The Who at Minneapolis, MN - Target Center

The Who Setlist Target Center, Minneapolis, MN, USA 2012, Quadrophenia and More 2012/13 North American Tour

 

 

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Review by Greg Stereo

Overall I thought the show was awesome. The band seems to have worked out many of the kinks of this complex performance. Yes, Roger was definitely having trouble with the in-ear monitors. We noticed him gesturing with hand signals and at least once or twice glaring to his left during the show. At one point he pulled the monitor from his right ear and cupped his hand tightly over it. At other points he was cupping both ears with his hands. And yes, his voice is a bit...well, as you might expect from having belted out those notes for all these years.

That said, Roger's voice sounds noticeably better now than it did awhile ago. I was actually depressed after listening to the 2006 live tracks on the Endless Wire bonus edition. His voice sounded shot, I thought at the time that between his voice and Pete's ears the band was done as a live entity. Super Bowl, the voice was still ragged, but my significant other and I both noticed how much better he sounded @ the Summer Olympics. Live in MN, he sounded pretty damned good. No, he can't go as high with the notes, and the microphone twirls aren't as dramatic, but they're still there. And he really (as always) seems to just really really really love performing live. He gives it his all IMHO, and he does it for the fans (and now for the Teenage Cancer charity, that smile on his face in the pics of him meeting with the kids speaks volumes).

Pete was absolutely en fuego. Windmilling, eye contact and gesturing at the audience, singing his heart out, really into it. He even got in some jamming. I noticed at least twice that he went off on some riffs and Zak and Pino both locked eyes with him and followed deftly along with his as-always tight-ass guitar. He was smiling at various points he seemed to enjoy, and just once (fairly early in the set) I saw him point a finger up to his left, then a few seconds later give a thumbs up that the monitors were just right for him. Singing his heart out on the tunes he sang - and somewhat like Roger, his voice doesn't have the same range, but he's adapted what used to be the high notes into more of a deep growl that works.

I think it was during I'm One that while singing, he punctuated a line by flipping the bird (not at the audience, but at who the lyric was directed at). I know I saw him flip off into the air at least once, maybe one or two other times in other songs as well.

Zak does look a bit pudgy, but he played quite well. His dad had some pudgy/baby fat years as well. I do believe he was wearing pajama bottoms or sweatpants, but that's fine.

The rest of the band played their parts quite well also. I did not notice any serious flubs with cues or tapes during Quad. For the last encore, when Roger first went to the mic it was dead, leading Pete to say something like "I guess we'll play some different shit...No, no, no...GOOD shit!"

Pete commented about the Twin Cities having the most theaters per capita of anywhere (in the States or the worlds, I can't remember which he specified), but I thought that was an interesting touch that echoes the earlier comment in this thread about him knowing about the areas he's playing. It also made Tea and Theatre quite touching (I know it's their standard last song so far, but was a nice call-back this night). And on T&T, Pete was smiling like the Cheshire Cat at Roger as they played together, a pick in his mouth at one point as he finger-picked with a huge smile on his face. He really seemed into it.

As for the "lesbians and queers" line, couple things. Mentioned earlier, but I want to reiterate, the lyric clearly objects to the disappearing of people; someone else alluded to The Wall, which I think is apropos, and Roger Waters got quite a bit of flak for a few lines on The Wall (using words like "coon" and "queer") when (to me, any way), Waters clearly was portraying a point of view which he objects to. On a lighter note, this was one of at least a few moments when Pete's facial response after the crowd sang the line was funny...after the crowd chanted it, he gave this wide-eyed, open-mouthed response and sort of pantomimed staggering back a few steps. He did similar physical responses a couple other times while just jamming on guitar, looking out into the audience as he did so.

That Star Tribune reviewer sounds pretty biased. There were more than 7000 people there by the time our boys took stage (during Vintage Trouble, it *may* have been below 7k, but by 8:00 the seats were filling up, and by 8:30 the floor was almost completely full and only small spots of rafter seats remained unoccupied). And as for the crowd sitting during most of Quad, nope, wrong again.

Setting aside the on-stage issues with the mix, the sound from the floor was quite good. Really good actually, especially for an arena. Pete's guitar (and Simon's) came through nicely, and all singers' vocals were prominent. The rhythm section...well, they came through too, I have never envied anyone who would inevitably be compared to Keith and John, but Zak and Pino did very well.

I was very touched to see that at one point during the tribute to Keith in Bell Boy, Simon, Roger, and Pete all looked back and watched the video of Keith joyously singing his lines. Simon's head was bobbing up and down with the beat, and Pete and Roger were just watching it, with the rest of us. Very moving. Awesome tribute to John as well, very well done. I was concerned when reading about the segments that they might be maudlin or schmaltzy, but they both seemed to fit each of these two's characters - John's was very focused on his astound bass technique, and Keith's was very representative of the sheer happiness he had onstage.

Another touching moment was during The Rock, right as Pete went into the Love Reign O'er Me strumming, the video montage that had run through recent history began showing images from 9/11 and the period immediately thereafter. I got chills and flashed back to the Concert for NYC, when the boys really rocked and all those members of FDNY and NYPD in the crowd were bouncing up and down, singing along, and taking their mind off the troubles. Roger and the crew who put the video together did great overall, it was awesome.

Finally, I would like to thank the very nice couple who "upgraded" us one row - we were originally sitting next to friends of this couple, and the couple came up to us between VT and our boys, said they would really like to sit with their friends, and asked if we would like to trade seats after showing us where they were. One row up and right in center, where we were originally over way to the right of Pete. Pete's left, our right. Anyway, wonderful of them to do that, just thought I'd note the spirit of Who-ville is amazing.

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