The Who at Grand Rapids - Van Andrel Arena

 

The Who Setlist Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, MI, USA, The Who Tour 2017

 

 

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Review by Pat Stanton

It was good to be back at a Who concert. I skipped the first five shows on this mini tour but I have picked it up in Grand Rapids and will continue through Vegas and Tahoe.

The show was solid. The set list was back to the same 2016 list, with no Substitute or Drowned (I'm One is back) and not a hint of Naked Eye, just the odd rap-like version of Cry If You Want in the middle of My Generation. Pete was talking about prior Michigan trips, citing their first hit, Happy Jack, and he actually sang a line of it. Roger stepped up to the mic and we begged for them to sing it to no avail. Maybe it will give him an idea for future set lists.

Pete looks and sounds great. He is trimmer than recent shows and looks dapper in a white shirt that shows off his tan. He was also very animated all night, straying to center stage frequently. No slide tonight at the end of WGFA but that is fine with me. His leap was higher than recent shows and the audience applauded him so much and long after it that he looked a little embarrassed.

Roger started and ended strong but was bothered in the middle by smoke that he claimed was making his voice raw and grumbled that he was tired of it and would not stand for it anymore. It may have been coming from a guest backstage as I did not smell any smoke in the audience and it stopped after he had his mini tirade. He also had the typical issues with his earpieces, with them in and out of his ears all night.
The arena was very warm in the audience so it took its toll on the band overall.

Pete seemed obsessed with dark humor, thanking us for coming out and spending our money which he attributed in part to a desire to be at the show when either he or Roger dropped dead. At the end of the show he joked about traveling around with the remains of Keith and John in coffins and that they look at them when they get lonely. He added that both he and Roger have promised to continue on and carry the other's remains with them. Roger mused at the end that it could be the last time in Michigan as "You never know" but expressed that we should "keep the faith". Odd and rather morbid ending.

Roger tripped on stage a couple of times, getting tangled in his microphone lead. Fortunately he caught himself as he is still in excellent shape.

Pete mused about writing and touring with Quadrophenia, saying it was and is difficult to perform and crediting Roger with the 2012/2013 production and again repeated that he would like to do it again someday. The Classic Quad that is being performed later this year does not compare with the real classic version with the band. This I know personally, having seen it performed at RAH back in 2015. I would love to see Quad again, but not without drums, Roger or soul.

Pete also said that he hoped to write another song that Roger would want to record, complimenting him on his magnificent voice. Roger does sound stronger on stage than he has in recent tours, even during the UK tour this spring.

Someone threw Roger flowers again at the end of the show. This may be a new trend as I saw on YouTube that it was also done at the end of the Atlantic City show.

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