The record set by Chicago last year at 22,800 was broken last night at Saratoga Performing Arts Center by The Who with an amazing 27,800.
The crowd was everywhere, in the seats, on the lawn, on the stage, in the aisles and even on the steel girders on the side of the theater. The latter, fortunately, was only temporary until the police ordered the dozen young people down.
LAPPED IT UP
They were a noisy, restless audience to say the least, but seemed to lap up everything the four-man group offered. The Who gave them their money's worth for an hour and a half, and do they work. As to the quality of their music, It was loud. I'll leave further critique to those who favor this type of rock music. But the fact that they brought nearly 28,000 paying customers to SPAC is not to bedenied.
They seemed to sing all the songs the crowd came for, as well as anumber of new ones, and had a difficult time convincing the crowd togo home.
Opening the show for the first have was Mylon, a long haired, grating singer-guitarist backed by five musicians and three girl singers. They did everything from rock to country-western, spirituals and even astandard, "Sixteen Ton."
The sound throughout the program was loud for those in the theater, and everywhere backstage theater walls and floor were actuallyvibrating. Out on the lawn, the sound was more moderated. Thanks to the closed circuit TV system used again last night, those on the lawn had a perfect viewing spot. Watching the TV cameramen in the aisles and one onstage on a ladder trying to cover the show for those on the lawn was almost a show initself.
There were the usual several minor cuts and abrasions, as well asseveral fainting incidents requiring backstage first aid, with some also going to the hospital.
Reportedly several on the lawn camped there from late Sunday night inorder to be sure of a good place, so that should give some indication of the popularity of The Who. For anyone so inclined, a close examination of the group's tons of sound equipment would be a short course in the electronic world of amplification at its fullest.
The intermission was especially long, as management pleaded for the young people to clear the aisles to comply with state fire laws. They never did get the aisles clear, but finally did get most of the kids to sit down so those in seats could see the stage.
Today, in sharp contrast, the Philadelphia Orchestra opens its season with a 2:30 p.m. concert with William Smith, assistant conductor, incharge. Included will be works by Wagner, Liszt And Brahms.