weller getting their acoustic guitar thing together, and a jam with Noel Gallagher. Presented at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1.


There is no doubt that this is a beautifully presented disc and an amazing performance, that represents an essential purchase for The Who loyalists and music fans alike. Reportedly all proceeds from the DVD sale also go the Teenage Cancer Trust. Go out and buy yourself a copy.

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      And I quote...
    "...an essential purchase for The Who loyalists and music fans alike."
    - Gavin Turner
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Toshiba SD-2108
    • Receiver:
          Yamaha RX-V795
    • Amplifier:
          Yamaha RX-V795
    • Speakers:
          B&W 602
    • Centre Speaker:
          B&W CC6 S2
    • Surrounds:
          JM Lab Cobalt SR20
    • Subwoofer:
          B&W ASW-500
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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