The Who – Largo 1973 (no label)


Largo 1973 (no label)

Capitol Centre, Largo, MD – December 6, 1973

Disc 1:  I Can’t Explain, Summertime Blues, My Wife, My Generation, The Real Me, The Punk And The Godfather, I’m One, 5:15, Sea And Sand

Disc 2:  Drowned, Bell Boy, Doctor Jimmy, Love Reign O’er Me, Won’t Get Fooled Again, Pinball Wizard, See Me Feel Me

Largo 1973 documents the final show from the Quadrophenia tour in 1973.  This sold out show at the Capitol Centre outside of Washington DC is another recently surfaced document from the King Biscuit Flower Hour in the same excellent sound quality as the Philadelphia tape.  There has been discussion about whether or not material from this show as used in the original broadcasts, but the best sources say that only the Philadelphia tape was used and nothing from the Maryland show. 

Three songs, “The Punk And The Godfather,” “5:15” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again” are included on View From A Backstage Pass released in 2007 through the band’s website, and the entire show is posted on the Wolfgang’s Vault site.  

After the intensity of the Philly show, and the intensity of the entire tour, they deliver a somewhat shorter and more laid back performance in this show.  “Substitute,” which opened the show the previous night is dropped and they begin with “I Can’t Explain.”  “These are some of our old favorites” Roger Daltrey begins before they go into “Summertime Blues.” 

After the song there is the first of several episodes where the band have to do crowd control in the venue.  Townshend says, “Can you move back a wee bit.  Because three or four people are apparently under there somewhere.”  Daltrey continues by saying, “there’s plenty of room for everybody.  It’s a long show.”  Townshend interrupts by saying, “It’s a long haul.”  “And we all got to get there together” Daltrey says before introducing John Entwistle for “My Wife.”  

They play a long, eight minute jamming version of the bassist’s song before ending first oldies set with “one which is probably the oldest we play of our own.  And it means as much to us today as when we first did it.  MY GENERATION!” 

The hour long Quadrophenia set is briefly introduced by Daltrey saying, “We’d like to carry on with a selection from our latest album Quadrophenia.  And we say a selection because we started off with the whole bloody lot which didn’t work.  And we got it down to what it is now, a series of flashbacks to a time in England that we call the mods, which is really just kids, and kids all over are the same.  Anyway, this is what we got it down to.”  They don’t bother with the “I Am The Sea” introduction, but rather just launch into “The Real Me.” 

Townshend also doesn’t give the long expository for his song but rather says, “It will probably be a big help if everybody at the count of three took just that much of a step backwards, just a tiny bit.  Easy otherwise everybody will fall over.  File that person under D.  This song’s called ‘I’m One.'” 

And Daltrey introduces “5:15” with, “Now listen, really, we’ve got a lot of problems at the front here.  Can you people in the back hear it?  There’s about a couple of hundred kids there getting crushed.  Fucking stupid, innit?”  It is apparent that the audience is distracting the band as they deliver this demanding material and there isn’t as much enthusiasm as in previous performances. 

“Here’s a song about sitting on the beach.  And he’s looking at the sea…  There’s a kid looking at the sea and he realizes  how big it is, which perhaps you people in the back don’t realize how many of you are pushing on this lot.  So how about it?  Please, everybody take a step backwards and we’ll all have a good time.  That’s how he feels, the sea’s so bloody big and he’s so little.  The song is called ‘Drowned.'” 

Townshend plays several interesting riffs on the guitar during the ten minute long jam session.  “Bell Boy” is introduced as “a killer…the bellhop played by Mr. Keith Moon.”  Moon is great as always and he changes the lyrics to reflect their stay in Montreal the previous week:  “I’ve got a good job and I’m newly born / You should see me dressed up in my uniform / I work in a hotel all guild and flash / remember Montreal where the hotel we smashed.” 

The suite ends with “Reign O’er Me” with Daltrey having difficulty hitting the high notes.  Afterwards he says, “As you probably know this is the last gig of our American tour and we’ve had our ups and our downs, but it’s been bloody worth it.  For the people who say we aren’t coming back, this is for them.  Because I can assure you, we fucking are.  Won’t Get Fooled Again.”  They deliver a powerful version with much more bite than the preceding night.  The tape runs out five minutes into “See Me, Feel Me” with no ending nor any hint of an encore. 

Both this and Spectrum 1973 are very special releases, limited to two hundred copies, and present some of the best live Who music to surface since the Houston 1975 tape several years ago.

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  1. This is simply a 2CD set that captures one of the greatest bands of all time at their pinnacle . It is an archival treasure that belongs in every WHO collectors library.


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