Los Angeles, Aug 15 (Reuters) - The Who kicked off the second leg of their latest U.S. tour Monday by returning to the Hollywood Bowl, the famed Los Angeles venue they last played in November 1967.
Guitarist Pete Townshend recalled that the group ended the performance by letting off smoke bombs, in defiance of fire officials. Their sound engineer, who was also manning the boards at Monday's show, was arrested and threatened with 18 months in prison.
"What did we do? I think we went back to the hotel," Townshend told the crowd at the 17,000-seat venue tucked into the Hollywood Hills.
Monday's 2-1/4-hour show offered a set list similar to that played on the first leg, which ran June 25-July 9. The current leg runs through to Oct. 6, and then the group will spend November doing their first full U.K. tour since 1989.
The Who took to the unadorned shell-like stage with no fanfare, and kicked into early hits "I Can't Explain," "Substitute" and "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere." Primary songwriter Townshend noted that he co-wrote the last song under "a certain amount of duress" with singer Roger Daltrey, and hoped they could do the same again. The band is working on its first new studio in two decades.
Bassist John Entwistle took over lead vocal duties from Daltrey to perform "My Wife," which he dedicated to his ex-wives, one of whom was in the audience, he said.
The generally relaxed show encountered some static during "Magic Bus," which offered "a bit of a new groove", Townshend said by way of introduction. But it soon crashed to a halt with Townshend complaining that the tempo was too quick, and then taking the song into an extended jam. Touring drummer Zak Starkey apparently took offense at the complaint because Townshend later apologized to him during the encore, and hailed him as coming from the "University of Keith Moon."
Other crowdpleasers included "Baba O'Reilly," which Townshend later referred to indirectly when telling the crowd about his "inestimable wealth" from selling his songs to Japanese car companies, "Pinball Wizard," "Who Are You," "Behind Blue Eyes" and "Won't Get Fooled Again." Three songs were plucked from "Quadrophenia" -- a reworked "Drowned," "The Real Me" and "5.15."
The show wrapped with their 1965 signature hit "My Generation," which Townshend introduced simply as "This is it." Next stop is the Verizon Amphitheatre in nearby Irvine, Calif. on Aug. 16.