I Can't Explain / Substitute
Who Are You
I Can See For Miles
Behind Blue Eyes
Pinball Wizard / See Me Feel Me
Won't Get Fooled Again
Pete's slide and tumble
Review by Paul Varey
I think the last time I saw The Who in full on festival mode was way back in 1979. Yes I was at Live Aid, but that was under rehearsed and only lasted 15 mins. Then there was Hyde Park for Quadrophenia. Yes The `Who blew everyone away that day, but it was more musical theatre than a rock concert. So I guess almost forty years have past since I last saw them in the type of setting offered by the Mad Cool festival.
Here’s the thing. Forty years on and not a thing has changed. Despite sad losses, changes to drummers and, early retirement, Roger and Pete can still walk out in front of a crowd and have the same effect they did forty years ago. Back in 79 only AC/DC gave them a run for their money, in 2016 nobody did. Lots of us have been lucky enough to catch the recent run of stadium shows, and its great to see The Who in slightly more intimate venues, but in an open air amphitheatre one can fully grasp not just the power of their music, but also the stagecraft that Roger and Pete possess. Even seen from half a mile away you know its Pete because of his windmills.
I mentioned sad losses earlier and, when the band played 5:15 and missed out Johns solo, I couldn't help but think how much he (and Keith) would have enjoyed the present tour. Lets not forget that one way or another The Who have been on the road continuously for almost five years. This really is record breaking stuff and even if they don't play ‘our’ favourite we should treat every moment as special.
I wrote the first half of this review right after I got back to my hotel, at about 1.30am, but after strolling round Madrid this morning I think its important to mention the amount of Who merchandise being worn around the capital of Spain this morning. Proof if it were needed that music and in this case the music of the Who cuts through cultural barriers and that The Who play not just for their generation, but also for all the generations that have come since. I may have been a bit ‘glowing’ and ‘flowery’ in this review, so here’s a negative. After The Who I went to see the Strypes on a small indoor stage, they ripped the house up, playing Gibsons through Marshal stacks. What I wouldn't give to see Pete recreate the 89 tour by playing the guitar that corresponds to the songs era.