Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Who at Target Center, Minneapolis 11.27.2012

Well, another band to check off my bucket list. I started dabbling in The Who in junior high, around the same time that I was discovering old records by the Stones. I saw The Kids Are Alright at the Northtown Cinema in 1979, and from that point on remained a marginal Who fan, but for some reason never bothered to see them in concert until yesterday.
The Who at Target Center in Minneapolis (photo by Pioneer Press)
The tickets for last night's show went on sale quite a while ago (I want to say it was in the spring), and since I typically dislike arena shows and hate large ticket prices I went for the cheap seats. When we got to the Target Center last night we learned that our seats had been upgraded from upper to lower level (score!), because the show was not a Sell Out (obligatory pun). It was the Twin Cities' loss -- The Who did an incredible show last night.

For me, last night's concert was a super sweet icing on the Quadrophenia cake that I've been eating for the past few months. In September I bought the 2011 vinyl re-issue of the legendary LP (which cost more than my concert ticket!), and it soon became one of my most played records of the year. I've owned a hand-me-down copy of the record for years, along with the soundtrack to the film that I bought when it was first released, but for some reason this was the year for me to finally dig deep into its contents. To see the album performed in its entirety last night after listening to it for months was surreal; I'd been living with this music and now here it was in front of me being performed live, and beautifully at that.
Roger Daltrey (photo by Pioneer Press)
The show's multi-media content was phenomenal, showing vintage clips of the band as well as historical photos and relevant period footage (adding a very nice context to the story). Roger Daltrey, who recently finished a solo Tommy tour, was in much finer voice than I was expecting, and Pete Townshend appeared very relaxed and confident throughout the night. Unexpected highlights: 1) a highly charged, isolated bass track (and video footage) of Entwistle playing "5.15", accompanied by the incredible Zak Starkey on live drums, and 2) perfectly synced vocals from Keith Moon (with video) on "Bell Boy".  John & Keith were fully woven into the performance by way of the musical themes and footage on multiple screens. An appropriate tribute, but also a simply necessary inclusion of half of the band that created this fantastic music.

Following Quadrophenia there were band introductions, and then a quick blast through a half-dozen classics: "Who Are You", "Behind Blue Eyes", "Pinball Wizard", "Baba O'Reily", "Won't Get Fooled Again", and ending with only Pete and Roger onstage for the acoustic (and intimate) "Tea and Theatre".

And with that they were off. A fantastic night, and for me, very possibly, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see one of rock's biggest bands.

1 comment:

Marko said...

Excellent report, thanks for posting! Quadrophenia is _the_ record for me, so I hope the tour will cover also Europe next year!