SetlistI Can't Explain
Anyway Anyhow Anywhere
Behind Blue Eyes
Real Good Looking Boy
Who Are You
Love Reign O'er Me
The Kids Are Alright
You Better You Bet
Old Red Wine
Won't Get Fooled Again
See Me Feel Me
(Sydney Morning Herald, 30-07-2004)
I attended both these shows and had a great time. It was Peteâ€™s first visit to Aust since Jan 1968 (!) when they toured with the Small Faces and Paul Jones from Manfred Mann. He would have been 22 then.
Our chaps ambled on stage about 9.00 pm without much fanfare and took up their positions. After about 20 seconds of silence, "Canâ€™t Explain" came crunching out at searing volume. The effect was electrifying.
There were a couple of minor mistakes but overall the show was great. Townshend is still a very commanding presence even in the jovial mood he was in. A lot was made in the press of his refusal to tour for 36 years after some bad publicity in 68. Apparently there was unauthorised beer drinking on a flight from Adelaide to Melbourne. (Gasp! Horror!), and the Federal cops got involved. As legend has it, the then Prime Minister sent a telegram to say "Donâ€™t Come Back". (Itâ€™s OK to send teenagers to fight and die in Vietnam (as PM Gorton did), but beer drinking on a plane was indefensible). But I digressâ€¦
In the "audience patter" bits, Pete tried to set the record straight by saying that they had a good tour in 68 and that he had actually learned to stand up on water skis for the first and only time. He seemed quite proud of this. He said that in those days it took 36 hours to get here and by the time the 70s came around there were US/Euro tours, various projects, films, families, tragedies and so on. (But what about yer Aussie fans, Pete?)
He also gave us a few solo bars of "Sensation" from Tommy, which he said he wrote in Australia all those years ago. It was amazing to see him up there after all this time. Australia has been starved of a Who tour and it was sad to think we missed them at their best. Roger is starting to look a bit weary in his movements but is still clinging strongly to his capacity to "belt them out". He didnâ€™t have much to say otherwise.
Near the end, Pete tried an Aussie accent by inquiring as to whether we were all going out for "a few beers" after the show. It wasnâ€™t a bad attempt either. He said that he hasnâ€™t had "a few beers" for 22 years. Didnâ€™t ever have just "a few beers" before that either, he added. The Tommy medley encores on both nights were ferocious.
Everyone I spoke to said it was the best concert they had seen at the Syd Ent Cent.
The second show substituted "Iâ€™m One" (superb) for "Drowned" and "Punk/Godfather" for "5.15". They also put a little bit of "Naked Eye" in the My Generation medley. Some bits were better and some not as good. The show was slightly longer but perhaps not as intense as the previous night. The crowd was a bit smaller and a little subdued, which is fairly typical of Sydney audiences.