Review by Pat Stanton
The concert last night in Saskatoon had a few minor issues but it was still a wonderful show and enjoyed by the fans.
Roger and Pete performed with energy and vigor, especially Pete. Both were happy to be in Saskatoon, with Pete again expressing his love for Canada and Roger commenting how the nicest people seem to be in the out of the way places.
Roger had hearing issues on and off all night. They restarted a couple songs due to his not hearing the clicks on his ears to start. He told us that his hearing will go before his voice, sad but probably true as the meningitis has taken its toll. This was probably the reason that he was so opinionated about the treatment of Brian Johnson with AC/DC as he can relate.
In spite of the issues with the ear pieces and his hearing, Roger sounded fabulous all night. Love Reign was again sung beautifully.
5:15 was added back to the set list, replacing Lily and Squeeze Box. Pete commented at sound check that he was happy to not need to talk about masturbation and welcomed the switch. I agree.
The van story before Kids are Alright was back, with Roger elaborating more than usual, saying her mother and his mother told him he must marry and that his father "beat the shit out of him". Pretty tough to live in a small walk up apartment with your mother-in-law in one of the rooms. The arrow on the van pointed to "freedom". He did reiterate that He was not sorry about the marriage and that he loves his son very much.
They dedicated Join Together to all the people who have been affected by the huge fire that is raging in the oil fields region at Ft McMurray, north of Edmonton. The fire is not under control and is expected to double in size today. 88,000 people have been displaced with countless number of destroyed homes and businesses. Very tragic.
Pete referenced his age and that of the audience several times, first with My Generation which he wrote at 18, followed by saying his birthday is coming up which got a huge round of applause. He laughed that people applaud him getting old but it beats the alternative. He later told us he beds to pretend that he is a teen when performing I'm One, a song that he seemed to sing with extra enthusiasm last night.
Hopefully all goes well in Edmonton on Sunday as that city is directly south of the fires. We had smoke in the air in Saskatoon and it is much worse there. Roger commented at the end that he took lots of allergy meds before the show as his head seemed to explode and his nose just kept running. This probably exacerbated his hearing issues and can only get worse in Edmonton. Fingers crossed it works out.
They announced at the end that some items have been donated and will be available on their website, I think to benefit Teen Cancer America.
Lots of Pete pictures today as I was directly in front of them.
Review by Stephen LaRose
Things have changed since the last time The Who played Saskatoon, in 1968. For starters they may let the band back into the city's poshest hotel, the Bessborough (during their last stay, Moon commandeered a fireax, chopped up everything in his room into kindling, and pronounced it the best he had ever done).
And Saskatoon is no longer a hick town of 100,000 on the middle of the Canadian prairies, but...a hick town of 225,000 on the middle of the Canadian prairies! But The Who were as happy to see us as we were to see them.
They also included a couple of shout-outs to aid organizations helping those whose homes were burned out in Fort McMurray (though it's about 500 miles away by air, Saskatonians can still see and smell the smoke).
I have never seen The Who live before, and it's not the classic configuration, but for a couple of guys old enough to be my father (and I'm 52),they were stunning. Roger's voice quavered and he had a few problems keeping on tune (he had a couple of technical difficulties).
We all should be as active, as productive, as entertaining and as thankful when we reach their age. Thanks for everything.