Creative Loafing on Tampa
brianinatlanta2001 at yahoo.com
Tue Mar 27 05:24:45 CDT 2007
The Who Redo
Sun. March 25, Ford Amphitheatre, Tampa
As the staccato organ riff lingered, you could sense a palpable anticipation from the crowd. Roger Daltrey, bronchitis survivor, was about to replicate one of the great recorded screams in rock 'n' roll history, the mighty shriek from "Won't Get Fooled Again" Could he execute? Would he hold back in light of his still-recovering pipes? Would he blow it out as a conciliatory gesture to the crowd that had, just 12 days earlier, endured The Who's cancellation of a Ford Amphitheatre concert 30 seconds into the first song?
Truth was, the audience had long forgiven Daltrey. Cheers rained down on him when he, guitarist Pete Townshend and four hired hands walked onto the stage shortly after 8:30 p.m. Sunday. His voice was ragged in spots, but by and large he sounded like himself. The Who played spirited renditions of songs from throughout their catalogue: the pumped-up British Invasion pop of "The Kids are Alright" and "Substitute," the groove-intensive "Eminence Front," the epic anthem "Baba O'Reilly," a rousing "Who Are You?" and a judiciously chosen handful of tunes from last year's Endless Wire album.
A wild, stretched-out version of "My Generation" and a punchy medley of songs from Tommy were yet to come, but the pinnacle moment was at hand. Daltrey hunched down a bit, grasped the mic with both hands, threw his head back and ... "Yeeeeeeeeahhhhhhhhhh!"
High and loud and piercing and long and fearless. The crowd went bonkers. Daltrey smiled.
It was the sound of atonement.
-Brian in Atlanta
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