The Who: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 If NASA were to ship one concert DVD into space to teach distant galaxies what rock & roll is, The Who: Live at the Isle… The Who: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 If NASA were to ship one concert DVD into space to teach distant galaxies what rock & roll is, The Who: Live at the Isle…
DVD Review

The Who: Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970 (2004)

Pete Townshend | WIGHT NOISE New DVD preserves Townshend and The Who at the peak of their high-decibel powers in 1970
Image credit: Pete Townshend: David Redferns/Retna
WIGHT NOISE New DVD preserves Townshend and The Who at the peak of their high-decibel powers in 1970
EW's GRADE
A

Details Release Date: Aug 10, 2004; DVD Release Date: Aug 10, 2004; Movie Rated: Unrated; Genre: Documentary; With: The Who

If NASA were to ship one concert DVD into space to teach distant galaxies what rock & roll is, The Who: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970, a document of rock's greatest live band at their arguable peak, might be first choice for blastoff. Despite some technical crudeness (John Entwistle sings lead on the opening number...off camera!), Murray Lerner's filmic rendering effectively captures the artful thrashing that made 600,000 sleep-deprived Brits forget it was the middle of the night.

EXTRAS A fascinating new 40-minute interview, conducted by Lerner, begins with a typically ornery Pete Townshend declaring he ''really didn't like working with that band at all'' -- before he acknowledges that they ''were in good shape, at the time.'' He also describes how his stage moves were meant to underscore the electric guitar ''as an instrument of control, aggression, and latent violence.'' Given that a certain rock opera constitutes the set's second half, it lends the phrase ''tommy gun'' new meaning.

Originally posted Sep 03, 2004 Published in issue #781 Sep 03, 2004 Order article reprints