I Can't Explain
Overture, It's a Boy
1921, Amazing Journey, Sparks
Eyesight to the Blind, Christmas
Cousin Kevin, The Acid Queen
There's a Doctor, Tommy Can You Hear Me?
I'm Free, Miracle Cure, Sensation, Sally Simpson
Welcome, Tommy's Holiday Camp, We're Not Gonna Take It
See Me Feel Me, Listening to You
Won't Get Fooled Again
Who Are You
Roger stage banter about TCT
Roger chats about TCT
Review by Melissa Hurley
Royal Albert Hall, London 30-3-17. 100th Teenage Cancer Trust show. First show 21st November 2000.
The gig opened with a unannounced special guest appearance with a solo Noel Gallagher and a pianist. Noel is a charitable supporter of the TCT and was at the very first TCT gig in 2000. Noel kept referring to Tommy as Thomas and he was excited that he was going to hear Tommy for the first time as full performances.
At 8:40 the MC Tim Lovejoy said a short film is about to commence about the TCT and their mission. This was followed by around 25 teenagers on stage. One lad was nominated to speak to the audience about the wonderful work undertaken by the trust. In his own words "cancer is shit". He received a stand ovation.
The Who followed on stage within minutes. The crowd went crazy with thundering applause. They opened with I Can't Explain and Substitute.
Roger was thrilled with performing Tommy for the trust. he said "Sorry about the acoustic version, it would have taken about four weeks of rehearsal and they wouldn't make any money so we said fuck it!”
They performed a full Tommy set. Which started well with Overture, It's a boy and 1921. The band went into overdrive with Amazing journey and Sparks. Pete did his customary birdman with his usual flair. Eyesight to the blind, Christmas was a treat with harmonies from all of the band.
Cousin Kevin was ala Ken Russell the Tommy film, and followed by a rocking Pinball wizard. The crowd went crazy!
Go to the mirror, Tommy can you hear me, Smash the mirror, It's a boy reprise, then into I'm Free. This version was a low in the set as it lacked some energy and speed. Extra, Extra, Sensation with wonderful vocals by Simon Townshend into the home stretch with Sally Simpson, Welcome with loads of added echo.
Tommy's Holiday Camp (Ken Russell's version) ending with a brilliant Were not gonna take it and Listening to you which was spiritual and invigorating. As the song finished Roger's and Pete's shirts were drenched. The look and smiles on Roger's and Pete's faces had looked like a sign relief and accomplishment. This performance had brought back a bit of déjà vu from the original performances way back in 1969/1970 shows.
After a swig of water and a catch of their breath the band continued for another 25 minutes. Then performing high energy versions of Won't get fooled again, Join Together, Baba O'Reilly and Who are you. After a very quick band intro by Pete, Roger and Pete graciously acknowledged the audience and their support of the Teenage Cancer Trust and of the band. They waved to the entire circle/standing gallery to the bum watcher seats in the choir behind them. Everyone felt uplifted and smiles all around. Great show part one.........show two of Tommy to follow.........
Review by Matthew North
I will start off by being honest here. The last time I saw the Who was the recent Hyde Park show and for the first time I did not enjoy it. Too big, too corporate and I was as far apart from the band as a fan could get.
It was only because it was announced it was a Tommy show that I thought I would give it one more go. Tommy is my favourite Who album. It was magnificent when Roger did it a few years ago with a guest spot from Pete.
My seat in the venue was not the best, I was up in the Choir and I had a great view of the back of peoples heads. More on this later.
First up was the surprise support of Noel Gallagher, playing a broad cross section of his work including plenty of Oasis hits. No chit chat between songs, he and his piano player just got on with it ending in a rousing rendition of Don’t Look Back in Anger.
We then had a short change over when they showed the TCT film. I was unable to see it as I was behind the screen but just listening was emotional enough, this followed by a speech from a very brave lad whom has been supported by the charity. TCT is such a great thing that is really Rogers amazing legacy.
This was the 100th TCT show. And we were given a special programme, a nice touch.
On come the Who, first thing to note is no Pino on bass, a new young bass player whom I had not seen before (to my knowledge). The band kick off with a couple live favourites I Cant Explain and Substitute. From the first bar we knew this was going to be a special gig. So much energy, Roger swinging around the mic cable it was like they had all lost 20 years.
Tommy followed. It was a perfect rendition. Suppose to be acoustic but somehow I always felt this was not to be the case. My first Who show was in 2004 when they were suppose to have played Tommy then but they didn’t. There was what felt like a few additional codas here and there that made the piece flow so well. Adding Capt Walker line into Sparks, later on another reprise of it’s a boy.
It appeared that Pete was not happy the band were playing very fast. So I would say the band were not playing to a click track like so may live bands do these days to keep the music in sync with the visuals (the visuals that I could not see).
Now as ever I have a camera with me, and I did take a cheeky snap of the set list, so I knew what was to come. During the first encore of Wont Get Fooled Again I saw a load of empty seats in the stalls. I know these seats as I had sat there for one of the David Gilmour shows. Having seen enough of the back of The Whos heads, and knowing this may be the last time I ever see the band depending on the Whos tour commitments I decided to chance it. Legged it down to the stalls and bingo right at the front. This was more like it, you could really feel the energy of the band. Roger was so in his zone. We got stonking versions of WGFA, Join Together (one of my favourite Who numbers) , Baba O’Riley and then to finish off one of the greatest songs ever written Who Are You. The room was a standing ovation and Roger ended with his get lucky speach. I shook hands with Simon and all is well.
All in all it was up there with those amazing shows in the summer of 2006 that I went to. The Who are without doubt the greatest live band you will ever see.
Review by Pat Stanton
The show tonight at RAH was absolutely brilliant.
The show opened with I Can't Explain followed by Substitute. Then they launched into Tommy. Similar to Quad a few years ago, there was no banter between songs. One song just flowed into the next. My least favorite, Fiddle About was sung without the suggestive language about bedsheets down and nightshirt up. Good move. I wondered who would sing Sally Simpson - Roger or Simon. Well both did plus Pete with all three taking turns at verses.
The band was introduced including Jon Buttons on bass replacing Pino (?). After the intro Pete declared them all to be useless and then he smiled. All in all this performance of Tommy was magnificent. And we get an encore on Saturday.
After Tommy, the band performed WGFA, Join Together, Baba and closed with Who are You. Not a great a finale song but it is always a fan favorite. So much for different songs but who cares. The show was wonderful.