Dallas Observer on Pete at SXSW

Brian Cady brianinatlanta2001 at yahoo.com
Thu Mar 22 05:54:52 CDT 2007


...The wind pushed me, initially, to the Convention Center. Upon my arrival in Austin Wednesday, I was privy—like 90 percent of the conference attendees—to the fact that Pete Townshend would be making a surprise appearance at the Austin Music Awards, playing alongside former Faces member Ian McLagan. 

In all honesty, initially this felt like a "who cares" moment. At this point, it felt more like ol' Pete was less a rock legend and more a symbol of the crusty-ass rut into which SXSW has fallen. It was a feeling that grew even more justified when the blond 20-somethings behind me whispered among themselves, as Townshend took the stage, Who is that? I have no clue who that is. Should we go to Maggie Mae's?

But then Townshend took up a Strat and lifted the strap over his shoulder. He started ripping into some blues licks; the fluctuations of his wrist were more soulful than the entire gyrations of a new-generation band. He played only two songs, basically just your same old blues jams, but his tasteful mini-windmill moves, the bizarre configurations of his face as he bent a string—OK, I gotta admit it, I felt like bowing to the power of rock 'n' roll. It was stunning, adrenaline-producing, flat-out cool...

-Brian in Atlanta 
The Who This Month! 

Don't pick lemons.
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