Although the technology is available the Who didn’t go the Tupac hologram route during its recent Quadrophenia tour. Still, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend did find a way to include deceased members John Entwistle and Keith Moon into the show.
Live in Texas ’75 acts as reminder of what the original fearsome foursome were, (arguably) the World’s Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Band. The high-powered performance at the start of the group’s U.S. tour supporting The Who By Numbers makes up for anything this lacks in production values. The two-hour concert document looks as if a couple of fans shot footage from stationary positions a few rows up in sections to the left and right of the stage. No other camera angles seem to be involved. It’s initially disconcerting to watch the quartet blast through opening numbers “Substitute” and “I Can’t Explain” but as the set moves on, the fascination with what the members do onstage overrides the lack of shot selection and edits.
Daltrey marches around the stage and twirls the microphone with all the lethalness of a guitar being smashed. Townshend is in full windmill and jumping mode while being the rhythmic thrust on the pop throwaway “Squeeze Box,” the “excerpts” from the rock opera “Tommy” as well as “My Generation,” “Naked Eye” and “Magic Bus.” Entwistle’s bass thunders through those numbers and others as he challenges for instrumental supremacy. But, of course, that honor goes to Moon whose refusal to stay in the background along with his playing style displays how his death several years after this show left a wide, gaping hole in the group’s sound and onstage presentation.
Despite being plain visually, Live in Texas ‘75 rates as a must-have for Who fans mainly for a rare chronicle of the rough-and-ready quartet as well as offering a rarely heard and seen live era of the band.