It was that rare chance to see a completely unscripted rock-and-roll moment -- the type of ugly display most in the audience should remember long after memories of the British Rock Symphony fade.
At first, most everyone at the Houston Arena Theatre August 2 seemed awestruck at the intimacy of it all, as they enjoyed a surprisingly solid spin on some time-tested classic-rock chestnuts. But there was a nasty bonus in store. Who knows what brought featured performer Roger Daltrey to the breaking point? Was it the concert's poor attendance, which was most certainly cut into by visits from Yes, Santana, John Fogerty and Metallica, all within a few days? After all, the tour has done well in most other cities. Was it the former Who frontman's special ear plugs, which he tore off in disgust before delivering several sharp kicks to an amplifier? Hard to say, but Roger was on a tear.
"This equipment is crap; all I hear is mud!" he yelled from his perch on the Arena Theatre's round, revolving stage. Later, Daltrey snapped that he never wanted this gig in the first place -- though, even in his whiny state, he did manage spirited versions of "Pinball Wizard," "See Me, Feel Me" and "You Better You Bet." Clearly agitated the whole way through, the singer ended his portion of the show with a snarling "good night," storming off the stage in an imaginary cloud of bad vibes. He's not gonna take it, indeed.