10 Observations from The Who at 50 Concert at Barclays Center

Posted by The G on May 27, 2015 under G Reviews | 5 Comments to Read

Photos and words by G.

Roger Daltrey of The Who

Roger Daltrey of The Who

The Who are celebrating their 50th anniversary as a band by touring and I popped my Who cherry by seeing them perform at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on May 26, 2015.  As someone who has seen nearly all living rock and roll legends in concert, I felt I owed it to myself to go check out The Who and here are 10 things I observed while watching their show:

The Who!

The Who!

1. Despite being down two (of 4) original members (RIP John Entwistle and Keith Moon), the two that are left – Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend – may be both 70 but they rocked and rocked hard for 2 solid hours with no intermission.

The Who!

The Who!

2. The visuals that showed on the screens behind The Who were amazing.  Every song had a different trippy pattern and many times, the screens showed highlights of The Who’s amazing 50 year career.

Pete Townsend

Pete Townshend

3. While Pete Townshend did not smash any guitars, he did his signature move where he swings his arm in a circular motion while jammin’ out.  Seeing him do that move throughout the show (as well as watching Roger Daltrey swing his microphone) are so iconic that it was definitely a show highlight.   On the subject of Pete Townshend, he told a lot of funny stories in between songs and poked fun at how old he and Roger are.

Barclays Center

Barclays Center

4. Despite being in the dreaded Brooklyn, Barclays Center is a really nice venue.  The people that work there are always super friendly.  The site lines are pretty good unless you have nosebleed seats, in which case, if you have a fear of heights, you will definitely be freaked out.  Pete Townshend also gave Brooklyn a nice little dig when he said “it’s good to be back in New York, even if it is Brooklyn.”

Joan Jett

Joan Jett

5. The ticket said 7:30 pm, and they were not kidding.  At 7:30, opener Joan Jett and the Blackhearts promptly took the stage.  Joan Jett was great!  She did an 11 song set that included “Bad Reputation,” “I Love Rock and Roll,” “Crimson and Clover,” “I Hate Myself For Loving You,” “Light of Day,” and “Cherry Bomb.”  Hearing the audience participate in mass sing-a-longs of these tracks was awesome and it was a great taste of what to come when The Who took the stage.  As a side note, I think that Joan and I might have been the only gays in the entire building, so I am glad we represented!  Also, in between Joan Jett’s set (hey, it rhymes) and The Who, the screens showed a visual history of The Who’s career and they mentioned that Joan Jett recorded her first album at The Who’s studio and she didn’t have any money at the time so she promised to pay back the money (and she did) and also included a Who cover as the b-side of her first single.

Roger Daltrey

Roger Daltrey

6. Like with Joan Jett, The Who have so many classic songs, that even if you think you are sick of them, they sound amazing when an arena full of people are singing them in unison.  Some examples of the massive hits played were “Who Are You,” “The Kids Are Alright,” “My Generation,” “Pinball Wizard,” “You Better You Bet,” “Baba O’Riley,” “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” and “Eminence Front.”

The Who!

The Who!

7. The Who didn’t just play the same old boring setlist (which from my research looks like it varies a little bit for each show).  They packed the set with hits, but they also played some lesser known tracks such as the mini-opera “A Quick One (While He’s Away),” “Slip Kid,” “Bargain,” “Sparks,” “Join Together,” and “I’m One.”

No Marijuana Smoking

No Marijuana Smoking

8. Roger Daltrey got a ration of shit recently for complaining that people were smoking pot too close to the stage.  To not look like such an asshole, before the concert, the above message was shown to the audience explaining that the smoke bothers Roger’s voice and if compromised, the show could be canceled.  Roger also addressed this on stage, which made a lot of people roll their eyes. Seems a little on the douchey side, but the message was redeemed when they offered an alternative – “eat one of them funny cakes instead.”

The Who at Barclays

The Who at Barclays

9. The Who mentioned numerous times before, during and after the show that proceeds from selected tour ephemera would be donated to help children fight cancer.  Pretty commendable because most merch proceeds from big bands go into building another wing for their mansions.

Keep Calm and Listen to The Who

Keep Calm and Listen to The Who

10. To think that The Who have been performing some of these songs for 50 years is so impressive.  They found a way to breathe new life into their older material and as a result, this did not come across as a sad version of a formerly great band.  Instead, they rocked harder than many bands who weren’t even born when The Who had their last hit song.  If The Who come to your city, should you see them?  You better, you better, you bet!

Joan Jett’s set list was:

Bad Reputation / Cherry Bomb / Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah) / You Drive Me Wild / Light of Day / Love is Pain / The French Song / Different / I Love Rock and Roll / Crimson & Clover / I Hate Myself For Loving You

 

 

The Who’s set list was:

I Can’t Explain / The Seeker / Who Are You / The Kids Are Alright / I Can See For Miles / My Generation / Behind Blue Eyes / Slip Kid / Bargain / Join Together / You Better You Bet / I’m One / Love, Reign O’er Me / Eminence Front / A Quick One (While He’s Away) / Amazing Journey (with “Captain Walker” snippet from “Overture”) / Sparks / Pinball Wizard / See Me, Feel Me / Baba o’Riley / Won’t Get Fooled Again

 

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  • Gail said,

    Having seen The Who in their prime (1976, with all four members alive) I can say that this show was absolutely phenomenal, and not to be missed for any serious Who fan. Also re #3 above, that move is called a Windmill. ;D

  • G said,

    Thanks @Gail. I figured there had to be a name for it!

  • Colonel Tom said,

    how exactly is Roger Daltrey an asshole for getting angry that people are smoking in a non-smoking facility? They’re the assholes for smoking in the first place regardless if its cigarettes, cigars, pipes or pot. Geez – don’t be such a moronic hippy doper.

  • Carol Lipton said,

    Thanks for this wonderful review! I was at the Barclay’s center- I live in Brooklyn- and seeing this was a dream come true. I went to see the Who do Tommy at the Metropolitan Opera House in June 1970. It was the most coveted ticket of the year. I had some wine & a joint, & passed out after the first number, only waking up during the finale. It was a massive bummer for me. It was amazing to see them perform 45 years later. Their energy is astounding, and their musicianship flawless. Their song catalogue is unbeatable. I think they are the greatest rock n roll band in history, better than the Stones. I agree that their delivery on each song was very creative and fresh. If you google their performances, you can see this throughout their history. Daltrey and Townsend are both forces of nature. I can’t imagine Coldplay, U2, or Radiohead doing this when they hit 70. Daltrey is not the sex god he used to be, but considering his age, he looks amazing. His warm presence and banter with Townsend as great to watch. I agree, he’s commendable for giving so much money to his Teen Cancer America foundation.

  • “10 Observations from The Who Concert at Barclays Center” | Fragments said,

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