Sunday, November 19, 2006

We Got A Hit

Great night at the American Airlines Center with The Who &
special guests The Pretenders last Friday.

Pretenders came on at 7:32pm. Really glad to be on time for this. A lot
of concert-goers missed it - probably stuck in traffic or finishing up
their chicken wings. The chicken wings on the table would disappoint
Chrissie Hynde - I had forgotten that she's a vegetarian. She thanked
the crowd for stopping by the PETA tables in the lobby. And she teased
the meat-eaters in the crowd by flaunting her great body. (She looks
fantastic - like a strutting Madame Tussaud's version of herself
preserved from 1980.) They played an hour - Martin Chambers flailing
away behind plexiglass and their very able guitarist Adam Seymour &
youthful bassist Andy Hobson. Chrissie is sassy & sweet. After "My City
Was Gone" she recognized the guitarist for his searing solos. "Don't
you all wish that you wouldn't have hidden away your guitar in your
closet in favor of a workaday life? You could have lived this life!"
She reveled in that.

Approximation of their setlist:

Up The Neck (? - I'm forgetting a song in here somewhere - and the song
order's not exact either)
Message of Love
Don't Get Me Wrong
Day After Day
I'll Stand By You
My City Was Gone (Way to go, Ohio)
Back in the Chain Gang
Room Full of Mirrors

I would have liked an encore from them - they have so much material
from which to choose - but they played a solid, hour-long set. Any more
and it would've shortened The Who set. Needless to say - the Pretenders
were an inspired choice for an opening act. FAR better than Unamerican
were anyway. Anyone from Dallas remember that? What were they thinking
there? Dreadful.

I've read both the Dallas & Fort Worth papers' reviews. No big
disagreements with either of the mostly positive reviews (Although I
prefer the Star-Telegram's review). Other than to explain to the rest
of the world how much a grump the Dallas Morning News' Thor Christensen
can be from time to time. He complains about Rog's vocal performance on
some songs. But no one came to this show expecting Steve Perry - we
don't need or want that. Who cares? It's ROCK AND ROLL - not an
Oratorio! And in complaining about Rog's voice on some songs, he
neglects to recognize its strength on some of the other songs - Mike
Post Theme in particular. He roared like a lion on that one - and the
crowd took notice.

Highlights: There were a couple of kids with their Dad in the row in
front of us. The little boy was no more than 4 or 5 years old. The girl
was maybe 6 or 7 tops. And they were singing along to the Who songs!
They knew all of the words - standing on their folding chairs! They
were really wonderful to watch - they were every bit as enthusiastic as
their dad was.

There were some young twenty-something hipster dudes a couple of rows
behind us - they were having a blast. Never without a beer in hand,
they parried to and fro in the aisle - teasing the ushers & dancing
their buns off. Between the Pretenders & The Who set - one of them, a
tall guy who happened to be a dead ringer for the Dwight Shrute
character on NBC's version of The Office, shimmied his way into the
crowd's heart - so much so that the lighting guys found him & put the
spotlight on him - very fun - we all cheered. I have to say, it's
refreshing to have a few rabble-rousers at one of these big arena shows
- this is what rock's supposed to be all about after all!

The band were tight on all the songs - surprises: "Real Good Looking
Boy" was a revelation - very sharp guitar from Pete - harder-edged than
the Then & Now version. Rog's voice was terrific - much better than the
last visit through Big D - where California's drought left his voice
bone-dry. Simon has really filled out the sound of the band - kudos to
him - his vocals were essential to the success of the evening - and I
really enjoyed the mandolin during "Endless Wire". "They Made My Dreams
Come True" is a real grower - it was one of my favorites of the new
songs - Pete & Simon harmonized beautifully to that one.

Pete recognized the missing Texan in the band - keyboardist Rabbit &
asked that we pray for his wife Sue. He introduced Rabbit's keyboard
tech (he emphasized that he's really only a technician!) - Brian Kehew
- and praised him for coming to their rescue. Then he introduced Pino
by saying that he came to their rescue when John died back in 2002 -
filled his boots & then, thankfully, took them off - to which the crowd
cheered. And then introduced Zak - monster applause.

Between Mike Post Theme and You Better You Bet, Pete had a pointed
exchange with some of the front-row crowd. Apparently they had been
bugging him to sign some poster & give them some guitar picks. He
really sounded peeved - his body language said it all - exasperation -
as if to say "How am I supposed to play this show AND sign your
bleeding posters & toss out picks?!?" And he called them out for
spending a ton on front row seats then acting like beggars for a stupid
pick or an autograph. "Fucking savages? What do you expect me to do?!"
But before he got too severe with them, he turned his attitude around
180 degrees & said how much he loves us - and that the next song is
about them loving us. He was clearly keeping his temper in check. It
was almost "It's not a fucking tea party!" time - but he showed great

The new songs were fantastic. I miss Quadrophenia, yes - but I'm so
grateful for the new material. Not everyone was - a lot of people sat
during the mini-opera. They clicked away at blackberries until Baba
O'Riley - then they all stood up in unison. Pretty funny to observe -
like a school of fish.

They then played feverishly through the rest of the regular set - big
riffs, guitars & drums blazing. Pete seemed to be using "Won't Get Fooled Again" to
exorcise whatever misgivings he had about the pesky goldfish in the
front row. After a short break - they came back for an encore with the
Tommy suite - and it was inspired. The songs felt brand new - Rog
sounded great and was twirling away like a dervish with the mic cord.
Pete seemed to be channeling an old blues man fused together with an
ornery pirate during the Captain Walker part of Amazing Journey &

Setlist courtesy of the German site: The Complete The Who Concert Guide
The Who
Fri, 17. November 2006:
Dallas, TX, American Airlines Center

Lineup | Go back

I Can't Explain, The Seeker, Substitute, Fragments, Who Are You, Behind
Blue Eyes, Real Good Looking Boy, Sound Round, Pick Up The Peace,
Endless Wire, We Got A Hit, They Made My Dreams Come True, Mirror Door,
Baba O'Riley, Eminence Front, A Man In A Purple Dress, Mike Post Theme,
You Better You Bet, My Generation, Cry If You Want, Won't Get Fooled
Again, (Encore) Pinball Wizard, Amazing Journey, Sparks, See Me Feel
Me, Tea And Theatre

Roger Daltrey
Harmonica, Vocals, Guitar
Pete Townshend
Guitar, Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Pino Palladino
Zak Starkey
Simon Townshend
Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Backing Vocal
Brian Kehew

Set list not confirmed

Last update: 2006-11-18 13:55:36 - # 62

Ft. Worth Star-Telegram Review

Dallas Morning News Review

Top photo courtesy of Dallas Morning News Special Contributor Jason Janik

Bottom photo courtesy of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram Special Contributor Mike Fuentes