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The Who – Dallas 1970 (No Label)

Dallas 1970 (No Label)

Memorial Auditorium, Dallas, TX, USA – June 19, 1970

(76:38) Intro, I Can’t Explain, Young Man Blues, Water, Seeker, Substitute, Overture, It’s A Boy, 1921, Amazing Journey, Sparks, Eyesight To The Blind, Christmas, The Acid Queen, Pinball Wizard, Do You Think Its Alright, Fiddle About, Tommy Can You Hear Me, There’s A Doctor, Go To The Mirror, Miracle Cure, I’m Free, Tommy’s Holiday Camp, We’re Not Gonna Take It, See Me Feel Me

The bootleg origins of The Who’s performance in Dallas, Texas in the summer of 1970 dates back to the days on vinyl. There are two old double LP titles, Tommy (Decade Records) and Gather Your Wits (27935-8) both with the source of Dallas Memorial Stadium September 1969, however The Who did not play in Texas in 1969. Eventually the recording would be attributed to the performance in Dallas the following year, 1970, and there would be just one version of this tape on compact disc, Who Is Tommy? (Dynamite Studios DS94-A077/78). Earlier this year a low generation copy of this recording began making the rounds and thankfully we are blessed with a really nice sounding copy of the show.

The audience recording is incomplete, missing the first song Heaven And Hell and the final song My Generation. It should be noted that neither song circulates on the low generation copy that circulates although Heaven And Hell is on both of the old vinyl titles. The song does not appear here for two reasons, the sound quality is very poor and it would make this a two disc show. The sound itself is very clear, it sounds like it was recorded close to the stage, all instruments and vocals are clear in the mix and has a powerful, well balanced sound. There is some distortion as one would expect mostly on the upper end of Roger’s vocals and John’s bass. The audience is animated and the recording captures the atmosphere inside the 10,000 seat area perfectly.

The recording begins with Keith Moon’s introduction for I Can’t Explain, “still available on cassette”, like I said the recording is powerful and John’s bass is the backbone for this, at times you feel as if you’re being bowled over. Roger introduces Young Man Blues as being from their latest record, Live At Leeds and the band proceed to level the Memorial Auditorium, the slight amount of distortion adds to the heaviness of the song, full of feedback and bombastic playing.

Roger introduces the next song Water by telling the audience they could not have heard it before as they had just recorded it. The song is well received by the audience who respond to Roger’s cries of “Gimme good Water”, curiously the band would play the song live in 1970 and 1971 yet the studio version would remain unreleased until 1973 when it was the B-side to 5:15. Roger does a comical introduction for The Seeker, telling the audience it’s their latest single, their “pet elephant”. Both The Seeker and Substitute are The ‘Oo at their best, dynamic playing and tight vocal harmony.

The rest of the recording is made up of Tommy, the bands converts earlier in the month in New York City were being promoted as the final performances of Tommy, the audience seemed pleased they are playing “Thomas” on this night. Keith does his orchestra conductor routine to settle the musicians down in preparation for the “extended ballad”. There is a cut in the recording between Eyesight To The Blind and Christmas with very little lost, the recording fades in during the opening lines of the latter. Tommy had been the center piece of their live set for the past year with the slightly re-arraigned version being very dynamic and well received by audiences. The audience in Dallas is enthralled with the groups performance, they are quiet and immersed in the performance, they clap in certain areas with Pinball Wizard and Smash The Mirror getting loud ovations and the See Me Feel Me ending brings the house down.

The packaging is the typical fare, inserts adorned with black and white photos from the era, John Entwistle’s skeleton outfit is striking, Pete in his trademark jumpsuits, and Roger in classic pose of arched back, and Moon looking young and fit, classic Who. The inside has a small picture of the concert poster, wish it was larger, plus picture CD and numbered sticker.

If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)

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