The Who Goes To Washington...



kevinandt at gmavt.net kevinandt at gmavt.net
Fri Mar 9 15:36:58 CST 2007


>Joe Lewinski
>Kevin & Stu (Jon if you are there too!),
>
>If you guys are checking the archives, you'll see this
>before you head to the Nissan Center.   Have fun!

Fun was had!!!!  No Nissan Center.  Verizon Center in downtown DC "proppa!"

Sitting here in Baltimore across the street from Pimlico, recuperating
while the kids play with their cousins, and enjoying a rare "got nothing I
have to do, and no where I have to be" afternoon.

>WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

You know it!
Pete quote of the night:
"I'm not young, and I don't fucking want to be!
I'm right where I belong......in the.....grand scheme of things."

Crowd goes nuts.
This was just one of many chatting moments by chatty-Pete, and we all ate
up every word.

Gathered at Stu's house at around 2pm, and then Tania and I headed to the
sub-way in Wheaton and downtown.  At FadoIrishPub by 6:30 to meet old-hood
Who-mentor and ski-buddy Mike and his wife for some grub and libations. 
Stu and his S.O. arrived about 1/2 hour later (had to drop off kid at
brother's).
Had me some old-style Irish Stew (not Stu) cooked in Guinness beer.
It was........<wait for it>........"Brilliant!"
On our way into the pub I immediately spot Mike and Mark Starke near the
front door.  Hugs, high fives, introductions are exchanged with a host of
others that I've seen, met, chatted with over the years.
I head back to our table.  The place is packed.  Before heading back, I
ask Mike Starke if he sees a tall black gentleman enter, likely wearing a
bandana (he was), shout out "Stu."
If it's him, send him to the classy table outside the Loo.  ;-)
It worked flawlessly.
Eat grub, down our share of suds, and then off for a walk around the block
to take in the night air.
Into the venue by 8:15, and down to the floor.  I loved the expression on
my wife's face as we got closer....and closer....and closer still.
Eyes go all wide, particularly seeing how many people were *behind* us.
Stu and Lori had their own seats, as did Mike and his wife.
Just T and Me in the 10 row, right in front of Pete.
A bit bummed.........not really......but, there was an isle between row 6
and 7....about the equivalent of 3 rows wide.
What the????
Why put an isle there?
STUPID!
Rows were also not as tight as in Boston.
Regardless, even though I felt just outside of Roger and Pete's main
focus, I got their attention.
Held up my SLIPKID plate relatively early in hopes of convincing our boys
that this wasn't just a professional viewing by coat and tie types.
Roger immediately saw me and I swear he beamed again.  Pete saw me soon
after that, but I wasn't so sure.  While he was introducing (chatting)
WAY, he was talking about how he, they, we, are all Who, but that he wants
to know Who we are.  Right when he was saying that, I held up
SLIPKID.....he saw and gave this grin and expression like "there you have
it, there's one ticket down, I just need to get to know the rest of youz."
I didn't raise the plate again.  Just let them know you're there, and hope
it spurns their motivation.

Mike Starke had a great sign that read "God Speaks of Peter Townshend."
Pete made some comments about it later in the show.  I'll let Mike fill in
those details.  Mike, Stu could see the sign even from his seats.  Well
done!  Oh, and no sign of Jon in Mi.  :-(

Speaking of signs, I also had a smaller sign with me.
Two words:
Naked Eye.
I raised that for the first time right after Pete introduced Baba
(somewhat sarcastically) with "here's the main attraction for you."
Not *my* main attraction!
I raised it again, after the mini-opera, and Pete made note.
I raised it for the last time right after WGFA while they were waving to
us, and Roger stopped and stared at it until he made it out.  Tania turned
and said "Roger saw, he'll play it", I replied "yeah, but I want to be
sure Pete saw it good."
Ok, I lied, I raised it again right as they came back out for the encore.
I didn't see an acoustic guitar.  :-(    ( ! )
I raised the sign high over my head, and Roger saw it again, and like a
reminder, he stopped in his tracks, spun around looking for the tech with
his guitar.  One moment, nothing in his hands, the next moment that sweet
black "gitter" was around his neck, and Naked Eye was in the bag.
I heard the guy behind me ask his wife what that song was that was
starting, and I simply turned and let them read my sign.  They looked at
me puzzled, with a billion thoughts racing in their heads.  Ha!  Don't
hurt yer self trying to figure that out.
I loved every moment of the show, including RGLB, but that one song
(NE)just made my night.  Then, to jump into AJ and Sparks, and Listening
to You, was just icing on the cake.

Some observations:

The Who loved being in DC, to my surprise!  And, DC was pumped!
Even before starting ICE, Pete made it a point to thank the crowd for
filling the joint, "particularly you punters way up there <pointing to the
rafters>!"
Crowd responded very much like Boston.
But, particularly during BWE and other new stuff, many rows, even on the
floor right behind us, were sitting.  ( ! )
Spend $200 for floor seats and sit????  YOU'RE LAME!

I thought of that one girl's blog entry on corporate types from the 60's,
when I followed a balloon making its journey near my row.  This balloon
was tiny compared to the 4 or 5 smiley-face beach balls that were going
around.  The balloon finally fell to the floor (from lack of interest)
right in front of a man about my age wearing a full suit, with tie cinched
all the way up and top button buttoned.  What the???
He saw the balloon land.  He looked at it for a good long moment,
struggling to break out of his well oiled professional shell.  Finally, he
mustered enough past spirit to bend down, pick up the balloon and feebly
send it to the row behind him.  I felt sad for him.  When Pete spoke
before EF he spoke of seeing too many suits and that it's all a front. 
Funny enough, this man took pride.  He grooved a bit to EF, but then right
afterwards, sat on his seat, song after song,taking care of e-mails with
his Blackberry.  COME ON!  Take off your tie!  Me, being me, I started to
kind of do a <cough> "take off your tie" shout.  After a couple of times,
my wife gave me the elbow and laughing told me to let him be.  Ok, honey.
Man, I'll tell you......HOPE I DIE BEFORE I GET OLD.

Zak was playing with gusto for much of the show.  I thought he really went
off during the Tommy medley, and the mini-opera just drives with so much
more intensity with Zak.  At one point Zak was beating his drums so loud
and violently that it actually made Pete kind of pause and turn around to
see what the hell was going on!

Like Jim M. at Boston II, Pino had my head turning his direction numerous
times, particularly during the Tommy stuff.  But, he butchered the 3rd and
4th solos on MG. I turned to Tania afterwards and shouted "not even
close."  It was also the first thing stu said when we met them out front
after the show.  Stu quote...."You've been playing with The Who for over 5
years now, learn the solo and stick with it.  I could play it better than
him!"  Otherwise, Stu also though Pino did a fine job.

Pete went off on the Cry if You Want lyrics, at one point taunting the
crowd with angry venom filled words like "you can cry if you want while
you pay to see us!  Go ahead, cry if you want!  It's ok!  Give me your
money and cry!"  At that point I'm thinking (and flipping him the bird)
hold on Pete, you're getting close to that line!  Roger was looking at him
like "what the f are you saying?" Pete's expression kind of thought the
same thing, and he then sang "50 pounds."  ( ! )  Then he sang "Magic
bus."  (!!!)
Then, he kind of lost himself, turned around to the comfort of his band,
re-oriented himself with his surroundings and fell back into the script.
A very cool, bite the hand that feeds you, moment.  Pure spontaneous Pete.

Simon is the unsung hero.  Behind the scene filling in the vocals and
complementing Pete on guitar.  I found myself focusing on him many times.
He has such a good high vocal range, and obviously can play.  I wish he
had opened the show.  My hopes for the Tragically Hip were dashed, and we
didn't bother showing up for the band that *did* open up.

Roger...
Roger the work horse.
I thought he was spot on.
Tania thought he was spot on.
Stu and Lori thought he was spot on.
Mike and Berry thought he was spot on.
He was......fucking spot on.
What a great voice, with power, passion, and also going off with the mic.
Near the end Roger gave us this <paraphrased, but pretty accurate> insight
into his life this last year of touring..."I hate winter.  Central heating
and singers don't mix. <big self-pity smile>  I'm tired of sleeping with
the window open.....in 20 below weather.....wearing a fur coat, and still
freezing my bullocks off!  I'm ready for Spring!"
Pete broke in and stated "he may not feel very good, but he sure does
sound good, doesn't he?"
<crowd....went.......Nu-u-UTS!!>
An absolutely ROARING and long ovation for the mightiest voice in rock.
Roger hit his WGFA scream the best I've *ever* heard him.  His voice is
always strong, but this scream came as close to mimicking the actual WN
version that I've ever heard.
After "the scream" the crowd cheered so loud, specifically designed to
show Roger their appreciation for nailing that...just for them.
Roger knew he nailed it.

The show went by like a flash.  Like the one review, it was "tight, tight,
tight."  It really was.  Pete was in excellent spirits, and Roger as well.
They started at around 8:30 and to my surprise it was 10:50 when they
walked off stage.  I don't know why, but it felt like it was only an hour
or so.  Time flies when you're having fun.

It's official....Stu welled-up to Tea and Theatre!
I was very proud of DC.  They "got it" like NY "got it."
You could have heard a pin drop between verses.
A moving and powerful song.
To watch them walk off the stage after that is bittersweet.
Knowing Pete is making statements of "I'll begin writing in the Fall" and
"I want to do an album that sounds more like we do live" helps ease the
pain.

Well, that's all the rambling I've got in me at this point.
Another show.  Another great time with friends.  Another shot voice (mine,
not Roger's).  As I told a number of Who friends that night......"see you
out on the Endless Wire."

Kevin in VT



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