In a weekend filled with live music events across the North, The Who held their own and proved that they still have the fanbase to (nearly) fill a pretty big stadium. The weather was forgiving and held off for most of the evening which was a blessing, as The Totally Wicked stadium is primarily open.
The band have been filling arenas since the mid 60’s when they first formed in London. Of course Entwistle and Moon have since passed, but the band continue to put on high energy shows, not bad for the two remaining original members Roger Daltry and Pete Townsend who are both nearing eighty. They are certainly defying the ageing process, with Townsend still windmilling his guitar at every opportunity, and Daltry bouncing around the stage launching his microphone and joining Starkey with some percussion!
The drummer this evening was Zak Starkey. Starkey has been drumming with the band since 1996, and also made appearances with Oasis and Johnny Marr. This evening the band are joined on stage for the fist part of the show by an impressive orchestra who really add to the classic rock opera numbers from ‘Tommy’ and ‘Quadrophenia’.
The tour is titled ‘The Who Hits Back’ and the band begin with an overture before launching into ‘1921’ and ‘Amazing Journey’. The crowd were somewhat subdued (perhaps due to it being a seated gig) but as soon as the opening chords of ‘Pinball Wizard’ played out, the whole arena perked up.
In between sips of tea, Daltry and Townsend joked with the crowd. The 40 piece orchestra added a depth that meant there was no need for guitar smashing and other daft antics that they were previously known for, The Who have finally matured…after sixty years in the business they have mellowed somewhat. Townsend still pulls all the right shapes, right the way through the mega twenty four song set list, finishing with the magnificent ‘Baba O’Riley.’
There are only three more dates on this UK tour, Brighton, Cornwall and finally Sandringham at the end of August. All tickets and further WHO information can be found HERE.