SetlistPete Townshend Overture, You Better You Bet, Another Tricky Day, Baba O'Riley, After The Fire, Relay, Amazing Journey, Pinball Wizard, Sparks, I'm Free, See Me, Feel Me, Who Are You, TheSea Rufuses No River, My Wife, Boris The Spider, The Punk And The Godfather, I'm One, Drowned, Doctor Jimmy, I've Had Enough, Cut My Hair, 5.15, Love Reign O'er Me, Substitute, Behind Blue Eyes, Won't Get Fooled Again
I want to describe Roger's August 13, 1994 show at the Merriweather Post Pavillion in Columbia MD. In addition to the show, I met a few Who fanatics with some interesting stories (which can be told later) that made the trip all that better. I also heard that some shows, for example Rockford IL (definite) and maybe Milwaukee WI, have been cancelled. This is too bad considering what the show entailed.
This was my first visit to the Merriweather and it is quite a beautiful venue to see a show. The crowd was relatively sparce, however, to put things in perspective, stories were that the Stones show earlier in the week were also sparce. Only about 200 people were in the lawn area and maybe 90% of the seats were filled, so about 5000 total (ranging in age from 2 - 60). Having this number of people meant that conditions were not overcrowded but the crowd was very vocal, appreciating every minute. When everyone was standing (most the show believe it or not!) and screaming/singing, the atmosphere was that of a sell out. Roger and the band seemed to really enjoy themselves and the crowd knew it.
The band consisted of Pino Palladino and Rabbit on keyboards, the magnificent Jody Linscott on percussion, Simon Townshend on rhythm guitar, John Blackhorn (aka Geoff Whitehorn, KJ) on lead, Zak Starkey on drums, Billy Nicholls as backing vocal and some bass player before John entered (I really didn't catch his name). A 20-30 piece orchestra was also on stage. Below is the set list followed by my specific comments.
Roger's voice was pretty good, it did take a couple songs to get going. Some notables:
Before Substitute started, Roger said and I'm paraphrasing some, »This is where we like to play karioke. Anyone who thinks this is easy and knows the words to Substitute can come up here and show me how to do my job. I'd like 4 men and 4 women.« And sure enough 8 people went on stage and sang with Roger and the band. To say the least, Substitute is one of the most difficult songs to remember the lyrics and to be put literally center stage was too much for some. Wrong verses if they remembered at all! One guy actually wrestled the mike from Roger and began twirling it about, nearly hitting Simon. This was absolutely hilarious, atypical and fun. Alas, although close to the stage, I was not able to get my chance. The best part for the 8 was a backstage pass for after the show!
Quadrophenia was magnificent for hard core fans and maybe too obscure for others (like my wife - however she enjoyed the music and the energy the crowd seemed to get from this). As regular readers to this board know, Quadrophenia is THE definitive record for many of us. This part of the concert was really too much. Absolutely moving.
After WGFA, everyone but Roger and John left the stage. Roger said something to the effect of »We started out many years ago as a blues band, playing Chicago blues. The most important thing to us has always been playing. To anyone who doesn't agree with us [he then flipped a bird].« Too obviously a dig at Pete.
It is too easy for a fan to review their favorite group, you cannot be impartial. My intention is to let you know what the show was like. My recommendation is to see the show if you can. I will try everything to see at least one more, it is well worth it. Fortunately/unfortunately tickets are probably still available.