SetlistI Can't Explain
Anyway Anyhow Anywhere
Who Are You
Another Tricky Day
Sea And Sand
Love Reign O'er Me
Behind Blue Eyes
You Better You Bet
The Kids Are Alright
Won't Get Fooled Again
See Me Feel Me
(unknown newspaper, 02-08-2002)
Answer: The Who. Question: What is Rock 'n Roll?
This was the game played tonight at Madison Square Garden in New York City. If there is any doubt, the same game will be played throughout North America until the end of September. After then, who knows? Nevertheless, tonight belonged to The Who, especially Roger Daltrey.
I have to admit that after the passing of John Entwistle in June, I wasn't sure if the tour should continue as planned. After tonight, I would have to say that the right choice was made. Not only for the reasons that Pete has made, but for the fans. The Who played as well as I have ever heard in any incarnation. I don't care if The Who are a four piece, five piece or include an entire orchestra if they continue to play with the fire and passion that they showed tonight.
For an opening act, you can't get much better than one of the greatest vocalists in rock, Robert Plant. His set culled from Led Zeppelin classics such as Celebration Day and Going to California to many tracks from his latest effort. His band was top notch, but his vocals needed to be brought up higher in the mix. For me, one of the best songsplayed tonight was Morning Dew. I have always liked this song, but Plant's version is as good as anything he has ever recorded, either solo or with Led Zeppelin. The only disappointment that I had was his teasing (at least three times) at playing Stairway to Heaven. I don't mind that he didn't play the song, but hinting at it so many times, just didn't sit well with me.
The Who played the same basic set that we have heard so far this tour. Therefore, no surprises in the songs performed. They started off with three rapid fire, early career hits, I Can't Explain, Substitute and Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere. Again as in 2000, Pete's solo during AAA was blistering and mesmerizing.
Throughout the night, Pete played as well as I have heard him play in the many times I have seen The Who live. I thoroughly enjoyed some of the reworking of the songs that we are so familiar with, such as Bargain and The Kids Are Alright. The additional lyrics at the end of TKAA included some of the same reworking as in 2000, and some special lyrics (adlibbed or rehearsed, I am not sure) concerning the untimely passing of John.
As I mentioned, it was Rogers night. He had a smile on his face throughout the night, while singing and in between songs. I don't know why, but I will take it any day. Unlike 2000, when I thought that Roger was having a tough time vocally, tonight, he hit every note with ease, although he did alter the phrasing on some lyrics to not have to hit certain highs. His vocals in Love Reign O'er Me were as good as ever and the scream at the end of Won't Get Fooled Again was as powerful as I have ever heard live or recorded.
Pino played superb. It is impossible to fill John's shoes, but he did a remarkable job. Pete and Roger made an excellent choice by recruiting him into the tour. If Pete and Roger decide to tour again and maybe even the hinted at album, it could be a smart move to retain Pino for those duties.
Zak is a marvel. Somehow, he is the perfect combination of Keith Moon's wildness and unpredictability behind a drum kit and Kenney Jones' machine like timekeeping. Combining the wild playing of My Generation with the precision needed for Eminence Front is only brought together in the person of Zak Starkey, Having him as part of this band has re-energized them to a level that emulates the Tommy through Quadrophenia era of The Who.
Rabbit added his usual excellent part to the sound. He acts almost like a rhythm guitar player by adding when it's needed and not intruding into the sound when he is not needed.
Honestly, I am not sure where Simon Townshend was in the mix tonight. I can't say that I heard his playing once. Perhaps that's what his job is, is to supplement as Rabbit does, but not be in the way musically.
The only down part of the night was at the end of WGFA, someone threw an object onto stage and hit Roger. From what I witnessed, he was outraged. When the band reappeared after the brief walk off-stage for the encore, Pete joked about what should be thrown onstage, "Watches, wallets, credit cards" A person threw a wadded bill onstage which Pete opened and exclaimed "A five! Is that all I am worth?" Another fan threw another wadded bill and Pete again opened it yelling "A twenty, that's more like it!" After putting the two bills on top of the nearby equipment, he returned to the microphone and said very seriously, "This money will go towards Rogers hospital bill."
The encore was the Tommy set of Pinball Wizard/Amazing Journey/Sparks/See Me, Feel Me. Sparks allowed Pete to create magic one last time onstage tonight. He played from beginning to the very end like he still needs to prove something to someone.
He sure proved it tonight. So did The Who.
What a emotional show, with obvious reference to the last time the who played here with the concert for nyc last fall, the show that propelled this current tour in motion.
The show was outstanding. no surprises with the set list, but the emotion and enthusiam that they played with was simply unbelievable. this was the 5th time i have seen this band and probably the best since 82'. with the reports that roger's voice was showing some strain, i have to tell you he was awesome on this night. he never missed a note and his famous howl had the hair on my neck standing up. pete wailed as usual and had the crowd in his hand all night. what a great drummer zak is. pino was solid and steady, didn't even try to be the ox (who could!!!!) they did show him on the screen during "my generation" doing john's famous lines. rabbit as always was great and simon played nice back up for pete and roger. I was a bit skeptical of them continuing this tour with john's passing....but i am sure as hell glad they did!!!!
What was not mentioned was ... that Roger got hit in the arm at the end of Won't Get Fooled Again by a fan who threw a half full bottle of Coke. He was pissed and inviting him on stage for a "F'ckingfight". Pete later said, "Only throw flowers and money". He was immediately shower with crumpled up $5's and $20's. Pete jokingly said, "He'll put it towards Roger's hospitalization".
This Who show was a little bit unusual, but great nonetheless. I hope I can recall accurately, the things that happened during the show. The setlist was the same as the previous show. To start. Pete was Pete and wasnt as intense as I have seen him. Roger's voice was the best I have heard it in years. He looked really fit and was relentless on vocals. The previous post is true about the band not talking about John at all. They didnt mention him but he was sorely missed. Although Pino filled in somewhat adequately, you dont realize how much John meant. Zak did a great job trying to make up for John's absence, but its too much a load. John was simply the best bass player of his generation and maybe ever.
Cant Explain and Substitute were basic. AW, AW, AH was pretty good and then during Who are You (which really started getting the crowd moving) Pete broke his guitar strap and couldnt play the part near the end after the waaa..waaaa's. He retrieved another guitar and finished the song pounding away. The Band seemed the tightest during this part of the show. Tricky Day and Relay were ok, but slow. Baba O'Riley may have been the best live version I have ever seen (about a dozen shows). Very intense, tight and Zak Starkey was incredible. The crowd was jumping at this point. Eminence Front was not as good as the older versions in '82, but was great to hear.
Then ... onto the Quadrophenia part, which for me was the hilight of the show. The band was just playing great. was simply the best. Behind Blue Eyes was also great as the band reached a crescendo. YBYB was typical and then Pete started spouting off about Viagara and his non-need for using it. Then peculiarly he felt bad about what he said and apologized. Usual for Pete to apologize to anyone. Kids were great!!
My Generation was great and intense as Pete just pounded insanely. Pino was great where John's part comes up. WGFA was also unusual as Roger got hit by a bottle that a fam threw from the side of the stage. Roger hurt his arm and was really pissed. During the song, Roger was yelling at the fan and at the end of the song, he called the fan out onto the stage. Of course the fan didnt come, but Roger said, after picking up the bottle, "I should see how far I can stick this up your a$$. Roger was incredibly angry and Pete came over and gave him a hug, which was cool.
Encore was great. Tommy set is always classic. Great Tombourine playing by Roger during the encore songs Sparks. See Me Feel Me.. was classic. Great show though, so glad to go again.
Support Act: Robert Plant
Roger got hit by a bottle at the end of Won't Get Fooled Again. Pete: "Throw money, wallets, flowers, credit cards, girl friends".