OT: The New Who Review
Some would take that to mean The Rolling Stones, who I love, but not quite as much as this act. Some would take that to mean The Beatles, who in my book are the greatest musical act of all-time, but no. Some would take that to mean Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd or U2 or AC/DC or Metallica. Whatever.
Nope, caught The Who -- or, more aptly, The Two -- at TD Banknorth Garden on Friday. It's down to just Pete and Rog, though Zak Starkey is a terrific drummer (Keith Moon's athleticism with Neil Peart's precision), and Pino Palladino, Rabbit Bundrick and Simon Townshend (Pete's litle brother) fill out the band nicely.
It was, quite possibly, the best show I've ever seen them play. (It was also about 1 hour, 59 minutes and 30 seconds longer than the last time I saw them play. Went to see them in Tampa in March, 2007 with then-fellow Red Sox beat writer Sean McAdam. Thirty seconds into the first song, "I Can't Explain," Roger left the stage due to illness. End of show. We couldn't get our money back because we had bought scalped tickets, and the make-up date was long after we'd be out of Florida. $140 for 30 seconds of "Can't Explain" and a t-shirt).
On Friday night, Rog was in terrific voice, Pete was in a great mood (no long diatribes ... or unnecessarily long guitar solos). Of course, the tension between Pete 'n Rog was palpable -- it took every fiber of Pete's will to finally embrace Roger at the end of the show
And the set list ... wow!!! Plenty of standards, but also many songs I had never heard them play in person --- "Sister Disco", "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere", "The Seeker", "Sea and Sand" and (my personal highlight) "Gettin' in Tune." Only two newer ones, both of which are actually quite good ("Real Good Looking Boy," "Fragments"). Really a terrific show.
Encore was all 'Tommy' -- "Pinball," "Amazing Journey," "It's a Boy", "Sparks", "See Me Feel Me" -- followed by "Tea and Theatre," a new song which features just Pete on acoustic and Roger on vocals. A nice touch, if only we didn't know that the two apparently aren't speaking to each other right now and, in fact, insist upon hotel rooms on opposite sides of the floor during this tour.
I've come to the conclusion that being a Who fan in 2008 is like being a hockey fan (which I'm not). The 13,000 or so fans that were in the building Friday night were just about the only 13,000 in New England who wanted to be there.
But there was nowhere else any one of those 13,000 would have rather been.
Anyway, The Who (or The Two, or The Greatest Rock 'n Roll Band in the World) will be at Mohegan Sun this Tuesday night. For any true rock 'n roll fan, I strongly suggest you go.