THE WHO - BB&T CENTER - SUNRISE, FLORIDA REVIEW - BY MARC STARCKE
The night before the show I partied at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood with my friend's Joyce, Shari,
Showtime. The Who BB&T Center November 1st, 2012
My brother, Rob, Derick and myself headed to the arena at 3:15 to meet our friend Scott in front of the VIP entrance at the arena. We also met up with everyone else I mentioned above for the VIP party as well, among many other friends. We got to the BT&T Arena in Sunrise at around 3:45pm for the VIP check-in. Great news for our friend Derick. He was able to upgrade his ticket for the VIP and soundcheck. The soundcheck was at 4:30 and we saw appx. 45 min's and then they ushered us out. Roger didn't sing but he was on the stage. Then he came up to all of us and started a conversation while the rest of band minus Pete continued with the soundcheck. Then Pete finally came out and he and the band did a full electric "Drowned". Pete'
We were brought up stairs of the venue and inside a large dining room there was a large buffet and free open bar. That lasted a couple of hours. The opening act called 'Vintage Trouble', came on around 7:15 and played til 8:00. The Who came on at 8:30 with big screens and cool effects. No Jimmy/the actor talking in between songs like in 1996/97 which caused for a much better flow. Of course it started off with "I am the Sea" and then exploded into "The Real Me". Roger's vocals sounded like the record to me..he was that great! Best I've heard his vocals in years. The "Quadrophenia" intrumental rocked because Zak absolutely tore it up!! What can I say about Pete's incredibly emotional and sad singing on "Cut my Hair". His vocals were right on!"The Punk and the Godfather" was very powerful. Between Simon and Pete's power cords and Roger's vocals, the song just completely blew me away. I thought "I'm One" was the highlight of the night. It was so welled polished that once again it sounded like it could of been right off the record.
I must say though that Pete and Roger did flub some lyrics thru out the night but to me it didn't take away from the amazing and magical show. Simon's vocals on "The Dirty Jobs" was perfect. His guitar playing was right on all night. In some ways he stole the spotlight from Pete more than a few times. Simon was sporting a three-day beard so he looked like Pete - he even wore sunglasses as Pete himself did as well. "I've Had Enough" was good and of course the song ends with Rogers scream as Jimmy's scooter goes over the cliff. The 2nd best Roger scream next to WGFA, which ironically would go missing later because of Pete's disappearance from the stage. More about that later. During the middle part of "5:15", John Entwistle appeared on all the screens for his actual bass solo which was an excellent idea and a fantastic tribute to The Ox! It was during this song where Pete did a bunch of emphatic flurries of windmills on two different occasions. Just like on the 2002 tour , "Sea and Sand" was performed to perfection with Pino's bass lines just completely making the song one of my favorites of the night. The Who then went into a full electric version of '"Drowned" and Pete's vocals were great but he sung them in a little lower and subdued way compared to the soundcheck version where he was smoothly loud and emphatic. A version almost as good as his infamous Toronto '82 performance. Ok, maybe I'm stretching that a little bit.
"Bell Boy" was uniquely done this night. The big screens has Keith singing his parts from Charlton 1974. Like the John tribute earlier, this one for Keith was also emotional yet fantastic. Roger absolutely nailed "Dr. Jimmy' and "Love Reign O'er Me" with such power and vigor, I was once again transported back to 1973. Zak was phenomenol on "The Rock" in between the aforementioned songs. The crowd gave The Who a standing ovation for their 'Quadrophenia' performance. They came back out to do some greatest hits.They ripped thru great versions of "Pinball Wizard", "Behind Blue Eyes", and "Who are You" with great mic spinning by Roger. Pete was in fine form and did his windmills during "Who are You". But during "You Better You Bet", Pete stormed off the stage because it was too loud for him.
He must of experienced some pain in his ears. Roger and the band ended the night with a Peteless rendition of "Baba O'Riley" which was an anticlimatic ending to what was an otherwise fantastic show and a perfect night up till that point. I was a bit deflated yet somehow I remained elated. We were all just wondering what happened to Pete since Roger nor anyone else made any announcement or explanation to the audience. Hey, it was opening night , and also this is the stuff that makes The Who kind of dangerous at times. You never know what is going to happen next. It was also great seeing Barry Wholigan and his wife, Mike Wolf and his wife, Andy Palais, Andy Kessler, Steve Q, and so many others. And the best for last was hanging out with Alyce at the VIP party and seeing her have a great time in the front row with Joyce and Bob McHugh!