Review by Stephen Voyce
The Who played the Colosseum I at Caesars Palace this past Sunday andput on a spectacular show for the those who attended. I was fortunate to meet up with several other rabid WHO fans that made the trek to Sin City to catch the last official stop on this leg of the tour. Had a terrific time meeting and hanging out with several FB “THE WHO FAN PAGE” mates in an excited pregame happy hour(s) and then in a post show discussion of the many highlights of the concert we just had the privilege of witnessing.
The venue is smaller than anywhere else I have seen the entire band, seating for barely over 4000 fans. The acoustics are superb and this was clearly the best I have heard them sound. The lads commented on how they are borrowing the stage from Celine Dion and ribbed Elton John a bit, stating that he plays his piano there because a “billionaire needs to make some extra money.”
The setlist is familiar to all who have seen this tour. “Squeeze Box” was left off but this allowed Roger and Pete, in particular, to intro songs with some fantastic stories and quips. He told story about being in Vegas and opening for Herman’s Hermits…with a sly grin mentioning, “Mrs. Brown, you’ve got a lovely daughter” to a few guffaws from the audience (and band). He went on to say that the WHO were so young back then that they weren’t allowed into the casino and had to climb up the outside walls and sneak into a window. (We may need to hire a fact-checker for this one). Pete also mentioned that he was so young that he could have some of the women he had sex with arrested! He’s such a sly boy. [Editors note: Pete was referring to Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits, who celebrated his 16th birthday in Vegas].
Overall, Pete was more animated and “playful” than I have seen him on this tour. He was moving about and threw in a lot of “Machine-gunning” with his guitar and a few jumps. I’m sure if you’re reading this, you are enough of a WHO fan that you are aware that he did the “power slide” – made famous in TKAA movie – during the scream of WGFA!! I think it stemmed from Roger commenting on how it was a non-slippery floor and commenting “it must be for the old people. Then wondering if Celine or Elton wanted it installed! Someone in the band commented about Pete trying to slide on it. It’s my impression Pete took up the challenge!!
Pete also was playing around and said he would “kick over the mic stand” and then he kicked over the mic stand. As he was picking it up he stated he wasn’t, “successful because he wanted to kick OVER the stand!” However, his leg wouldn’t get the height needed!!
The songs were awesome! The first group of tunes were played with fire! Pete commented about going on at Monterey before Hendrix and playing “This song” and ripped into “My Generation”. He and Roger actually collided as they jumped around the stage. Pino nailed the iconic bass solos.
The Quadrophenia section of the show was incredible. I personally loved 5:15 and The Rock. Pete sang I’m One with passion and Roger sounded fantastic on “Love Reign O’er Me” but didn’t close with the final LOOOOOVVVVEEE. The Rock stands out with Simon playing a great deal of the lead guitar parts. John Corey’s intro piano to LROM is simply phenomenal adding a new dimension to the song.
The Tommy songs were terrific and the ACID Queen was a recent add to the setlist and Pete nails it. The video screen shows the device that Tina Turner’s version of the Acid Queen placed Roger in during the Tommy movie. A nice addition to the show.
“Listening to you” simply kills it. It will never get old to me.
The closers of Baba O’Riley and WGFA exploded in the performance at Caesar’s.
Perhaps the final scream and slide weren’t quite at the TKAA level but what a spectacular way to end the show.
I equate it to watching Michael Jordan win his 6th NBA championship as a jump shooter in his later years. Not the high flying, circus act he was during his early 20’s but still the best in the game and could go off for a 50 or 60-point night. The WHO scored 100 this night!
Zac’s drumming sounded like a herd of buffalo rumbling throughout the theater. Phenomenal!
Pete and Roger introduced the members of the band and each other with Roger commenting that “Of all the cities, Be LUCKY!”
Review by Pat Stanton
The last show on the 2016 NA tour was held in Las Vegas last night and it was a good one. Both Roger and Pete were in great spirits and very chatty and energetic, especially Pete.
The intro to Kids Are Alright was completely different. Pete reminisced about their first trip to Vegas when they were opening for Herman's Hermits and they couldn't check in because they weren't old enough. Roger added that their hair was long and when they came in to the lobby people said "here come the hippies". Pete remembered them climbing in a window to get into their room which sounds funny but is probably just a good story. Pete also mentioned Peter Noone of HH, saying he was 16 or 12 when he was there in 1967 and the girls that he was having sex with could have sued him. [Editors note: Pete actually made a joke that “anybody that he had sex with will now be suing him” because he was underage!]
There was also lots of comments about the other performers who play there, especially Celine and their friend Elton. Pete laughingly talked about Elton's show and his piano, referencing it as being a show by a billionaire to earn more money.
To say that Pete was active is an understatement. He did a complete slide behind Roger's WGFA scream, kicked his leg over his microphone successfully once and unsuccessfully when he first said he was going to kick the microphone. When he knocked it over because his leg didn't clear it, he told us that he didn't really mean to kick it but to kick over it. He also kicked over the low rise speaker a couple of times.
Roger and Pete have often come close to bumping into each other during the last few shows and it finally happened last night during My Generation as Roger's back was to Pete and their backs collided a bit when Pete moved towards him. Both started laughing and continued the song without missing a beat.
The stage was different than normal as it bows out significantly. The band was set up father back than they usually are with two speakers in front but still about 12 feet from the front. Roger tripped over one on one of his trips by and turned to it kicking it while laughing. After the song he turned to the speaker and asked "who the f*ck put that there?". He navigated them successfully the remainder of the show.
There was a big "X" in the front edge of the stage as a mark for Celine. Roger promised Pete not to stand on it, again laughing.
Roger noticed that the stage had some type of traction on the floor, commenting that it was a stage for old people, questioning if it was Celine or Elton who wanted it. He then started jumping all around trying to slip but couldn't. He asked Pete to try to slip but Pete just looked at him like he was crazy and told him maybe later. Roger jumped around a couple more times for good measure.
No Squeeze Box but all the other recent songs. They actually went over their time limit and hurried the intros at the end, with Roger saying they were in trouble and Pete adding that he went on too long on some of the songs.
Roger sounded strong and was full of energy. Pete was like a young man on stage.
The acoustics are very good in the arena as it is not a shared space with sporting events like so many of the places they have played.
Overall it was a very good show and enjoyed by the fans. Good ending to this leg of the tour.