live music, pete townshend, the who

A night in Oakland, with The Who

Sooooooo, on Friday night one of my lifelong dreams came true and I saw The Who in concert.

It. was. incredible.

To be quite honest, I don’t know how Pete and Roger can still do it – after almost 50 years of playing and touring, you’d think they’d have fizzled out by now. Not the case. They rocked harder than any other band I’ve ever seen live. Although, at one point, the amount of weed being smoked in the venue was so much that Roger had to ask that everyone “eat the rest” because the smoke was making his throat tighten up. Aww Roger, his voice is getting pretty shot but he did his best.

And Pete. Pete is a beast. Everything he did was spot on. The windmilling, the singing, the guitar solos. I am so amazed by him. I also thought it was cute that he wore his glasses for the whole concert (which at one point magically changed to sunglasses), making him look like a grandpa who just happens to be a guitar god.

 

As part of the band’s 2013 Quadrophenia tour, they played through the entire Quadrophenia album without stopping, followed by a handful of greatest hits (favorites: “Pinball Wizard” and “Baba O’Riley,” yeeee). It was so cool to hear the entire album live, even down to the ocean waves and the tea kettles whistling. The band was incredible too: Zak Starkey (son of Ringo and godson of Keith Moon) on drums, Pino Palladino on bass (let’s be real, who could replace John? but Pino is definitely the next best thing), and Simon Townshend (Pete’s brother) on guitar. So much win. So much awesome.

Some favorites from the setlist:

I’m One. I’ll be honest, there are a lot of songs on Quadrophenia that I never really listened to. This, regrettably, was one of them, and I have no idea why. It’s amazing. (1973 version with John and Keith here).

5:15. This song rocked so hard. They also incorporated John’s bass solo flawlessly, which I thought was a really nice homage. The crowd was going crazy, and it wasn’t until the end of the solo that I realized we were all cheering and screaming for someone who wasn’t actually there.

Tea and Theatre. I’m sure this is not how Pete and Roger would want themselves described, nevertheless, this song was adorable. It was the last song of the night. Watch the last 30 seconds of this video and tell me you don’t go “AWWWWWW”:

Conclusion: I LOVE THE WHO AND I LOVED THIS SHOW AND I HOPE ROGER’S VOICE CAN LAST THE REST OF THE TOUR, GOODNIGHT.

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