daltrey continues to impress in memphis

JOELTLE515 at aol.com JOELTLE515 at aol.com
Tue Mar 9 12:36:02 UTC 2010

gomemphis.com review:
Friday night's Eric Clapton/Roger Daltrey concert at FedExForum was touted 
as  a teaming of rock legends. When all was said and done, however, only one 
man  came off as legendary, while the other simply seemed lethargic. 
It was an expectant, near-capacity crowd that packed the Downtown arena to  
watch the two British icons run through musical catalogs that have come to  
define classic rock. 
Still retaining a bit of the tanned, flaxen-haired luster of his youth,  
Daltrey opened with a solo that proved something of a revelation, as he  
proceeded to whip up the crowd with a selection of Who classics -- "I Can See  
for Miles," "The Real Me", "Behind Blue Eyes" -- right out the gate 
Backed by a propulsive five-piece band -- featuring Simon Townshend, 
younger  brother of Daltrey's Who partner Pete -- the mic-twirling front man held 
little  back in a performance that was both invigorated and invigorating. 
Mid-set found Daltrey working through a selection of sprite, folk-flecked  
numbers, including the Taj Mahal cover "Freedom Ride" and the John Cowan  
chestnut "Someone Give Me a Stone." A clever, stripped down take on "Who Are  
You" brought the crowd to its feet, before Townshend took over for a rare 
live  reading of the Who's "Going Mobile. " 
Daltrey's voice, which has been criticized in recent years for its 
rough-hewn  quality, was surprisingly strong for the bulk of the performance. 
The headlining set by Eric Clapton, on the other hand, proved to be a stark 
 and disappointing contrast. 
Sauntering onto the stage with his signature Stratocaster in hand, Clapton  
gently eased into the shuffle of "Going Down Slow." From there, he 
proceeded to  play a seemingly endless succession of snoozy mid-tempo blues numbers 
-- both  electrically and acoustically -- that quickly began to bleed into 
one  another. 
Though his band was first rate, Clapton himself played with all the energy 
of  man who'd just ingested a large turkey dinner before hitting the stage. 
There were plenty of hits to be had, of course, including "I Shot the  
Sheriff," "Wonderful Tonight" and an acoustic "Layla" -- though his performances 
 of those songs seemed little more than obligatory. 
Throughout the show, Clapton's interaction with the audience was limited to 
 the occasional "thank you" -- which isn't a crime in itself. But it was 
obvious  that the weekend-ready crowd desperately wanted to have a good time, 
and  Clapton's song selection, the sluggish arrangements and the overall 
pacing of  the set simply wouldn't allow for anything approaching sustained 
In the end, one was left feeling that while it might have been Clapton's  
show, it was clearly Daltrey's night. 
-- Bob Mehr, 529-2517 

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