It seems a singer, like an athlete, needs time to shake off the rust of inactivity.
But unlike athletes, who go through training camps to get in shape, a singer is thrust into the public eye and may not be vocally ready for the demands made upon them.
When I saw The Who at Madison Square Garden in September, the band had just a few shows under its belt after several years off and it showed.
Tuesday night at the Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, it was a totally different story. Two months on the road has the musicians playing much tighter and singer Roger Daltrey back in form as one of the top rock roarers out there.
To use another sports analogy, Daltrey reached back for a few of the miles that he seemed to have lost off his fastball during the New York City concert and, quite frankly, The Who's latest album, Endless Wire.
There's just a spark he adds to the band when he's on and that was evident Tuesday night during blistering versions of "Baba O'Riley" and, most telling, "Won't Get Fooled Again." The famous yell near the end of "Fooled"? He nailed it, much to the delight of the sell-out crowd of around 10,000 in the sweltering venue.
The Who's mastermind, Pete Townshend, also seemed in better spirits Tuesday night, smiling and joking and, most importantly, playing the guitar like the monster he is. He may not jump about as much or trash his instruments, but he still thrills with his trademark windmills and is always a captivating performer - even on perceived off nights.
It also helped to see this legendary band in a venue like the Arena at Harbor Yard, which is half the size of Madison Square Garden and has a sound system that doesn't have to take a backseat to any venue of its size, including the Mohegan Sun Arena, where The Who will play Friday night.
Another difference in The Who's concert this time around is that Endless Wire wasn't released until Oct. 31, so the New York audience hadn't had a chance to hear any of it. Having liked the new record - the band's first new album since 1982's It's Hard - it made it much easier to follow the new songs, particularly the six songs from Endless Wire's "mini opera," Wire & Glass. But, let's face it, 10,000 people didn't file into Bridgeport to hear the new songs. They wanted the ones that fill classic-rock radio playlists every day, and, of course, The Who delivered.
To start the concert, three classic cuts: "I Can't Explain," "The Seeker" and "Anyway Anyhow Anywhere."
After the new "Fragments," the group dipped back into the staples for "Who Are You" and "Behind Blue Eyes."
Like the show at the Garden, it was refreshing that there were few people who headed out into the lobby during the six Wire & Glass songs. It showed a real respect that most of The Who's fans stuck around to give the music a chance instead of just showing up for a greatest-hits-type show.
They also were rewarded at the end of Wire & Glass with "Baba O'Riley," which garnered a huge round of applause from the faithful.
It was the loudest ovation of the night, until the set-closing "Won't Get Fooled Again." The crowd clapped in unison near the end, almost egging Daltrey on for his big moment and he obviously fed off the energy.
The encore started out great with a trio of up-tempo tunes from "Tommy" - "Pinball Wizard," "Amazing Journey" and "Sparks." The ending was a bit of a downer with two slow songs, "See Me Feel Me," again from Tommy, and the new "Tea & Theatre."
A small complaint after two hours spent listening to rock royalty.
Make that almost three hours, as the opening act, The Pretenders, was great in its own right during a 50-minute set. The timeless Chrissie Hynde sounded terrific and looked as if they opened a time capsule from 1980, strutting the stage in her black top hat and white coattails. It was almost 50 minutes of pure Pretenders classics - "Night in My Veins,"
"Message of Love," "Don't Get Me Wrong," "My City Was Gone," "Back on the Chain Gang," etc.
The Pretenders also did a cover of Bob Dylan's "Forever Young" and closed with a surprise, the first song from the group's self-titled debut album, "Precious," which showed this rock chick can still spew venom with any of the boys.