SetlistI Can't Explain
Anyway Anyhow Anywhere
I Don't Know Myself
The Real Me
Who Are You
Behind Blue Eyes
You Better You Bet
Won't Get Fooled Again
The Kids Are Alright
Let's See Action
(Washington Post, 07-07-2000)
There was one thing wrong with The Who's show at Nissan Pavilion. It was the audience, which was a typical DC area, civil service, sit on their hands bunch with the attitude,"We've paid our money - now entertain us." Until Baba O'Riley, that is. There something about the chorus of 'Teenage Wasteland' that makes it impossible to remain seated. Even for civil servants!
All in all, The Who put on a great show. I've rarely seen them as musically tight as at Nissan. Missing were some of the theatrics (the smoke bombs, the snide comments to the audience and each other, and the general anarchy) that I remember from the seventies. Those were generally instigated by Keith Moon - has he really been gone 22 years? Sigh!
But Roger Daltrey still twirls a mean microphone, ansd despite gasping for breath after The Real Me, he was in fine voice. Pete Townshend came out, joked about his sniffles, and put on a turn back the clock performance. He renewed his patent on the windmill right through the power chords, joked about his nose, and was scintillating. John Entwistle's solo on 5:15 showed why he is the greatest bassist in rock (non-debatable point, o.k?), and Zak Starkey pounded the drums in the best imitation of Keith Moon's energy you're likely to see.
Musical high points included Baba O'Riley; Magic Bus (the negotiations are as corny as ever, but it works); 5:15; Won't Get Fooled Again (duh!) and My Generation.
Some folks told me my reason for following The Who around the East Coast for a week was to prove I'm not old, that I'm still 'hip'. Sort of like guys in their forties divorcing their wives to take up with bimbos half their age, Sorry, no mid life crisis here - I just enjoy their music.
The bottom line is they have something to say, the message still resonates and they deliver it well. If they aren't as wild and adventurous as they once were, well, either am I!
To see The Who in concert was dream come true! I went to July 5,
2000 show at the Nissan Pavilion not knowing what the old surviving members were going to do. At first I thought Pete would play only acoustic guitar, play an opera with Roger as the lead character, do Lifehouse Live? Quadrophenia Live? Or maybe a greatest hits show with a back-up singers and a horn section augmenting the band? What the crowd got was "a bargain the best we ever had."
The lights went out(it wasn't even dark yet) and Pete Townshend ran out onstage, grabbed the ELECTRIC GUITAR off its stand, and the rest of the group followed. Soon I saw John Entwistle with his green jacket and Roger Daltrey, with his legendary chest showing through his rolled up white collared shirt-this was clearly going to be one hell of a night.
Kicking off with "I Can't Explain" the whole crowd was on their feet the whole time. They knocked off three 60's hits, ("Substitute" and "AAA") first before getting into MY WIFE and soon, BABA O'RILEY! The whole night just seemed to click with energy and excitement. Pete Townshend only carried that one electric guitar with whammy bar the whole night, and in between songs, he kept re-tuning it by himself, talking to the crowd. He mentioned that if he had surgery with his nose a certain
way, he would look like Nicholas Cage. It was so funny! Everybody was looking at the gigantic TV screens on either side of the stage and looking at Pete's nose!
Roger hardly talked to the crowd at all. It seemed more like The Pete Townshend Comedy Show with the Who as musical guests. Once while Roger was talking to a sound guy at the side of the stage, he dropped his microphone, right in front of everybody. And when Roger came out for the encore's "Kids Are Alright" (with acoustic guitar strapped), he started to talk, but the mic was off!?
The concert just simply rocked. The crowd screamed everytime Pete did his windmill guitar playing, but my personal fave was seeing Roger twirl his microphone around and often twisting it around himself and somehow getting loose in time for the next verse. The night was filled with usual crowd-pleasing hits, half of "WHO'S NEXT" was played, only "Pinball Wizard" from TOMMY, a boring version of MAGIC BUS (they never get
that song right live!) and alot of talking about QUADROPHENIA.
We all were very fortunate that the timing of the songs and Pete's stories he shared and the performance was so locked into place. Roger sang his heart out, even though he seemed very quiet, but he danced and Pete shook and rang his guitar, leaping, windmilled and tore it up. John was his usual self, my only wish was that he sang more songs or talked more to the audience, but what can you do? He played his ass off as well.
This was a very awesome gig, and if there were musical problems, nobody noticed, and everybody had just felt afterwards, like they had gone back in time, and saw them play in 1979. And that felt great!