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The Who - 2002 Live CDs (Encore Series):

Mountain View, California - July 3, 2002

Marysville, California - July 4, 2002

George, Washington - July 6, 2002

Mansfield, Massachusetts - July 26, 2002

Camden, New Jersey - July 27, 2002

Hershey, Pennsylvania - July 29, 2002

New York, New York - July 31, 2002

New York, New York - August 3, 2002

New York, New York - August 4, 2002

Detroit, Michigan - August 23, 2002

Tinley Park, Illinois - August 24, 2002

Noblesville, Indiana - August 25, 2002

Grand Rapids, Michigan - August 27, 2002

Columbus, Ohio - August 28, 2002

Holmdel, New Jersey - August 30, 2002

Wantaugh, New York - August 31, 2002

Las Vegas, Nevada - September 14, 2002

Irvine, California - September 15, 2002

Los Angeles, California - September 17, 2002

Denver, Colorado - September 19, 2002

Dallas, Texas - September 21, 2002

Chicago, Illinois - September 23, 2002

St. Paul, Minnesota - September 24, 2002

Mansfield, Massachusettes - September 27, 2002

Toronto, Ontario - September 28, 2002

 Box      Book

Overview - 2002 Encore Series:

The "Encore Series" started out as a great idea, and every fan's dream - to officially release all/most of the concerts from a tour. However, the results were mixed (no pun intended) at best. These CDs were offered as: (from www.themusic.com ):

"Recorded and mixed live from the sound board, these CDs will be as close as you will get, and as quick as you will get, to reliving the experience. By this process you will be provided with good recordings at a reasonable price"

However, what was initially delivered fell way below reasonable expectations of what a "soundboard" recording should sound like. CDs with vocals mixed way too low or mastering compression levels set too high, ruined the potential enjoyment of an entire series of great performances, which ranged from very good (at the least) to spectacular (see individual reviews below).

The first released 16/25 CDs of the series (which are actually the last 16 dates) were plagued with all kinds of mix/mastering problems, ranging from vocals mixed way too low, to guitars mixed way too high. The final released 9/25 of the series (which are actually the first 9 dates) are mixed much better than the following 16 <actual> dates, but most suffer from varying mastering problems.

What is mix and mastering? Very simply, the mix is the relationship of the instruments and vocals to each other in a given recording. Ideally, you should be able to hear the vocals, bass, guitar, drums, etc. clearly, without one (or more) of these dominating and drowning out the other (s). For example, in some of the performances, the guitar is mixed so loud, that it drowns out the vocals (and other instruments) so that you have to strain your ears to hear them. After a recording gets mixed, it gets mastered.  Final touches get added to the sound, to ensure that the tone is just right and that the mix isn't too harsh sounding coming out of a set of ordinary stereo speakers. A good mastering job should be like a thin coat of wax on a car - enough to make the car shine, but not too much to dull the paint. Unfortunately, in many examples throughout this series "too much wax" was applied, so that nice shiny "paint job" was turned into a "waxy" mess (picture a brand new car, with globs of wax streaked all over it.)

Out of the 25 CDs released, the July 31, 2002 CD from Madison Square Garden (New York, New York) stands out as the best overall - based on a combination of performance, mix and mastering. It sounds as close to a "professional" release as you are going to get from this series. After that, the others go "downhill" to varying degrees. For example, the August 3, 2002 CD is a very similar performance to the July 31, however, "too much wax" was applied in the mastering process causing that CD to sound like a "duller" version of the July 31 show. What's the point?

Each of the other shows released have their own sets of "problems" with the mix and/or mastering. For example, the Holmdel, New Jersey show (August 30, 2002) features a great performance, but the vocals are mixed way too low, there are various echo/reverb problems and the drums suffer from a "slapping sound" (see individual review below).

If I had to make a recommendation, "what to buy", I would strongly recommend the New York, New York - July 31, 2002, show and perhaps whatever shows you might have attended during the tour - since you were there and they might be "personal" to your memories. In addition you might want to consider an extra show or two where the set list was changed (i.e. Mansfield, July 26, 2002 included "I Can See For Miles") so that you can have all the songs performed on the tour. (See set lists below for track listing details).

These concerts are all available at www.themusic.com and the proceeds are donated to charity. If you order them in "bulk", you get a plain, cardboard box (pictured above) with "The Who Live 2002" stamped on the top and a nice book (pictured above) with pictures from the tour.  

Album: Mountain View, California - July 3, 2002

Comments: Good performance. Consistent mix with the vocals mixed "just right" - drums are mixed a bit too low. Unnecessary compression in lower midrange causing the drums to sound "duller" than they actually are.

Track Listing: I Can't Explain, Substitute, Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere, Who Are You, Another Tricky Day, Relay, Bargain, Baba O'Riley, Eminence Front, Sea And Sand, 5:15, Love Reign O'er Me, Behind Blue Eyes, You Better You Bet, The Kids Are Alright, My Generation, Won't Get Fooled Again, Pinball Wizard, Amazing Journey, Sparks, See Me, Feel Me/Listening To You

Album: Marysville, California - July 4, 2002

Comments: Good performance. Consistent mix with the vocals mixed just a "notch" too low on some songs, just fine on others - drums are mixed a bit too low. Unnecessary compression in lower midrange causing the drums and lower midrange to sound "duller" than they actually are.

Track Listing: I Can't Explain, Substitute, Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere, Who Are You, Another Tricky Day, Relay, Bargain, Baba O'Riley, Eminence Front, Sea And Sand, 5:15, Love Reign O'er Me, Behind Blue Eyes, You Better You Bet, The Kids Are Alright, My Generation, Won't Get Fooled Again, Pinball Wizard, Amazing Journey, Sparks, See Me, Feel Me/Listening To You

Album: George, Washington - July 6, 2002

Comments: Good performance. Consistent mix with the vocals mixed just a "notch" too low on some songs, just fine on others - drums are mixed a bit too low. Unnecessary compression in lower midrange causing the drums and lower midrange to sound "duller" than they actually are.

Track Listing: I Can't Explain, Substitute, Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere, Who Are You, Another Tricky Day, Relay, Bargain, Baba O'Riley, Eminence Front, Sea And Sand, 5:15, Love Reign O'er Me, Behind Blue Eyes, You Better You Bet, The Kids Are Alright, My Generation, Won't Get Fooled Again, Pinball Wizard, Amazing Journey, Sparks, See Me, Feel Me/Listening To You

Album: Mansfield, Massachusetts - July 26, 2002

Comments: Spirited performance. Annoying echo/reverb on several of the songs, otherwise consistent mix with the vocals mixed just a "notch" too low on some songs, just fine on others - drums are mixed a bit too low. Unnecessary compression in lower midrange causing the drums and lower midrange to sound "duller" than they actually are. Only date on tour to add "I Can See For Miles" to the set list!

Track Listing: I Can't Explain, Substitute, Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere, Who Are You, Another Tricky Day, Relay, I Can See For Miles, Baba O'Riley, Eminence Front, Sea And Sand, 5:15, Love Reign O'er Me, Behind Blue Eyes, You Better You Bet, The Kids Are Alright, My Generation, Won't Get Fooled Again, Pinball Wizard, Amazing Journey, Sparks, See Me, Feel Me/Listening To You

Album: Camden, New Jersey - July 27, 2002

Comments: Spirited performance. Consistent mix with the vocals mixed just a "notch" too low on some songs, just fine on others - drums are mixed a bit too low. Unnecessary compression in lower midrange causing the drums and lower midrange to sound "duller" than they actually are.

Track Listing: I Can't Explain, Substitute, Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere, Who Are You, Another Tricky Day, Relay, Bargain, Baba O'Riley, Eminence Front, Sea And Sand, 5:15, Love Reign O'er Me, Behind Blue Eyes, You Better You Bet, The Kids Are Alright, My Generation, Won't Get Fooled Again, Pinball Wizard, Amazing Journey, Sparks, See Me, Feel Me/Listening To You

Album: Hershey, Pennsylvania - July 29, 2002

Comments: Energetic performance. Consistent mix with the vocals mixed just a "notch" too low on some songs ("I Can't Explain" backing vocals mixed way too low), just fine on others  - drums are mixed a bit too low. Unnecessary compression in lower midrange causing the drums and lower midrange to sound "duller" than they actually are.

Track Listing: I Can't Explain, Substitute, Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere, Who Are You, Another Tricky Day, Relay, Bargain, Baba O'Riley, Sea And Sand, 5:15, Love Reign O'er Me, Eminence Front, Behind Blue Eyes, You Better You Bet, The Kids Are Alright, My Generation, Won't Get Fooled Again, Pinball Wizard, Amazing Journey, Sparks, See Me, Feel Me/Listening To You

Album: New York, New York - July 31, 2002 **

Comments: Very energetic performance. Very good, consistent mix throughout - vocals "just right". Better drum sound than other performances from the same leg and the compression is turned way down compared to the other releases, allowing the sound to be clear, without any "dullness". ** Best overall release of the series for performance/mix/mastering.

Track Listing: I Can't Explain, Substitute, Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere, Who Are You, Another Tricky Day, Relay, Bargain, Baba O'Riley, Sea And Sand, 5:15, Love Reign O'er Me, Eminence Front, Behind Blue Eyes, You Better You Bet, The Kids Are Alright, My Generation, Won't Get Fooled Again, Pinball Wizard, Amazing Journey, Sparks, See Me, Feel Me/Listening To You

Album: New York, New York - August 3, 2002

Comments: Very energetic performance. Consistent mix - vocals mixed well. Unnecessary compression  causing lower midrange to sound "duller" than it actually is, detracting from the performance and overall sound.

Track Listing: I Can't Explain, Substitute, Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere, Who Are You, Another Tricky Day, Relay, Bargain, Baba O'Riley, Sea And Sand, 5:15, Love Reign O'er Me, Eminence Front, Behind Blue Eyes, You Better You Bet, The Kids Are Alright, My Generation, Won't Get Fooled Again, Pinball Wizard, Amazing Journey, Sparks, See Me, Feel Me/Listening To You

Album: New York, New York - August 4, 2002

Comments: Very energetic performance. Consistent mix - vocals mixed well. Unnecessary compression  causing lower midrange to sound "duller" than it actually is, detracting from the performance and overall sound.

Track Listing: I Can't Explain, Substitute, Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere, Who Are You, Another Tricky Day, Relay, Bargain, Baba O'Riley, Sea And Sand, 5:15, Love Reign O'er Me, Eminence Front, Behind Blue Eyes, You Better You Bet, The Kids Are Alright, My Generation, Won't Get Fooled Again, Pinball Wizard, Amazing Journey, Sparks, See Me, Feel Me/Listening To You

Album: Detroit, Michigan - August 23, 2002

Comments: Wonderfully recorded and performed concert. The drums and the bass are outstanding. However, someone "over did it" in the post-production and added some sort of odd compression in the mid-range section, causing a weird "flat spot" across the whole midrange, affecting the vocals and parts of the guitar. A shame, because without that "hazy" feeling to it, this would be a fantastic CD. Roger's vocals seem to be mixed down for the 3 "Quadrophenia" tracks. Deja Vu?

Track Listing: I Can't Explain, Substitute, Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere, Who Are You, Another Tricky Day, Relay, Bargain, Baba O'Riley, Sea And Sand, 5:15, Love Reign O'er Me, Eminence Front, Behind Blue Eyes, You Better You Bet, The Kids Are Alright, My Generation, Won't Get Fooled Again, Pinball Wizard, Amazing Journey, Sparks, See Me, Feel Me/Listening To You

Album: Tinley Park, Illinois - August 24, 2002

Comments: Great concert. Unfortunately, this disc wasn't mixed very well. From "I Can't Explain" through part of the beginning of "Relay", there's an odd sounding compression in the lower frequencies, which has the effect of muffling the bass, drums and parts of the vocals. The vocals are mixed way too low, as are the bass and drums. 

Track Listing: I Can't Explain, Substitute, Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere, Who Are You, Another Tricky Day, Relay, Bargain, Baba O'Riley, Sea And Sand, 5:15, Love Reign O'er Me (1), Love Reign O'er Me (2), Eminence Front, Behind Blue Eyes, You Better You Bet, The Kids Are Alright, My Generation, Won't Get Fooled Again, Pinball Wizard, Amazing Journey, Sparks, See Me, Feel Me/Listening To You

Album: Noblesville, Indiana - August 25, 2002

Comments: Great concert. Starts out with low, muffled, vocals ("I Can't Explain", "Substitute") which clear up (but are still very low) by "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere". Guitar and Keyboards sound great, but bass is low in the mix until "Baba O'Riley". Vocals on "The Kids Are Alright" are decent as the guitar is lower in the mix and not drowning Roger out! Drums are mixed down throughout.

Track Listing: I Can't Explain, Substitute, Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere, Who Are You, Another Tricky Day, Relay, Bargain, Baba O'Riley, Sea And Sand, 5:15, Love Reign O'er Me, Eminence Front, Behind Blue Eyes, You Better You Bet, The Kids Are Alright, My Generation, Won't Get Fooled Again, Pinball Wizard, Amazing Journey, Sparks, See Me, Feel Me/Listening To You

Album: Grand Rapids, Michigan - August 27, 2002

Comments: Great concert. While the vocals are a bit too low (like the others in this serious), this seems to be the best mixed concert (of the series through Wantaugh, NY), and is fairly well balanced from start to finish.

Track Listing: I Can't Explain, Substitute, Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere, Who Are You, Another Tricky Day, Relay, Bargain, Baba O'Riley, Sea And Sand, 5:15, Love Reign O'er Me, Eminence Front, Behind Blue Eyes, You Better You Bet, The Kids Are Alright, My Generation, Won't Get Fooled Again, Pinball Wizard, Amazing Journey, Sparks, See Me, Feel Me/Listening To You

Album: Columbus, Ohio - August 28, 2002

Comments: Great concert. Low vocals (lower than Grand Rapids, Michigan above) but balanced mix throughout.

Track Listing: I Can't Explain, Substitute, Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere, Who Are You, Another Tricky Day, Bargain, Baba O'Riley, Sea And Sand, 5:15, Love Reign O'er Me, Eminence Front, Behind Blue Eyes, You Better You Bet, The Kids Are Alright, My Generation, Won't Get Fooled Again, Pinball Wizard, Amazing Journey, Sparks, See Me, Feel Me/Listening To You

Album: Holmdel, New Jersey - August 30, 2002

Comments: Great concert - Much higher energy level than previous shows on the same leg of the tour. Low vocals, with some extra "echo" throughout. Drums are recorded oddly as if they make a "slapping" sound throughout. Vocals get a bit louder for "Behind Blue Eyes" on. Overall balanced mix.

Track Listing:  I Can't Explain, Substitute, Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere, Who Are You, Another Tricky Day, Relay, Bargain, Baba O'Riley, I'm One, Sea And Sand, 5:15, Love Reign O'er Me, Behind Blue Eyes, You Better You Bet, The Kids Are Alright, My Generation, Won't Get Fooled Again, Pinball Wizard, Amazing Journey, Sparks, See Me, Feel Me/Listening To You

Album: Wantaugh, New York - August 31, 2002

Comments: Great concert - High energy level, but slightly less than Holmdel (above). Low vocals, heavy echo in vocals during "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere". Vocals slightly louder from "Baba O'Riley" on. Balanced mix throughout.

Track Listing: I Can't Explain, Substitute, Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere, Who Are You, Another Tricky Day, Relay, Bargain, Baba O'Riley, I'm One, Sea And Sand, 5:15, Love Reign O'er Me, Behind Blue Eyes, You Better You Bet, The Kids Are Alright, My Generation, Won't Get Fooled Again, Pinball Wizard, Amazing Journey, Sparks, See Me, Feel Me/Listening To You

Album: Las Vegas, Nevada - September 14, 2002

Comments: Odd mix - almost sounds like a good audience recording. Vocals are louder than most of the others in this series. The guitar seems to disappear into the mix after the first few songs and then the overall mix seems to improve beginning with "I'm One".

Track Listing: I Can't Explain, Substitute, Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere, Who Are You, Another Tricky Day, Relay, Bargain, Baba O'Riley, I'm One, Sea And Sand, 5:15, Love Reign O'er Me, Behind Blue Eyes, You Better You Bet, The Kids Are Alright, My Generation, Won't Get Fooled Again, Pinball Wizard, Amazing Journey, Sparks, See Me, Feel Me/Listening To You

Album: Irvine, California - September 15, 2002

Comments: Decent mix, but vocals vary from low to OK throughout.

Track Listing: I Can't Explain, Substitute, Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere, Who Are You, Another Tricky Day, Relay, Bargain, Baba O'Riley, I'm One, Sea And Sand, 5:15, Love Reign O'er Me, Behind Blue Eyes, You Better You Bet, The Kids Are Alright, My Generation, Won't Get Fooled Again, Pinball Wizard, Amazing Journey, Sparks, See Me, Feel Me/Listening To You

Album: Los Angeles, California - September 17, 2002

Comments: Great, energetic performance. Great mix, except vocals are a bit too low throughout with a few exceptions.

Track Listing: I Can't Explain, Substitute, Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere, Who Are You, Another Tricky Day, Relay, Bargain, Baba O'Riley, I'm One, Sea And Sand, 5:15, Love Reign O'er Me, Behind Blue Eyes, You Better You Bet, The Kids Are Alright, My Generation, Won't Get Fooled Again, Pinball Wizard, Amazing Journey, Sparks, See Me, Feel Me/Listening To You

Album: Denver, Colorado - September 19, 2002

Comments: Good, "well paced" performance - a bit "slower" than most of the others. Low vocals on an otherwise balanced mix.

Track Listing: I Can't Explain, Substitute, Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere, Who Are You, Another Tricky Day, Relay, Bargain, Baba O'Riley, Sea And Sand, 5:15, Love Reign O'er Me, Eminence Front, Behind Blue Eyes, You Better You Bet, The Kids Are Alright, My Generation, Won't Get Fooled Again, Pinball Wizard, Amazing Journey, Sparks, See Me, Feel Me/Listening To You

Album: Dallas, Texas - September 21, 2002

Comments: Great, energetic performance. Great mix, except vocals are a bit too low throughout with a few exceptions.

Track Listing: I Can't Explain, Substitute, Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere, Who Are You, Another Tricky Day, Relay, Bargain, Baba O'Riley, Sea And Sand, 5:15, Love Reign O'er Me, Eminence Front, Behind Blue Eyes, You Better You Bet, The Kids Are Alright, My Generation, Won't Get Fooled Again, Pinball Wizard, Amazing Journey, Sparks, See Me, Feel Me/Listening To You

Album: Chicago, Illinois - September 23, 2002

Comments: Energetic performance. Decent mix throughout, except for low vocals.

Track Listing: I Can't Explain, Substitute, Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere, Who Are You, I Don't Even Know Myself, Baba O'Riley, Sea And Sand, 5:15, Love Reign O'er Me, Eminence Front, Behind Blue Eyes, The Kids Are Alright, My Generation, Won't Get Fooled Again, Pinball Wizard, Amazing Journey, Sparks, See Me, Feel Me/Listening To You

Album: St. Paul, Minnesota - September 24, 2002

Comments: Energetic performance. Very annoying mix. Guitar is way too loud, bass makes intermittent twanging noise, that almost sounds like a broken string. Low vocals.

Track Listing: I Can't Explain, Substitute, Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere, Who Are You, Another Tricky Day, Relay, Bargain, Baba O'Riley, Sea And Sand, 5:15, Love Reign O'er Me, Eminence Front, Behind Blue Eyes, You Better You Bet, The Kids Are Alright, My Generation, Won't Get Fooled Again, Pinball Wizard, Amazing Journey, Sparks, See Me, Feel Me/Listening To You

Album: Mansfield, Massachusetts - September 27, 2002

Comments: Energetic performance. Very annoying mix. Guitar is way too loud, bass makes intermittent twanging noise, that almost sounds like a broken string. Low vocals.

Track Listing: I Can't Explain, Substitute, Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere, Who Are You, Another Tricky Day, Relay, Bargain, Baba O'Riley, Sea And Sand, 5:15, Love Reign O'er Me, Eminence Front, Behind Blue Eyes, You Better You Bet, The Kids Are Alright, My Generation, Won't Get Fooled Again, Pinball Wizard, Amazing Journey, Sparks, See Me, Feel Me/Listening To You

Album: Toronto, Ontario - September 28, 2002

Comments: Energetic performance. Very annoying mix. Guitar is way too loud. Low vocals.

Track Listing: I Can't Explain, Substitute, Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere, Who Are You, Another Tricky Day, Relay, Bargain, Baba O'Riley, Sea And Sand, 5:15, Love Reign O'er Me, Eminence Front, Behind Blue Eyes, You Better You Bet, The Kids Are Alright, My Generation, Won't Get Fooled Again, Pinball Wizard, Amazing Journey, Sparks, See Me, Feel Me/Listening To You

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