Nine News on Brisbane

Brian Cady brianinatlanta2001 at
Wed Mar 25 10:51:16 UTC 2009 
The Who rock Brisbane - 41 years later 
07:58 AEST Wed Mar 25 2009
By Paul Osborne

When British rock gods The Who left Australia in 1968 they received a telegram from prime minister John Gorton telling them never to come back.

While the British bad boys thawed the ice by playing Melbourne and Sydney four years ago, it's taken them 41 years to return to Brisbane.

From the moment Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle, Keith Moon and Pete Townshend stepped off the plane at Sydney airport on January 15, 1968 the band ran into trouble.

Swearing at journalists, picking fights with fans and an altercation with a stewardess - which ended with the pilot making an emergency landing - all contributed to the band vowing never to return, and the prime minister's blunt missive.

With Brisbane's Festival Hall - the venue of the January 20, 1968 concert - now just a memory, the Brisbane Entertainment Centre played host on Tuesday to Daltrey, Townshend, younger brother Simon Townshend (guitar), Beatle Ringo's son Zak Starkey (drums), Pino Palladino (bass) and John Rabbit Bundrick (keys).

"Better late than never," Daltrey told the audience.

The concert opened with one of the band's earliest hits, I Can't Explain, and delivered a powerful retrospective of classics including Who Are You, Behind Blue Eyes and My Generation.

Depending on your age, the video backdrops either brought back memories of the Mod era, or elicited laughter at just how spaced-out British art rock once was.

Sixty-three-year-old Townshend and co also dipped into their most recent album Endless Wire, released in 2006.

Daltrey's voice is still in fine shape - blasting the audience with his Won't Get Fooled Again banshee wail - despite the "miles and miles" of touring, while Townshend's windmilling power chords never fail to impress.

The Who tour dates: Adelaide Entertainment Centre (March 26), Melbourne 2009 Formula 1 ING Australian Grand Prix (March 29), Sydney Acer Arena (March 31), Perth Members Equity Stadium (April 4).

 -Brian in Atlanta
The Who This Month! 


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