'A FANTASTIC gig!' – Roger Daltrey's own verdict after The Who completed an explosive curtain-raiser to the Peel Bay Festival.
There would be few in the 6,000-plus audience who would disagree. From the opening riffs of I Can't Explain to the anthemic Won't Get Fooled Again which closed the main set, the Who proved why they are truly one of the greatest rock acts in the world. Highlight of a night of highlights was the swirling majesty of Baba O'Riley – not even written the last time The Who played in the Isle of Man – and this was the moment when the near-capacity crowd knew they were listening to something really special. Pete Townshend recalled his childhood in the Island and the moment when watching the movie Rock Around the Clock in Douglas at the age of 11 sparked his passion for rock 'n' roll. 'The Isle of Man, birthplace of rock 'n' roll - for me anyway!' he laughed. 'I love this place.' A two-hour set included all the hits from their back catalogue including Substitute, My Generation, You Better You Bet, Who Are You? as well as material from their new album, the first in 20 years. The Who last played in the Island in 1967 and this was to be something of a homecoming gig with both Townshend and Daltrey clearly determined to enjoy themselves. They had the audience with them all the way and the electric atmosphere soon had those in the front half of the giant marquee out of their seats.
A two-hour set ended with an encore which included a fantastic version of Tommy and the promise that The Who would be back. It was a gig that few present will ever forget.