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The 'Orrible 'Oo

Was late setting off for the gig, as my video recorder had a brainstorm. When I hit the video+ button, the display on the machine disappeared, and nothing came on screen. I pressed various buttons to try and find out what was wrong, but no help. The video+ resolutely railed to appear. After a few minutes of increasingly annoyed fiddling, I realized that the video was now on, and recording something. None of the buttons, on remote or machine, was having any effect. Even the off switch didn't work. I unplugged the damned thing, then plugged it in again, and it carried on where it had left off, still mysteriously recording something. I gave up on recording the programmes I wanted, unplugged the bugger and left.

I was slightly cheered up on the tram, as my Somebody Else's Problem Field was working fine, and the conductor seemed to think I'd already bought a ticket, so I got a free ride to the arena.

The support band were already playing when I arrived, but I wasn't interested in them; in fact, I still don't know who they were. My seat was quite high up, with the stage to my right. I had a pretty good view of the stage itself, and of two of the big screens. The Who came onstage at 8.35, and finally left at 10.45. They opened with a thundering 'I Can't Explain', and followed with 'The Seeker', which was a great start. 
   They played a whole variety of material - some tracks from the new album, 'Endless Wire', an extended 'My Generation', 70's classics like 'Teenage Wasteland', and 'Who Are You', and some material from 'Quadrophenia'. The main set ended with a tremendous, all-out version of  'Won't Get Fooled Again', with Roger Daltry doing The Scream in great style.

   Townsend and Daltry both seemed relaxed and in good form. Pete Townsend did most of the talking between songs. There was no stage set, and the lighting was fairly straightforward. No dancing girls, lasers, dry ice, dance routines or fancy costumes - and it didn't matter a damn. I got to see Roger Daltry swinging his mike around on its lead like a cowboy practicing rope tricks, and Pete Townsend windmilling away like an entire wind farm. It was just exactly the sort of thing I've seen them do on film footage of different eras, and here it was, real life and in front of me.

The encore was a mix of songs from 'Tommy', starting with 'Pinball Wizard', and going into 'Amazing Journey', 'Captain Walker', 'Underture', 'See Me, Feel Me' and 'Listening To You'. Now I've been a 'Tommy' fan since hearing my brother Chris play the album a good 30 years ago. I own it on vinyl and CD, and have watched the movie any number of times. So hearing some of the music live was a real treat, but perhaps the one single moment of the whole gig that really told me, 'I'm actually watching The Who live', was hearing Roger Daltry's unaccompanied voice singing 'See me, hear me, feel me', sounding just like I've heard it so often before.


I am so happy that I finally got a chance to see one of the greatest live bands of all time, and in a size of venue where I could actually see them, not in some vast stadium, and what's more, only a tram ride from home. Some things are worth waiting for.

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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
roobarb
24th May, 2007 05:21 (UTC)
it sounds fantastic, wht a great night

my colleague at work went too

she'll sing at me all day from the next desk :-)

I wonder what'll be first

I'm there tonight to see Elton John
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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