Shoreline review #2

L. Bird pkeets at
Sun Aug 8 07:29:16 CDT 2004


Good show, gooooood show. After a mercifully short set by a feeble warmup
act who's name we don't need to mention, The Who hit the stage with no
Stonesque bullshit buildup, no intro music or special effects, just turn the
lights off and get on with it. And they were barely off and running before
Roger totally botched the beginning of "Substitute" and had to grin sheepish
apologies to Pete.

Five songs punched out without a break, that's how to open a rock and roll
show, bang bang bang bang bang before anybody said a word. Pete wasn't as
chatty as he sometimes is, in fact he seemed slightly subdued compared to
some nights, not sleepy or anything, just not as feral as he is some

While speaking to the crowd Pete said this short tour was a thank you for
supporting the band in the past, he then said something about how much it
meant that the fans had believed in him, an obvious reference to his legal
troubles, and that got a good cheer from the crowd, which I was glad to
hear. Another emotional moment came during "Old Red Wine," the crowd in the
upper sections had taken to sitting down during slower numbers, yet they
remained standing for this song and were absolutely quiet, that was kind of
touching. This number was really punched up at the end, Pete really laid
into his Strat on this one, I suspect a lot of people will be downloading
this one from iTunes after hearing it delivered with that much fire onstage.

I was pleased that the acoustic "Drowned" and "Punk and the Godfather" were
carried over from Hawaii, both were well done, the latter a highlight for
me. Speaking of Hawaii, Pete was in rapture every time he mentioned the
place, look for more appearances there in future, no question.

The place looked to be packed, I don't know if it was a sellout but it must
have been close, the lawn looked pretty full. Good lights, nothing
overdone, but well matched to the music. There were some strobes worked
into Zak's kit that were fired when he was really rolling on the toms, cool
effect. And speaking of Zak, he got the loudest cheers during the band
intros, and well deserved, that boy has stepped up to bat beyond my wildest

I had my doubts about whether Pete and Roger should continue after John's
death, their performances on the 2002 tour convinced me they were entitled
to carry on, what I heard tonight only strengthened that impression. The
music remains powerful, Roger's voice is in better shape than it was four
years ago, I think he has also been working on singing around his
limitations. Pete is on fire, and the other members of the band don't need
to apologise to anyone. Pino has either turned up those two Ashdown stacks
or they have him higher in the mix, he was rumbling away just fine. No, he
isn't Entwistle, sad to say, but life goes on. Simon has settled into a
nice little pocket, thickening up the vocals and adding a little guitar
about half the level of Pete's in the mix. Rabbit is a gem, his keyboards
really couldn't be improved upon.

Some nice t-shirts this time around, coffee mugs, posters, I usually don't
load up on this stuff, but I managed to drop a hundred bucks to my surprise,
what the hell, you can't have too many concert t-shirts, I'll just find a
little more room in a closet, somehow.

I don't know if there are more dates to come done the road, they can't have
made much money on so few dates, maybe this was testing the waters for
further touring, if so, you're a damn fool if you don't go. You can piss
and moan about the TV soundtracks and the commercials and continuing on with
only two members and all the rest of that whiny, self-righteous crap, but
the fact is that Pete and Roger are still delivering the goods, ask 15,000
people who were at Shoreline on Saturday, they went home happy. The boys
can go on doing this as long as they like, I'll be there so long as they

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