The WA Today on Perth
brianinatlanta2001 at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 7 11:52:00 UTC 2009
>From The WA Today:
The Who transcend generations
It was a night many in the crowd had been waiting a long time to see.
It was also a night The Who did not want to end, with Perth being the last leg of an Australasian tour guitarist Pete Townshend genuinely said had been overwhelmingly fantastic.
In 1968 The Who were lambasted by Australian prime minister John Gorton for some rather rock star behaviour on an Ansett flight. They were told not to come back.
But all seemed forgiven and forgotten when they hit the Members Equity stage on Saturday night for a two-hour show in front of 16,000 fans, young and mostly old.
The Who’s current touring band contains just two of the original members – lead singer Roger Daltrey and Townshend.
But you wouldn’t know it.
Beatle Ringo Starr’s son Zac Starkey showed he had a little more oomph than his old man on drums, while Townshend’s younger brother Simon was electric on guitar.
The Welshman with the Italian name Pino Palladino held his own on bass and Texan John Bundrick worked his magic on keys – so integral to so many of The Who’s earlier work.
The old favourites flowed from the start – I could tell because the 50-somethings behind me were hooting and jumping out of their skins.
Whether they were on something a little stronger than Daltrey, who drank tea at regular intervals on stage, was insignificant.
Hits such as I Can’t Explain and The Seeker from the mid-60s showed the old boys were definitely here to play.
Daltrey’s gravelly roar was in stark contrast to his refined offerings in the early days but it bounded loud and proud across the stadium.
Townshend, at 63, showed he was still in sync – his trademark windmill creating a fearsome and devilish sound that contemplated his quick fingers up and down his Fender Stratocaster.
Tracks featured on the popular television series CSI had the younger generation on their feet – Baba O’Riley, Who Are You and Won’t Get Fooled Again – while My Generation and You Better You Bet were other classics rendered beautifully so many years on by the Brits.
The encore took the audience back to the prog-rock era that defined The Who in the late 1960s, including The Kids are Alright and Pinball Wizard off Tommy, before ending with See Me, Feel Me/Listening to You.
Though the rockers seemed to have mellowed off stage, it was pleasantly surprising to see Daltrey and Townshend in particular in full flight, giving their all and genuinely happy to be in Australia at the top of their game.
-Brian in Atlanta
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