Eloise Marie Valadez
Thanks to icon rocker Roger Daltrey, "Tommy" rose to life in Hammond last weekend.
The Who's lead singer Daltrey brought his 2 1/2-hour show to The Venue at Horseshoe Casino on Friday and performed the band's rock opera "Tommy" in addition to a lion's share of hits from three and four decades ago.
The impressive concert saw Daltrey in strong vocal form as he delivered the tunes that have become classics in rock music history.
Despite Daltrey's past vocal cord problems and surgery to remove a pre-cancerous tumor in 2009 which left his voice fragile, the singer has sprung back. While he doesn't attempt to hit all the traditional high notes, he still does an excellent job. His voice is still music to an avid rock fan's ears.
During the first portion of the concert, Daltrey handed a polished and engaging "Tommy" soundtrack to fans. He was backed by a powerhouse band which also starred Simon Townshend, younger brother of The Who's legendary guitarist Pete Townshend. The junior Townshend proved to be a solid talent on guitar and in the vocal department.
Fans rocked to "Tommy" favorites such as "Pinball Wizard," "I'm Free," and "See Me, Feel Me" as psychedelic video clips, graphics and colorful cartoons burst off three large screens.
The second portion of Daltrey's show offered energetic renditions of Who hits such as "The Kids Are Alright," "Who Are You?" and "I Can See For Miles."
Daltrey also showed a non-rocking side as he performed a pleasing medley of Johnny Cash hits including "Ring of Fire." He also handed the crowd a likeable and poignant "Blue, Red and Gray" performed on ukulele.
Once the "Tommy" soundtrack was wrapped up, Daltrey appeared carefree and talked to the audience during the second half, proving to be quite the personable entertainer. Near the concert's end he told fans, "Be happy, be healthy, and in a place like this (a casino) be lucky!"