Review by Carrie Pratt
The second concert that I ever went to was to see The Who perform in my hometown at the Seattle Center Coliseum on October 14, 1976, when I was 15 years old and a sophomore in high school. It was the bands second time through town after playing in March that year, and this time I was able to attend since I finally met my mom’s strict requirement of not getting to go to shows until I was in high school. I remember that show fondly, and it set in motion a life long love of The Who and the world of rock and roll! How lucky I was to see The Who in their prime back then, and on a tour that John Entwistle said was the best of their career. It turned out to be Keith Moon’s final show in the US, as they closed the tour out in Canada, and never came back before Keith’s untimely death in 1978.
Nearly 40 years later, I had the pleasure of seeing The Who in the same venue, now called the Seattle Key Arena. My seat was even on the same side where I sat in 1976, but perhaps a bit closer to the stage. This time around we weren’t treated to the unforgettable laser beams that were so groundbreaking in 1976, but today’s lighting and video display were still a huge part of the show, and very enjoyable to watch.
The view was quite a change from the show I went to a couple nights earlier in Vancouver, which was front row right in front of Pete. This one gave a good perspective of the crowd, which was extremely loud all night long, as one would expect from the citizens of Seattle who are famous for inventing “the wave” at UW football games, and being the intimidating 12th man of the Seahawks.
The sound level of the music was quite different too. Standing in the front you mainly hear the stage amps and band monitors, as the main speakers are set high above the stage. The round cylinder tube traps that Pete uses to help filter and redirect the loud sounds also keep the volume on the stage lower to help protect his ears. It was a nice clean sound up front, and the volume was surprisingly moderate. Sitting up in the stands in Seattle was a totally different experience. The sound was excellent, but very, very loud! This was in your face rock and roll, and the Seattle crowd loved it! The energy that emanated from the stage and reverberated across the arena and back again was so exciting to be a part of. And getting to share this experience with so many of my hometown friends made it a very special evening.
After the show my husband and I were once again treated to backstage passes, where we had a nice chat with The Who’s musical director Frank Simes. Frank told us that the whole band was really feeling the energy that night, and he felt the Seattle and Vancouver shows were the best ones of the whole tour! I think most people who were at these shows would agree. It was a truly stunning performance and a memorable evening all around!
Review by Pat Stanton
The Seattle show last night was back to the same level of enjoyment as prior shows. They dropped Lily and brought back the chatting with the audience. The tempo was not rushed as it was in Vancouver and it was a much better show for everyone - the fans and the band.
Pete was very chatty and in good spirits. He kept flexing his muscles - literally - for us all night in mock form. He was especially pleased with himself after his Baba leap in the air. Well at least he elevated about a foot but the crowd went crazy and he just laughed.
He did a few lines of Happy Jack which he said that Jimi Hendrix once sang to him. Roger nodded on agreement that it did in fact happen.
The set list was the same as Vancouver minus Lily. Pete did the Squeeze Box intro early (saying he wrote the next song for an accordion) when My Generation was the next song. Roger was ready for My Generation, without a guitar and just looked at him laughing. Pete realized his mistake and said oh not this one. They then launched into a very impressive rendition of the old classic.
Acid Queen was much better tonight and seemed to flow better than in Vancouver. Relay was again rehearsed in sound check and also sounded better. Pete told us not to get excited as it wasn't ready yet. Maybe in CA.
We heard Roger's extended van story before Kids are Alright, with special emphasis on the arrow on the van pointing to Freedom!
Pete was very animated all night, straying towards the center a number of times with Roger turning into his face a couple of times. They both just laughed each time it happened. No near mishaps with the microphone tonight even though Pete was wandering into center stage territory.
Roger sounded wonderful all night. The slightly slower pace appeared to greatly benefit him. He was again sprinting back and forth on stage the entire show. He did seem to have some ear piece/hearing issues periodically, most notably in the harmonica bit of Baba when he stopped playing before the end of the song. Pete and the rest of the band carried on regardless and it was still a solid rendition.
Great Roger pictures tonight given my vantage point.
Next stop Portland.
Soundcheck review by Lauren from Boulder
We were brought in "late," midway through Who Are You.
Row 11 again! Such a HUGE improvement over 15-25.
Row 11, for soundcheck, I can live with. Thank you, Pete.
Pete: "Quite an impressive turnout." (Or something to that effect.) Cheers from the crowd.
Pete". "Why do I get applause for my sarcasm?"
(Personally, I don't see why it was sarcastic. Seattle soundcheck was sold out with hundreds of people, whereas the Canadian soundchecks were sparsely populated.)
Miles vocals/harmony checks only
Miles full band
Problems with vocal/monitor levels
Pete shouts "One" into mic. Blows Roger's earpiece out a bit.
Crowd laughing. I don't think it's funny.
Pete off-line talking to sound guys.
Some idiot shouts out "Roger, acapella."
After the third time, Roger throws the guy a bone.
Pete's irritated (as was I).
"Can you recite the entire list of my pseudonyms?" - in that truly sarcastic Pete tone.
(Alan, Susan, and I are giggling under our collective breaths, as we say amongst ourselves, Bijou Drains, Towser...)
Pete: "Try Relay?"
Pete: "It's not going to be ready."
We know, but this way WE get to hear it.
IMO, maybe Portland. Probably Oakland. Just guessing, but that's my guess.
Pete wants to hear Zak's click track in his monitor. Not during the show. Just now.
Takes a while to figure out how to make that happen.
Pete noodling on electric, while waiting.
Relay - whole song
Then AGAIN (~2/3)
Acid Queen (most).
Pete wkg w/ Si on chords
G over F. F over G
Like Vancouver, another excellent soundcheck. Not that they're ever bad, but some are a pedestrian, obligatory run through, and some are really cool. Both of these last two are in the really cool category.
P.S. William Snyder here. AND Eddie Vedder was here, up in a Row 4 wallbanger w/ daughter, Olivia. (Hence, Pete's tame language.)
P.P.S. My Acid Queen note: It should be BEFORE Amazing Journey/Sparks, not after. Last night was better, but it still disrupts the flow of the best part of the show, IMO.