LiveDaily on Phoenix

Brian Cady brianinatlanta2001 at
Thu Mar 1 20:38:19 CST 2007

Live Review: The Who in Phoenix
March 01, 2007 04:35 PM
by Christina Fuoco
LiveDaily Contributor

It may be true that The Who have been around for about 40 years, but the music still sounded relevant and fresh during the group's show Wednesday (2/28) at Phoenix's US Airways Center.

From the powerful opening riffs of "I Can't Explain" to the closer "Tea and Theatre," The Who blasted the small crowd with a selection of hits, songs from its latest album, "Endless Wire," and the mini rock-opera "Wire and Glass."

Guitarist Pete Townshend's infamous windmill guitar move garnered a rabid reaction from the audience, which filled the floor and the lower bowl. He jumped around like the teenager he was when he started The Who. Singer Roger Daltrey, dressed in all black, replicated the songs with the passion of a newcomer.

They performed outstanding renditions of classic songs like "Behind Blue Eyes," "Baba O'Reily" and a particularly muscular "Who Are You." The crowd politely accepted new material, such as "Fragments," from 'the comeback album.

Vintage film clips were projected on five video screens that towered above the band, and live footage was shown on three screens hanging from the front of the stage. Posters from London's Marquee Theatre adorned the screens during "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere." As The Who played the song, Townshend's windmill and subsequent scissor kick elicited whistles and screams from the crowd. Hordes of Townshend wannabes in the crowd forged their best imitation during the set, often stepping in the aisles to windmill their air guitars or to get on their knees and bow to the guitar hero.

Townshend was chatty throughout the night. "Roger and I have been through here doing other things--visiting holes in the ground and maybe seeing a couple of blondes," Townshend said as the crowd laughed.

Daltrey recalled his first time visiting Arizona. "When I first came here in '67, it was a one-horse town, literally. I was taken riding in the desert with a Native American, and it only took 15 minutes to get to the desert. Now it will take about three hours," he said.

Even though two of the group's founding members are deceased (drummer Keith Moon and bassist John Entwistle), The Who's sound was ably filled out by drummer Zak Starkey (Ringo Starr's son), keyboardist/pianist John "Rabbit" Bundrick, rhythm guitarist/backing vocalist Simon Townshend (Pete Townshend's brother) and bassist Pino Palladino, who may not have Entwistle's charisma, but is more than capable of filling the role. 

-Brian in Atlanta
The Who This Month!

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