The Age on Sydney Show

Brian Cady brianinatlanta2001 at
Sat Jul 31 13:50:55 CDT 2004

On line (with picture) at:

People try to put 'em down
Joe Roberts
August 1, 2004

"You're going to be hit by a sledgehammer tonight."

That was the warning from You Am I frontman Tim
Rogers, at the end of the band's warm up slot to The
Who last night at Vodafone Arena.

But would there still be a "sledgehammer" in a band
who, last time they were here in 1968, still had their
engine room of drummer Keith Moon and bass player John
Entwistle, both since sadly rock 'n' roll drug

Yes, because if anything, tonight reminded the crowd
that at the heart of The Who has been and always will
be guitarist Peter Townshend. Who singer Roger Daltrey
tried to tour the band a couple of years ago under the
same name but with Townshend's brother Simon on guitar
instead. Poor ticket sales killed the tour before it
got here. Only Peter would do.

And tonight with bass player Pino Palladino and
drummer Zac Starkey - son of Ringo - and The Who
showed that 36 years wasn't such a long time between
Australian tours after all.

The band kicked off with an early classic, Can't
Explain setting the scene for what would be a night of
fondly remembered classics and a couple of more
head-scratching newer moments. There were the songs
that The Who are remembered best for, such as Won't
Get Fooled Again, which was incendiary, Substitute,
which was sluggish and Baba O'Reilly, which whipped
fans into a frenzy with its dervish-like finale. 

Yet a highlight of the night, despite being a band
renowned for its rock 'n' roll, was Pete Townshend
playing solo on acoustic guitar Drowned (from the
album Quadrophenia), again a potent reminder of who
really is the essence of The Who, even without (for
that song) his trademark guitar Windmills. 

Far from seeming like a "sad old bastard" tour, The
Who stood tall as a beacon to so many who have come
since, not least of whom was You Am I, who are clearly
thrilled to be supporting their idols. The kids are
still better than all right.

-Brian in Atlanta
The Who This Month!

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