The Who

Sat, 18 August 1979:

London, Wembley Stadium


I Can't Explain
Baba O'Riley
The Punk And The Godfather
Behind Blue Eyes
Boris The Spider
Sister Disco
Music Must Change
Magic Bus
Pinball Wizard
See Me Feel Me
Trick Of The Light
Long Live Rock
Who Are You
My Generation
Dreaming From The Waist
Won't Get Fooled Again

Summertime Blues
The Real Me


Steve Bastow

I only decided to attend this gig fairly late on as I often worked on a Saturday at the time and wasn't sure if I would be able to make it. This meant that there was no room for me in my friend's car and so I had to make my own way there on the train and book a hotel.

The excitement started to build on the tube train to Wembley, which was full of Who fans reminiscing about concerts past - Charlton and Swansea mainly. I checked into my hotel and then went to look for my friends outside the stadium. Fortunately the gates weren't open yet and I managed to find them. We entered the stadium together and made a mad dash across to the pitch. I�m not really sure why we did this as we parked ourselves near to what would have been the centre circle, rather than getting as close to the stage as we could - it was good fun though.

It was turning into a lovely sunny day and it felt good just being sat in the middle of the famous old stadium.

Nils Lofgren was the first act to appear. I didn't know much of his material but it was quite enjoyable to listen to and watching him performing summersaults.

Next up were AC/DC who just didn't stop boogying, even when the PA cut out.

The Stranglers were the big disappointment playing material from their new album rather than a greatest hits type show.

Then, as the light began to fade, came The Who. The band who the majority of people had come to see. Most of the people who had been sat on the pitch, including our little gang, began to move forward towards the stage and would stand for the rest of the show.

The band ran onto the stage, a quick wave to the fans and then straight into Substitute. For the next ninety minutes or so I would have the best time of my then short life. Sadly Keith was no longer with us, having passed away a little under a year earlier, but it was still The Who and I was hooked. Some people say the sound was a bit muted and the GLC may have cut short the laser show, but I thought it was brilliant.

After the encore of Summertime Blues and The Real Me the stadium lights were switched on and we all made our way to the exit. I said goodbye to my friends who would sleep crammed together in a small van while I had the luxury of a nice clean hotel bed.

Other memories: The Stranglers used the electronic scoreboard to display the song titles. I don't know if this was for their benefit or ours as it was at the opposite end of the stadium to the stage and so everybody had their backs to it.

The chorus to I Can't Explain had a bar(?) of music between each line making it sound slower. During See Me Feel Me, two wide laser beams were projected to the back of the stadium while a narrow laser beam was reflected off mirrors placed on the floodlight pylons giving a lattice effect.

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The Who in London


Ticket Wembley 1979 (thanks to Steve Bastow)