Ok, so I rocked to The Who in Phoenix last week, and aside from a costly speeding ticket that I got nailed with, the experience was well worth it.
I have never been to the US Airways Center. I've seen it plenty of times on television as it always seems like the Lakers are getting spanked by the Suns there. It was a great arena for a concert. It's not too large like the Staples Center here in LA, yet it's still a big room. My life long friend Ross (we have inside jokes that are over 20 years old) who invited me to the show got us great seats on the floor, a few rows ahead of the sound board.
The crowd however? Umm, well let's just say that it seemed like Ross and I were the youngest ones there. I'm 37. Ross is 36. There were a lot of desert hippies there, man. One dude who sat in front of us was severely trippin on something as for every time a new song started he would turn around to give me a high five. I obliged out of fear that if I didn't, it might harsh his buzz.
As for the show itself, the music was great. Townshend still plays a mean guitar, and his trademark windmill move was still awe inspiring. I was also amazed at how fresh a song that was literally over thirty years old could still sound. Unfortunately though, Daltrey's voice is obviously not the same. There were some points during the show where he just could not hit the same notes he could hit when he was a young man. It was especially noticeable when he took on "Behind Blue Eyes." Regardless, I was in a forgiving mood, especially since no other band that's still together today, other than the Rolling Stones, can boast such an historical impact. I mean, the Who were at Woodstock for Christ's sake. Here is a copy of the actual set list I got from the guy working the sound board. Look at that thing, it's got more heavy hitters than a New York Yankees lineup!
Now you're probably wondering if the new songs off of "Endless Wire" were "bathroom breakers" or not. If you have already heard the album, then you know that they most certainly were not. "Mirror Door" is one of my favorite tracks from the new album, and it stood up to the monster songs that followed it. Townshend acknowledged that their fans are “coming around” to the new songs and thanked the crowd for it’s patience. “We have one more new song to play and then we’ll go on the downward slope into the past,” Townshend said.
Pete also joked "Roger and I have been through here doing other things, visiting holes in the ground and maybe seeing a couple of blondes." In between another song Roger noted that when he "first came here in '67, it was a one-horse town, literally. I was taken riding in the desert with a Native American, and it only took 15 minutes to get to the desert. Now it will take about three hours." The crowd ate it up, and then proceeded to dance in the aisles, air guitar-ing to the music, joining together with band.
For Your Consideration:
The Who - My Generation (Live - From The Who's Next Deluxe Edition) Mp3
The Who - Behind Blue Eyes (Live - From The Who's Next Deluxe Edition) Mp3
The Who - Mirror Door Mp3