Review from Sydney Morning Herald

Brian Cady brianinatlanta2001 at
Fri Jul 30 07:15:12 CDT 2004

On line at:

The Who, Entertainment CentreBy Bernard Zuel
July 30, 2004

Entertainment Centre, July 28

There's no embarrassment at the Who. No reason to hide
behind your pricey seat and wince at what has befallen
one of your childhood heroes. If they were your
contemporaries, the chances are they look and move a
whole lot better than you do. If they are more your
parents' vintage you can feel comfortable seeing they
have neither a musical nor style equivalent of a
comb-over to pretend they are still "down with the

It's not like the '80s when tragic figures, often
hitherto unknown "blues legends" or still rattled
casualties of the '60s, were flown (economy class) to
Australia to pick up some pin money in the pubs. These
days we have higher expectations, and those
expectations are in the main met with quality sound,
performers who cannot just stand up but give a fair
approximation of their original moves and long,
hit-filled shows.

The Who, or at least the half-Who - surviving members
Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend with a band of some
long-term and some recent additions - do that and
more. Daltrey's foghorn of a voice still packs some
heat, though he is no closer to being someone who can
do sensitive or subtle. Townshend windmills his arms,
leaps occasionally and, more importantly, can still
play with precision and invention. The volume may not
be Live At Leeds extremes but you may go home with
your ears still ringing.

The least likely trouble spot with a band this rich in
material is the songs, and not surprisingly the
two-hour show (which unusually on this world tour did
not have a second encore of Magic Bus) hit all bases.
There was the killer early days opening trio of I
Can't Explain, Substitute and Anyway Anyhow Anywhere;
there was the synth-flecked mid-period songs such as
Who Are You, You Better You Bet and Won't Get Fooled
Again; there were Quadrophenia and Tommy brackets, and
new songs both excellent (Real Good Looking Boy) and
all right (Old Red Wine).

OK, we did have to deal with unnecessary and
unnecessarily long (but hardly new) noodling in songs
such as Sparks and Won't Get Fooled Again. But as a
big rock show it was all professional and hard to find
fault with.

Except for one thing, which could well be out of the
band's control anyway. There was a curious lack of
passion, of drama really, that would pull us into this
show emotionally. Compared with tours in recent years
by Who contemporaries Arthur Lee of Love, Brian Wilson
of the Beach Boys and Solomon Burke, this was, if not
quite sterile, then at least one step removed from
completely engaging.

Quibbling? Maybe. After all we got the songs and got
them in style. But complete satisfaction remained

-Brian in Atlanta
The Who This Month!

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