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

 

Review: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Final Night at Beacon Theatre

Posted by The G on May 27, 2013 under G Reviews | Read the First Comment

Photos by G.

Tom Petty

Tom Petty

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers closed out their sold out 5 night run at New York’s Beacon Theatre on May 26, 2013.  Surprisingly with the amount of concerts I go to, this was my first time seeing Tom Petty perform!  Needless to say, it was an amazing night on so many levels.  Tom Petty is a great show man and just to be in his presence for 2 hours while he sang to us was a thrill.  Because this run of shows was played at the relatively intimate Beacon Theatre in comparison to the arenas Petty typically plays when he comes to town, they changed the set list dramatically every night and performed some deep album cuts, a b-side and played some covers of songs that the band all loves.

Tom Petty

Tom Petty

Tom Petty told the crowd how much he enjoyed these gigs and he said that we definitely picked the best night to come (sorry nights 1-4)!  One of the highlights of the show for me was a b-side called “Girl On LSD.”  Petty introduced the song saying that he was bored in the studio one night and came up with the song and never thought it would ever be released.  It was issued as a b-side and he said that he’s been getting requests ever since to play it.  The lyrics were pretty funny and dealt with all these girls that he dated that were addicted to drugs.  I also really enjoyed a killer guitar solo on the end of “It’s Good to be King,” from “Wildflowers.”

Mike Campbell and Tom Petty

Mike Campbell and Tom Petty

Typically when I see a legend for the first time in concert, I want to hear the hits, and while Petty did “American Girl,” “Rebels,” “Running Down a Dream,” and “Refugee,” the deep cuts were definitely for die-hards (and it was a great experience to see the Beacon singing along to every word no matter how obscure).  Because Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are such great performers, I never found myself missing the hits. In fact, before I knew it, the band was off stage before the encore!

Tom Petty

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

The covers performed were The Byrds’ “So You Wanna Be A Rock and Roll Star,” “13 Days” by JJ Cale, “Born In Chicago” by Nick Gravenites, “Willin'” by Little Feat and “Tweeter and the Monkey Man” by Petty’s former super group Traveling Wilburys.

Tom Petty

Tom Petty

The band was tight musically and Tom Petty’s signature voice sounds as great live as it does on wax.  Tom Petty is set to do 5 intimate nights in Los Angeles very soon and if you were wise, you’d make sure to be at one of those shows.

Thank you and good night!

Thank you and good night!

Thanks again Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers for reminding New York what rock and roll is all about!  See the setlist after the jump.

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