Boston Globe on Mansfield

Brian Cady brianinatlanta2001 at
Sat May 22 07:53:12 CDT 2004


Still no substitute for the Who
By Tom Kielty, Globe Correspondent  |  May 22, 2004

MANSFIELD -- The Who's standing as one of rock's most
influential and enduring acts is without question. The
band has suffered the loss of two founding members,
drummer Keith Moon in 1978 and bassist John Entwistle
in 2002, yet it has soldiered on to build on its
legend status.

All of which made the more human aspects of the
group's performance Thursday at the Tweeter Center
that much more compelling. Kicking off its latest US
tour, after a surprise Carnegie Hall gig the night
before, the band weathered the occasional sound glitch
and instrument miscue to deliver a rewarding two-hour

Running through one of classic rock's most
recognizable catalogs would seem old hat for guitarist
Pete Townshend and singer Roger Daltrey. But what
differentiated their performance from the oldies
circuit was the focused passion they brought to the
material. The fervor has spread to the band's newer
members, particularly firebrand drummer Zak Starkey
(son of Ringo Starr), who was joined in the rhythm
section by bassist Pino Palladino.

Launching into "Who Are You," Townshend was the
epitome of a rock statesman, wearing black wraparound
sunglasses and firing the first of countless guitar
volleys. Daltrey warmed up his voice, as well as his
customary microphone cord tricks, and by the time the
band pounded into "I Can't Explain" it was clear that
lack of intensity would not be an issue.

While the Who have no shortage of hits to draw from,
some of the show's most memorable moments came from
relative obscurities. The "Quadrophenia" track "The
Punk and the Godfather" received an energetic workout
while "Love Ain't for Keeping," from 1971's "Who's
Next," benefited from Daltrey's acoustic guitar.

The band also introduced two new songs, with mixed
results. If the title of "Real Good Looking Boy" was
enough to raise the eyebrows of anyone familiar with
Townshend's recent legal struggles (the guitarist was
investigated following child pornography charges), the
song itself was nothing memorable. "Old Red Wine,"
however, stood tall against the band's best, starting
as a slow ballad before exploding into a brutal guitar

As the set wound down, Townshend attacked the classic
"My Generation," segueing into a wonderfully slowed
down version of "The Kids Are Alright" that proved the
guitarist is still striving for fresh ways to deliver

Townshend's windmill arm gestures seemed to approach
90 miles per hour at times, but he still can pick out
a single note and deliver it with a frightening
ferocity. The enthusiastic treatment he and Daltrey
gave the set-ending "Won't Get Fooled Again" was a
worthy exclamation point.

The Who
At: the Tweeter Center, Thursday night 

© Copyright 2004 Globe Newspaper Company

-Brian in Atlanta
The Who This Month!

Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Domains – Claim yours for only $14.70/year 

More information about the TheWho mailing list