Review by Ozzie Pottersmith
I'm boarding the flight back to Denver, and who's face do I see sliding into my row, yes, it's Pete Townshend's.
It's PT's face on the cover of Who I Am. Once settled I asked the gent if he was at the show, more as rhetorical question, and precursor to his thoughts of the show. But to my surprise, he answers no to the question, he's just reading the book as he travels for work.
I love the tiny world of the connected who ranks, which brings me to the Amazing Journey from my couch to WHOfuckingLando. I'm sitting on the couch watching college football at 10:16AM mountain time on Saturday morn, and texting with Trrish about the weird Sunrise tour opener and the hopes and dreams of the Relayers caravan in WHOfuckingLando for show 2.
At that moment, Trrish reports that Maxwell Darling is there, and probably with a little longing in the essence of my reply, I text "I'm there too" and then added from the ongoing in-joke from a SNL bit called Tiny Elvis, "cept different."
And what came back from Trrish set the journey in motion, her reply was "there's still time." We'll I really didn't consider it for more than 3 seconds, before I replied, ":) no I'm good." You see I pretty much saturated myself in the 2006-2009 mega Whostravaganza, and was keeping the troops and the fort secure in CO so Trrish could get back on Pete's Pony Express.
And it was all working fine for 48 hours since Trrish left for Sunrise. I got the phone call from the show, and the sound quality was so damned awful that I felt no longing to be there, other than to reconnect with the family. But I stayed on that call soaking up every last minute of that atrociously garbled audio.
When I could no longer take it, i went to sleep feeling fine. That brings me back to the couch; I had just sent the "I'm good" reply. To which Trrish replied "I'm good too." So we stopped texting and I went back to the game, for about 30 seconds, and those letters came floating into my consciousness, "t-h-e-r-e'-s - s-t-i-l-l-t-I-m-e."
So I thought for a kick, I'll just look at award flights just for kicks. And British Air/American was no help, and Frontier would get me in at 10:15 pm, obviously no help, and then staring me in the face on the screen was the query results from United, and it had a glowing essence to the direct flight from Den to WHOfuckingLando leaving in 90 minutes, and arriving at 6:09 pm.
I stared for at least a minute before gaining my composure, and Xing out of United's site and closed the cover on the laptop, and went back to the game.
45 seconds later I turn around and looked at the wall where my London Quad jumpsuit was hanging on the wall for display, but not tacked up like the Endless Wire jumpsuit, but on a hanger for quick access. So I jumped up, grabex it off the wall, threw it in a bag with my Union Jack boots, and looked at the laptop, then at my watch, somehow 20 minutes had passed, and it was 10:45am.
My heart was pounding ferociously in my chest, and my brain was on holiday.
Just like the Tigger/Heffalumps &Woozles part of the Winnie the Pooh ride in Disney World, those words kept swirling around my mind, "t-h-e-r-e'-s - s-t-i-l-l-t-I-m-e." "t-h-e-r-e'-s - s-t-i-l-l-t-I-m-e." "t-h-e-r-e'-s - s-t-i-l-l-t-I-m-e." I ran to the laptop, threw it open, typed in the United query and the Holy Grail of flights, once again popped up on the screen. I clicked continue, and for an $80.00 FF fee, I had the $900.00 coach ticket (and it even came with a return flight, which was a good thing, considering I was the one holding down the "fort!") So I printed the confirmation, snatched as soon as the printer released it. Grabbed an 08' max R&B tee, quickly sheared the sleeves off, and off I went, with one short stop upstairs, to inform the troops of their leaders temporary departure.
After a few minutes of utter disbelief from the ranks, and a promise of a immediate bank transfer for incidentals, I was out the door and on my way to the airport. I was in complete Who frenzy, when Adrian called and discussed various strategies for getting to my flight on time, and managing my disappointment in the event of not making the flight. Yes, he's quite the thinker, and I love that about him. He wanted to stay on the as long as possible, which lasted for the whole ride through the various speed traps at the airport. I lost contact with him on the sprint to the terminal from the parking lot.
After the quintessential security pat down and Who discussion, he sent me off with a "rock on!" I connected back with Adrian once I was "out of my brain on the train" to the terminal. I was at heart attack status and only could communicate that I was going to make it. And a few minutes later I was slipping into middle seat in row 40, the last open seat of the last row of the Magic Plane. Not believing I was really on a flight to WHOfuckingLando, I texted Trrish, "guess who's coming to dinner." The included photo in the text of me in my seat on the plane was not enough to convince her I was serious, I had to put the guy sitting next to me on the phone, and he explained that I was indeed on the flight. Still did not believe me, and then after 6 minutes of examining the photo of my boarding pass I sent she, and Bobo finally believed. So I was now "out of my brain on the plane," we were pushing back from the gate, and all communications with the WHOfuckingLandians stopped for 3 hours.
I arrived a few minutes before 6:00 pm and didn't even know the name of the venue, not mention no ticket to the show. Bobo came through with the venue name, Trrish a little buzzed, had an amazing time at the sound check, communicated that my ticket was sorted and Joyce was in charge of the particulars. Of course she was, so my level of intense excitement soared. Now I needed to get there, so I checked with the shuttle people, and I received "we no go there, we go to hotel." I no know Amway." So I asked what other way could go, so she said, "if you have time, you go public bus." So my non functioning brain rationalizes that to save a $40.00 cab ride, I have plenty of time. And I head off to the bus area. There was one bus parked there without a driver. I walked around aimlessly for 10 minutes thinking I'm not thinking this through properly. When the driver appeared before me, and I asked him if he was the bus? He replied, "no, I'm not the bus," and my heart sunk, and he pointed to the bus, and said "that's the bus," with a mischievous smile. I asked him if he went to the Amway Center, and he replied affirmatively. At that point, I realized how wonderful the sweet tropical humidity in the air felt.
I paid my 2 bucks and WHOfuckinkLando's bus system dropped me off directly in front of the door at which Joyce was waiting with the golden ticket, and plans to move on to ROW1! I ran into a few more of the team, and was so fucking happy to be part of the scene. Joyce and I was bounding down the idle and there was just no containing my out of control exuberance of the dance to the rail.
The opening act was on stage, and was sounding so fine, they had an amazing groove going that fueled the emotions of the dance. I greeted everyone in the seats above as I shuffled by. We arrived and the greeting of the who family process was so sweet! I had texted with Trrish to let her know I was in and on my way down. I totally rocked out to warmup, and by the end of the set, everyone was on their feet. A few minutes before the end of the set, I saw Trrish sliding into the row, and she looked so fucking gorgeous, and whoscortching hot! Without being too nauseatingly sappy, there is nothing as amazing as combining a blazing hot Who show with a blazing hot Whobabe!
And then it was show time, and those classic sounds of the braking waves on the shores of Brighton came rolling out of the speakers, and the band rolled on out to the stage with them. The crowd was on from the beginning and after that I only noticed the front row's manic participation, and rocked with it the whole night through. We were one huge Borg-like entity. It was one large group Whogasm from start to finish. The Roger produced and directed Quad production, as very specifically pointed out by Pete, was fantastic, right down to the inclusion of John and Moonie into the show. Roger was in fine form, voice cracking and failing him in only a couple of the most demanding situations, and the situation where Pete stopped Roger twice, only to have to count TKAAR in himself, was one of Pete's pissy moments, that delighted us all and will take its place in the archives of pissy Pete moments that we all treasure. Another Pete moment that I truly loved in its pissyness, was when he kind of ordered the additional Quad musicians off the stage saying bye bye, and waving, once Quad was over. "Nothing if not authentic" came to mind. Zac, Simon, and Pino, fucking rocked out as usual, the additional Quad members were strong, and Pete was on a fucking tear! He sounded beautiful, played with a vengeful heat of redemption, seemingly exercising the demons that led to him walking off the stage 4 songs early 2 nights earlier in Sunrise. At one point he bounded across the stage, guitar and/or body sending his music stand crashing to the floor, only to fuel his fire that much more!
The "And More" set was unbelievably enjoyable, with a blistering version of YBYB coming in towards the end of the set, which would make a civilian think of the "they put the earphone jack on the bottom" Iphone goof in the Samsung commercial, but we know better. With each song and every line flooding memories out of our minds on how we slept in SoHo doorways, or were out of our brains on the 5:15s, or bicycle rickshaws of London, we hugged and kissed and sang and grinded our way to a frenzy that is the Pure and Easy essence of "the one note in us all." When all was said and done, and we were all locked together for Tea and Theatre, the tag line on Relayers of "We Are all the Who" was never so apparently true as it was last night.
Trrish is off to Atlanta, and I'm in the air back to the fort for damage control. My dreams will sweetly carry me through until the next and only "scheduled" show on my agenda, LasWHOgas , or WHOVegas.