While flipping between channels Friday night, I came across a 1977 Who concert on KCSM. This was their second-to-last show with Keith Moon, which was recorded and filmed for inclusion in The Kids Are Alright, but the performance was deemed "unsuitable", so they filmed another performance in early 1978 which turned out to be their last one with Moon.
This "Live At Kiburn 1977" concert is coming out on DVD next week, and making the rounds on PBS stations during their Fall pledge drive. During the show, it seems obvious that the band is rusty and unrehearsed, and doesn't want to be there, but they still manage to Bring the Rock. Watching Keith Moon at this stage is almost as sad as watching Brian Jones during "Rock & Roll Circus", partly because he looks lost and out of it, but also because he looks to be having so much fun while playing the music.
I got into the Who shortly after Keith died, with the dual release of The Kids Are Alright and Quadrophenia in the Summer of 1979, but would have loved to see the original band live. Even at their worst (and this Kilburn gig probably wasn't one of their better ones), they could still bring the magic.
I pulled out Who's Next last night, and that has to be one of the definitive sound recordings of the Rock era. I've kind of burned out on these tunes through the lifetime of radio plays, but they fit together so well. And I've heard this song (final track on the album) at least a thousand times, but it's gained a new resonance after last week's electoral results.
"Live at Kilburn 1977" is airing on PBS through November, so watch your local listings, and please to contribute to Your Public Television station to help them bring important events like this to Viewers Like You.