Ever since The Who at the dawn of the pop-opera smashed their guitars in smoke and dust, they have been dramaticists and clowns. At Tennishallen in Stockholm on Wednesday night they made their entrance as a bunch of somersaulting variety artists. The group has also kept the classic instrumentation from the three-chord pop days â€“ they havenâ€™t even added an organ. And for old fans, it can be said that Roger Daltrey still stands tough and sexy in the middle while Pete Townshend prances around to the right, John Entwistle goes and hides in the shadows of the amplifiers on the left and Keith Moon drums so that his eyes spins round in his head.
On the other hand, everyone knows that The Who have developed musically. The pop-opera "Tommy" was the final evidence of their musical standard. According to a statement to an English musical paper earlier this week by Townshend, the group wants to keep on describing the young teenagers. Their break-through song "My Generation" is still, so to speak, the life and blood of Who. They still perform it on stage, and remarkably, it still feels valid.
It is seldom one can experience something as well rehearsed, something so thoroughly coordinated and professional as Whoâ€™s concert in Stockholm. And, even then, with what ease an almost hallucinatory wall of ecstasy can be built. The sound and light equipment is superior to most other acts â€“ which says a lot â€“ but the group understood to use and balance all of the thousands of decibels available to them.
Who literally kicks off every song and that as if they not only can but also enjoy it. It is no overstatement to speak of a success â€“ the 3.000 in the audience should have been many more.
The Dutch group Golden Earring was opening act. With a singer that reminded of a Felliniesque faun, the group played assuredly, but its progressive rock ecstasy seemed mechanical and the deafening music purposeless.
von Jan Forsgren <<a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a>>