The Who - The Vegas Job

DVD Rating: ***

Reviewed by: David Stanners

Read David Stanners's film review of The Who - The Vegas Job

For a band with a history as long as The Who's, you'd need a triple DVD to do them justice. But people don't want that, do they? They want a bit of background, a touch of news, stories from their young and wild days and a tribute of some kind or another.

Besides comments from Roger Daltrey and John Entwistle, this DVD doesn't come close to fulfilling its potential. Very little is discussed about their previous collaborations, break-ups or differences of opinion, despite probes and prods from the interviewer. What does emerge is no more than what you might expect.

Like The Rolling Stones, The Who have come through five decades together, yet their lead singer looks every bit the youthful charmer that Mick Jagger doesn't. Tanned and line-free, with a full head of hair, he chips and charms enthusiastically about the Vegas concert, ear marking it as a useful charity event. He denies the break-up, saying, "We just like to keep people on the edge of their seats." After 18th months touring Quadrophenia, the band obviously needed a break. It just happened to last three years.

Entwistle talks about how he finds it hard to play an acoustic set and how he lost eye contact with Townshend in the Seventies, when playing. This is an obvious allusion to their rapid polarisation and yet he still believes there is a spark of magic in their live performances. It's sad to think of the tragic fate that awaits him.

Included here is a short outline of Pixelon, the illicit multimedia creation that was supposed to broadcast the concert worldwide across the web. This turned out to be a sham, with founder Michael Fenne arrested for embezzling millions from elderly investors.

Finally, there are live interviews - if you can call them that - with the audience. A journalist goes down amongst the multitudes of mad screaming New York Yankee fans and tries to elicit a sensible response from them. One woman says she first heard The Who while giving birth, so the interviewer decides to re-enact this, by having her lie down, legs apart, while her husband sings one of their songs. This is America, alright!

Surprisingly, there are no words from Pete Townshend and Entwistle is barely audible, as the warm up guitars get to work on stage.

Still, if you're a fan, you'll probably understand that live music speaks for itself.

Reviewed on: 24 Nov 2003
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The Who - The Vegas Job packshot
The Who’s reunion in Las Vegas, 1999.
Amazon link

Product Code: DVDL001D

Region: 2

Ratio: 4:3

Sound: Dolby Digital (5.1): DTS

Extras: Interactive menu; Individual Song selection; interview with Roger Daltrey; interview with John Entwistle; interview with creator of Pixelon; fan interviews.

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