The Star on Sheffield

Brian Cady brianinatlanta2001 at
Sat May 26 07:56:02 CDT 2007

>From The Star: 

The Who Sheffield Arena 
By Andrew Foley

"We are not the Arctic Monkeys," says Pete Townshend, taking the stage dressed like Man at Asda. 

"I wouldn't want to go through that skin condition again," he adds, before launching into I Can't Explain, The Seeker and Relay.

The Who are up and running. Roger Daltry twirls his microphone and Townshend slashes at his guitar. This is everything you ever wanted to know about Rock 'n' Roll.

Who Are You takes the audience on a frenetic black-and-white train journey, courtesy of a giant video screen.

Then it all goes a bit shaky, with a plethora of tunes from the recent album Endless Wire.

"Thanks for buying it," says Townshend. "If we sell as many as the Arctic Monkeys it'll be a miracle."

The crowd gets restless and The Who become like an aged monster, stumbling, flailing but still spewing fire and wreaking havoc.

"This has got a bit more teeth," says Townshend, rattling out the opening chords of The Real Me from Quadrophenia.

That's what people came for Pete – only middle-aged wasteland.

The encore is brilliant. An abridged version of Tommy, the writer's magnum opus, brings the house down. Daltry is genuinely chuffed at the reaction.

They end with Tea And Theatre, a new song performed by two old codgers, who need nothing more than acoustic guitar and voice. It's a fantastic way to close.

The beast that is The Who will soon pass away. The Arctic Monkeys must now pick up the baton and run with all their might.

For the next 40 years. 

-Brian in Atlanta 
The Who This Month! 
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