Brisbane Times on Brisbane

Brian Cady brianinatlanta2001 at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 25 11:02:06 UTC 2009


http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/entertainment/the-who-do-you-think-20090325-9afp.html 

The Who do you think?
Tony MooreMarch 25, 2009 - 7:36PM 
REVIEW: THE WHO, BRISBANE ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE, MARCH 24

No guitars were hurt in The Who’s performance at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre last night as they crunched through the opening concert of their first concert on Australian soil in 40 years.

Legendary songwriter and influential guitarist Pete Townshend sized up the opening chords to I Can’t Explain, took aim and unleashed the first windmill scything slices of his red Fender safely, while Roger Daltrey sang of his teen frustration forty years ago.

The Who, circa 2009, are underway in Australia. Loud and clear.

With clips of early The Who, mod artwork and film snippets from the sixties projected behind them, the 2009 version started shakily, but one of rock’s richest song lists just kept name checking Townshend’s great songs.

As the concert warmed, the initially-subdued crowd teased some good, and eventually some fabulous performances from the band, despite Daltrey and Townshend continually apologising for taking 40 years to get The Who back to Australia.

I Can’t Explain was followed by the power riffing of The Seeker, the tender Behind Blue Eyes – an early crowd favourite - before Sister Disco.

Here Townshend drew laughs from the mostly middle-aged crowd how the song was supposed to foretell the death of disco.

Great black musicians kept the music alive, he said glumly, then smiled.

Then a moody track from their last studio album, Endless Wire (2006), where film of a green ocean crashed on a rocky shoreline behind the band.

The walloping crunch of Who Are You followed, with Townsend showing off the razor-edged rhythm guitar style that only he and The Stones’ Keith Richards’ have perfected and kept alive.

Then a selection from Townshend’s first rock opera Quadrophenia - including glorious versions of 5.15 and Love Reign O’er Me, before Baba O’Riley, Won’t Get Fooled Again and You Better You Bet.

In there were the mod classics, Substitute - the most covered song in Brisbane in 1980 - and Anyway, Anyhow Anywhere, before My Generation, which started, merged into Shakin’ All Over, then morphed into a Townshend guitar workout. Were they having us on?

The encore started with The Kids Are Alright before jumping 10 years to gorgeous versions of Pinball Wizard and See Me, Feel Me from Townshend’s second rock opera, Tommy complete with the psychedelic lights from the time.

The Who were always rock royalty, with Townshend well ahead of his time.

Keith Moon and John Entwhistle were at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre. But only in the tour program and the film clips projected up behind the band.

The Who that tours Australia in 2009 includes Ringo Starr’s son - Zac Starkey – in Keith Moon’s drum shoes,  Pink Palladino playing John Entwhistle’s  bass lines, while Townshend’s son, Simon, plays second guitar behind the main line.

John “Rabbit “ Bundrick played keyboards beautifully as he has for more than two decades. 

The 2009 show finished with a tender acoustic ballad, possibly Tea and Theatre from their 2006 Endless Wire album, seemingly dedicated to John Entwhistle with just Daltrey and Townshend on stage.

The pair closes the show alone as two old friends, in front of a band that just won’t die, because it is getting old.

The songlist needs a re-order, but Townshend and Daltrey are in great touch and the band locked in well after a nervous start.

They play in Sydney and Melbourne over the next fortnight.

Support acts are Berkley band Counting Crows, who got a good reaction to some re-worked versions of their hits, but did not play Mr Jones. Dallas Crane are also on the bill, but you will need to be very early to see them.

 -Brian in Atlanta
The Who This Month!
http://www.thewhothismonth.com 


      



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