by Steven Page
I approached last nights show at Wembley arena with some trepidation due to my own feelings (would this be the last time?) and the inevitable how can it be as good as the rest of the shows I’ve seen? question that hangs around the “end of term” gig.
No need to worry on the last score however – another fine show which featured Roger Daltry on excellent form, Peter Townshend ad lobbing in the most unusual places, and successfully I may add, and the rest of the band on the money with any changes to arrangement or emphasis followed and supported ably.
The audience wasn’t as vocal as the superb Liverpool crowd but caught on fire from 5.15 onwards, on a note of validation it was great to see some of the young and very young Who fans in the audience, one little lad was wind milling his arm outside the gig afterwards fit to bust!
The “and more” sequence was I felt One of the best I’ve seen with all the songs performed very well, especially “You Better You Bet” that had some stunning piano playing, Baba which had a marvellous “count out” delivered by Pete that caught a lot of the audience out!
To close – a fine gig and from the shows seen personally and the reviews read, a stunning tour.
As Young Mr Grace would have said – “You’ve all done very well”!
by Graham Hewitt
I came to see The Who last night. I was a little uncertain what to expect. As a long term fan – ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ is the single greatest recording in the last 50 years – I had almost prepared myself for a sentimental trip down memory lane, but no more than that. I bought along a couple of friends who were visiting from the States, we had arranged the trip to combine our two favourite bands in one weekend – The Stones and The Who.
The Who were magnificent, this wasn’t a retrospective, (there were than passing nods to the original band!) – it was, as Pete Townsend pointed out, as relevant today as when Quadrophenia was first written. The performance was stunning. Quadrophenia was one of the first albums I brought, and last night for the first time I really understood what it was about. This wasn’t a rock concept album as I thought, this was a brilliantly written and amazingly produced portrait of teenage angst. The staging and performances were stunning. Townsend guiding the band, Daltry imperious as ever, supported by Simon Townsend and the whole thing bound by the brilliant drumming.
The debate – The Stones vs. The Who will carry on forever. Yesterday was a revelation, The Stones do their own thing, if you like it you come along for the ride. The Who demand your attention and challenge you to follow them. More importantly they capture the raging emotions and tell all those growing boys that the feelings of frustration, inadequacy, anger, isolation and confusion are not just you – it’s everyone. Relevant for the 1963 when it was set, relevant for 1973 when Pete wrote it, and relevant now – for blokes irrespective of age.
The Who have carved out a unique niche in which they can never be surpassed – they captured everything rock and roll should be about, fun, emotional and relevance. In these days of plastic pop stars who rise and fall for as long at takes to for one of their manufactured singles to play, we should be grateful for the enduring powers of these immortal greats. We may die before we get old – thankfully that’s still a long way off!
I didn’t take any pictures – I was transfixed by the band throughout!