Providence 1975 (no label)
Providence Civic Center, Providence, RI – December 13th, 1975
Disc 1 (75:04): I Can’t Explain, Substitute, My Wife, Baba O’Riley, Squeeze Box, Behind Blue Eyes, Dreaming From The Waist, Boris The Spider, Magic Bus, Amazing Journey, Sparks, The Acid Queen, Fiddle About, Pinball Wizard, I’m Free, Tommy’s Holiday Camp, We’re Not Gonna Take It
Disc 2 (28:56): Summertime Blues, My Generation, Join Together Blues, Roadrunner, Won’t Get Fooled Again
The Who toured the world in 1975 and ’76, with multiple legs throught the United States. Who By Numbers was released in ’75 but they were also promoting the movie version of Tommy. The no label Providence Rhode Island is an audience recording of very good quality. The first 30 seconds or so start out in what realy sounds like a stereo recording but the second the band starts playing I Can’t Explain, the sound starts to become a bit distant and then is gradually brought forward. The third song is the first Entwistle song which is My Wife, and when Daltrey is introducing John, it sounds as if he’s deciding what to play in the moment.
The Who always play this song at a very fast and heavy pace which they do tonight, and it smokes. I’ve always felt Pete loves to able to sit back and just wail away on someone elses music. Townshends guitar just seems to dassapear on Baba O’Riley for some reason and his vocals are a bit distant with Daltrey’s tambourine banging and voice up front. It realy doesn’t over power the music and it seems as if it’s EQ’d correctly. Pete’s guitar is at the front of the next song, Squeeze box, which makes me think maybe he was having an amp problem. (See the commercial DVD The Who At Kilburn 1977).
The Who have always liked talking to their fans, introduce songs and such. Keith Moon introduces Behind Blue Eyes by saying, “This song does not feature myself, it’s written by Mr. Peter Townshend, and it’s off Oo’s Next”. Which results in a huge roar from the crowd. Townshend introduces the Tommy section by stating how it has made him “very rich”, and that after not playing it for three years they have rediscovered it.
Books and interviews years later would reveal how much they had come to hate it. Just before they launch into Tommy, a fan close to the mic shouts “Quadrophenia”. The Who play the whole Tommy set with an increadible tightness and passion with Moons furious drumming really driving and keeping the band tight. Amazing Journey/Sparks relly stand out with intensity. The Tommy set ends disc one and I think this no label chose that detail wisely. It gives a sort of completeness to the whole concert set.
Disc 2 consists of Summer Time Blues, the My Generation/Join Together/Roadrunner Medly that The Who would use throught the ’75/76 world tour, and it all comes through as intense and clear as it must have been seeing it live. Won’t Get Fooled Again is as always the last song and The Who didn’t do encores.
This audience is very good. At times, Townshends guitar is non-existant, and it leads me to think he may have had amp problems that night. Daltreys vocals and his tambourines are up front. Moons drumming is clearly the bands driver. It is EQ’d as good as you can get though, considering the method of recording, the taper may have been right by the soundboard, becuase no single instrument totaly dominates. There is a very live and airy feel to the CD’s. Highly recomended for the Who fan, but not a casual one.
Providence 1975 is a silver pressing of Lapinski’s audience recording. Like the others (Queen, Yes) it is a tremendous sounding tape of excellent quality.