NBC5, Chicago on Sears Center

Brian Cady brianinatlanta2001 at yahoo.com
Sat Mar 10 06:20:17 CST 2007


The Who: We Didn't Get Fooled Again! 
Legendary Band Plays Hoffman Estates Concert 
by Arthur Curran

The lights went down, the crowd noise went up. Loud appreciative cheers full of anticipation for THE band filled the Sears Centre.

Pete, Roger and the boys got on the stage and jumped right into Can't Explain to the pleasure of the audience. They followed with The Seeker, Who Are You and Behind Blue Eyes.

Obviously older and perhaps a bit slower, they are still THE WHO.

This Monday night performance was not the crashing thunderous WHO of the 60s, 70s and 80s, but they are still THE WHO.

For the predominantly middle-aged crowd, no blotter acid or weed was needed to get into the essence of this great band. The visual tools for the mental flashback of the bands history was displayed on the screens that formed the backdrop for the performance.

Pictures and videos of this highly-produced show took us back to the early days of The Who. From the behavior of this appreciative crowd, it was obvious few were going to be bothered with the drug and alcohol-induced hangovers we dealt with 30 to 40 years ago on our way to work the morning after such a cool concert. Each song was a moving, vibrant live video that aided in emphasizing the The Who's importance and place in music history.

The production could have been perceived as over-produced. The production content was explained by an announcement before the band took the stage, advising advance orders could be placed online for the DVD and CD of the 2007 tour. It could have been toned down a bit because it slightly distracted from the historic, legendary performers and the equally and always-impressive music. Welcome to the new millennium and the reality of the way music is marketed today. Toto, I don't think we are in the late 1900s anymore!

After a few songs Pete gave sincere thanks to the crowd for the "congregation." He thanked the crowd for coming to hear the music on a cold and blustery winter night. He explained how appreciative the band is that there is still "congregation" for such an event. Pete, we don't congregate hoping you will come. What is this, Field of Dreams? No, we congregate because you are coming. For the love of Pete, you are Pete Townsend; you are The Who, stop with the excuses!

Pete also made reference to his past comments about bands of the era still touring when perhaps they should step aside for new talent. His comments were almost apologetic. For the love of Pete, you are Pete Townsend, you are THE WHO, stop with the excuses! He asked the audience for indulgence as the band was going to play a few songs from the less-than-critically-successful Endless Wire collection. Whether the crowd or critics appreciated the recent compilation or not, I doubly digress. For the love of Pete, you are Pete Townsend, you are THE WHO, stop with the excuses! PLAY YOUR MUSIC! And play they did.

Many of this middle-aged crowd brought their children. They brought their young children, young adult children, and they brought their adult children. And there were even some adult children that brought their elderly parents. They congregated to see and appreciate the artistry of the band. To appreciate the music that influenced and helped to form these parents and to see and experience this part of rock and roll history. Thank you Pete and Roger for the congregation. Keep planning future "congregations." We will come.

-Brian in Atlanta 
The Who This Month! 

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