I can’t help it. For me, seeing Keith Moon again exploding all over his drum kit at the top of his game is nigh unto a religious experience. So is hearing John Entwistle again, The Ox racing his fingers up and down his axe, making his bass both grounding and soaring. Joining them on The Who: Live in Texas '75 are two other rather impressive gents named Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend. Ah, those were the days, my friend.
Filmed at The Summit in Houston on November 20, 1975, The Who were plugging their newest studio album, The Who by Numbers which had been released just the previous month. By all appearances, they were in an exuberantly good mood that night. Throughout the set, the four banter and tease each other like old school chums, as with Entwistle enduring some good natured jibes before “Boris The Spider.” Daltrey tells the audience he was the one, along with Entwistle and Moon, to write Tommy, but Townshend ended up with all the credit because he was taller, more aggressive, and had a beard. Yes, those were the days.
Of course, most of the camaraderie demonstrated through the 117 minutes is heard in the raw, rough, and energetic playing and singing from a group who could toss out their hits with easy confidence. While the original video footage has been cleaned and the sound remixed by Jon Astley, The Who: Live in Texas '75 never feels like slick and polished ‘70s arena rock. Instead, at this point in their career, The Who sounded like a great bar band with superlative original songs, very much reflecting the stripped down approach of The Who by Numbers. It might be heretical to say this, but this concert is more engaging than the legendary Live at Leeds.