The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world



SHOCK ENTERTAINMENT | Release Date: July 3 2015


BOOKS & DVD'S 2009-2014 

When you didn’t grow up in the US, Shea Stadium meant only one thing – a concert venue where in the days of yore bands like the Beatles, The Stones, Simon and Garfunkel and Elton John and Billy Joel played, amongst others. Sadly demolished in 2009 to make way for a parking lot The Who played in the Queens stadium in 1982 (with The Clash opening).

1982 was an interesting time for the band, with Kenney Jones playing his final shows and the band not touring for seven years at Townsend’s insistence after the tour finished. Prior to that and between Keith Moon’s death; during The Who’s last US tour in 1979 11 fans had been crushed to death in Cincinnati (something you rarely read about), Daltrey had taken to acting, Townsend had dabbled with heroin and released his first solo album ‘Empty Glass’ and there had been two Who albums released – ‘Face Dances’ and ‘It’s Hard’ – both albums that at the time sold well.

Part of the interest here, apart from the usual suspects are those songs from the early eighties albums; and whilst ‘Face Dances’ only offers up ‘The Quiet One’ (a rare John Entwhistle song that replaced ‘My Wife’ in the set) not even the far better known ‘You Better You Bet’  gets an outing. From ‘It’s Hard’ we get a lot, probably buoyed by the five-star rating in Rolling Stone magazine: ‘It’s Hard’; ‘Eminence Front’; ‘Cry If you Want’; and ‘Dangerous’ all get a hearing, though oddly the album’s already released lead single ‘Athena’ and the song Rolling Stone touted as ‘an anthem for our generation’ – ‘I’ve Known No War’ don’t…

Shea Stadium is a great show – aside from the interest from the contemporary tracks, it’s a set peppered with real classics that show the endearing appeal of the band throughout the generations. The band too look fit and well and full of fire, but could never get away with the ‘new-wave’ look they sport on stage, something that really dates this badly. However even though ‘Shea’ could never be argued to be the defining moment of The Who’s career it does hold up remarkably well musically.

Highlights for us are the fine version of ‘Love Reign O’er Me’; a damn fine ‘Baba O’Riley’ and the closing stanza. What might surprise you most about this show though is how relatively loose and hungry the band seem, how much that may have had to do with band of the moment ‘The Clash’ opening, or the fact that they thought this might be their final live outing, or that it was being filmed is debatable but whatever it is the performance is masterful.

As a nod to the first headliner to play Shea - the Beatles - the set ends with a trio of songs that band had in their repertoire – their own ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ (which they never played at Shea) and Cochran’s ‘Summertime Blues’; the final song here though ‘Twist and Shout’ (a cover of the Top Notes song) was the first song the Beatles played at that very first Shea Stadium show.

Not just on for the fans, this one is for keeps.



by Mark Rockpit


Want a release reviewed? Want to let us know about your album? Contact us now

For reviews of live shows, head to our LIVE REVIEWS is a proud supporter of local live music and unsigned bands