Playlist of show
Pete's moment (banter)
I Can’t Explain
Who Are You
I Can See For Miles
The Kids Are Alright
Behind Blue Eyes
Love Reign O’er Me
Love Reign O’er Me
Won’t Get Fooled Again
Review by Marc Starcke
The evening started off with a funny and raucously cool soundcheck that we arrived to at 5pm and ended at 5:38pm. There was a rather brief spat between Roger and Pete in the middle of "Who are You". Roger complained about the timing of the song in which Pete says to Roger "YOU started talking and messed up the timing, Rog". Roger says "no". Pete replies with "don't have a conversation during the song and the timing will be fine". Other songs performed either in partial or in their entirety included a great, loud and aggressive "Slip Kid". Surprised it wasn't played during the actual show. Others were "I'm One", "I Can See for Miles", & "Squeeze Box". There were also some samplings from The Who Sell Out that provided cheers and laughter with Pete and Roger jokingly contemplating using "more music, more music, more music" as a lead in to "I Can See for Miles". Pete told the band that the opening to "I Can't Explain" is too weak and needed to be louder and more aggressive, and come show time it sure was! We were then lead to the buffet and bar area where we hung out with many great friends. They know who they are! What a great fun as the excitement for the start of the show would build by each minute.
I don't usually watch the opening acts at Who concerts but since Joan Jett is one of my all time favorites - Mike and I took our seats in the front row and enjoyed another great show by Joan. I had seen her from the front row at the Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida twice in recent years.
Showtime! We took to our seats in the front row in front of Pete. As Roger walked by us we waved and yelled hello. Roger looked at Mike and I and pointed at both of us individually, waving and smiling right back at us. As the opening chords to "I Can't Explain" came crashing thunderously to our ears I was reminded of what Pete had said during the soundcheck. The best and most aggressive version I'd seen in recent years. You just knew we were in for an extra special night. "The Seeker" was preceded with Pete's commonly told story about how the song was written while Pete was sitting in a boat in the Florida Everglades. It's mandatory and fun for Pete to tell this story whenever he's here performing in Florida.
At one point during the show someone was blowing pot smoke near Roger , which we all know he's allergic to. The show was stopped while Roger and Pete both cursed them out. Roger said "you can get fucking high in other ways. You can cram it up your fucking ass. If you don't want me to walk off the stage and cancel the show you better stop it right now". Or something to that affect.
The Who really cranked it up even further, if that was even possible, with a loud and energized power chord frenzied "Who Are You" with Pete sending out vicious flurries of windmills thru out. The aggressive expressions on his face all night was ones of vengeance unlike I've seen before..song after song.
Before the band tore into "I Can See for Miles" Pete told the crowd that "this is the end for us", which was followed by a chorus of boos. Pete then told everyone that "we love you", which was met with applause and shouts of "we love you too Pete". The highlight of the song for me was Zak's drums.
The band ripped thru "The Kids Are Alright", "Pictures of Lily", and "My Generation", which is now relegated to a recorded version these days, making it a shorter stage version but yet a perfect rendition with Pete and Zak jamming in perfect aggression to climax the song.
"Magic Bus" was highlighted with the long and cool harmonica, guitar, and drums jam that really energizes that heck out of you..feeling almost as breathless as Roger and Pete do by song's end. Roger looked at Pete and took a deep breath with almost a look of "thank goodness this one is over with". Pete looked over to Roger and bent over in laughter, and then took a deep breath of his own.
We fans always have a tendency to say one song was the best version they've ever heard on a specific night, but I personally witnessed the best version of "I'm One". Pete's vocals were spot on and emotional and the band were in perfect synch thru out. Very loud and clear. One of the highlights of the night for me.
What can I say about "Love Reign O'er Me"? Roger just knocks it out of the ballpark every single time, sending shivers down the spines of the collective masses. Pete ended the song with a flurry of slow windmills, accenting his deep power chords to each beautiful stroke.
When Pete introduced "Eminence Front" he said "this was the first song I ever sold to a TV show. And that show was 'Miami Vice'. In the recent past I was never really thrilled with Pete's guitar solo that precedes the lyrics, but on this night his solo was absolutely clean, pure, and thrilling.
The song I waited for all night, "A Quick One While He's Away". The mini-opera rolled along beautifully with the wonderful harmonies and interchanges to each passage during the almost 10 minute masterpiece. Pete completely stopped playing for a few seconds in mid-song to say "I fucking hate this" and then proceeded as if nothing happened. Another odd moment on a night full of oddities.
What can I say about "Amazing Journey" and "Sparks". This is where it all takes off into that journey, that complete and total amazing journey of energy and ecstasy. This is the segment that defines the band on the stage. Who nirvana! Birdman of paradise. I had almost no voice left from all the screaming I did by this point.
As usual "Baba O'Riley" brought the whole arena to their feet.
"Won't Get Fooled Again" closed out the night. There would be no Pete walking off the stage like he did on his last visit to this area in November 2012, but for some reason the pre-recorded tape track for the synth lead-up to the drum solo/scream came to a stop after only a few seconds, leading Pete to stop the show briefly, only for him to lead the band into a fierce jam. Roger snuck in his famous scream at some point and Pete ended the night with about a dozen or more windmills.
About a dozen friends who were at the Tampa show two nights earlier, and whom had raved about it, told me personally that this show was even better. You know how it goes. Each next show is always the better show. But this time I believe they all meant it with conviction.