Who Are You
You Better You Bet
Won't Get Fooled Again
Behind Blue Eyes
Amazing Journey / Sparks
We're Not Gonna Take It / See Me Feel Me / Listening To You
The Real Me
The Rock / Love Reign O'er Me
Review by Alan McKendree
The Who came onstage at 5:30, to the cheers of an audience who had been baking in the New Orleans sun for 6-8 hours. But soon the atmosphere was cooler as the sun started to set, and the band started off with "Who Are You".
Roger and Pete were both in good spirits, with Pete bantering with the audience ("We feel no pain" "Yeah, we know you fucking don't"). Later, Pete of how he started in a trad jazz band and the connection he felt to New Orleans.
The orchestra stayed on stage for the entire set, which was abbreviated from the usual show setlist to a total of 96 minutes.
Pete's instrumental break for Won't Get Fooled Again was quiet, contemplative; the phrase that came to mind was "almost soothing" -- a big change from how (and when) it's usually presented.
Pete sat down for Behind Blue Eyes.
There were a couple of blips, but nothing like the meltdowns of earlier shows. During Pinball Wizard, Roger crouched but came out of it and started singing early; I could be wrong, but I got the impression it was just because it was uncomfortable for him to hold the pose longer.
There were a couple of blips, bot nothing like the wholesale meltdowns of earlier shows. During Pinball Wizard, Roger crouched but cames out of it and starts singing early; I could be wrong but I got the impression it was just because it was uncomfortable for him to hold the pose longer.
Pete's mic stand slide during Amazing Journey seemed rather perfunctory, but the whole medley was still effective.
The Real Me showed its old power, driven by Jon Button's audible bass.
The band ran over time to end with Baba O'Riley, and Katie Jacoby got a big cheer as she stepped out to do the closing violin solo. The ending wasn't quite crisp, as not everyone got the message when Pete signaled the end, but the rapturous audience either didn't notice or didn't care.
Review by Nannette McCormick
This was a girl's trip to New Orleans. My friend Kim, who I met at a Who show in Canandaigua, NY in 2017, decided to splurge when this was the first show that the Who announced after an absence of 2 years. The last time we had seen a live performance was in March 2020 when Roger Daltrey was on the Rock Legends Cruise. It was certainly an extravagance, but Kim and I got into a Who Huddle and decided to go for it.
Neither of us had been to JazzFest before, had never been to New Orleans before, nor had taken a long distance trip with just the two of us. We decided we would have to take in the sights and sounds of New Orleans, in addition to seeing our favorite band The Who.
We booked the Marriott on Canal Street, as it was only steps from Bourbon Street, and also across the street from the Sheraton where the JazzFest shuttle was running. The price of the shuttle for 3 days was $20 per person, each day, for transportation to and from the festival. Not bad, much better than Uber prices. The ticket to get up close was much pricier. We bought the Grand Marshall ticket, which was $1400 per person for 3 days. It includes entry to a tent with chairs and tables, free drinks and snacks. That might not sound like much, but shade is at a premium at the New Orleans Jazz Fest. Plus, that was the only way to get in the pit in front of the stage. $1400 is an amount we did not take lightly. Kim works two jobs so that she has a bank account for Who adventures, and I am an eBay reseller with a modest income. My husband urged me to go, knowing that a girls trip was something both Kim and I needed badly.
The day we had left New York, there was snow on the ground and 42 degree weather. It was certainly a shock to our systems when were dropped by SouthWest into a sub-tropical climate. The moisture in the air was palpable. Our clothes felt like we had been standing in a sauna for 30 minutes! The temperatures were in the high 80s, with a humidity level that put the feels like temp well over 90 degrees. In a way, we were fortunate, as the festival is held on a horse racing track So if it rains, it's a muddy pit similar to Woodstock, only it's not dirt, it's horse manure one is wading in.
The grounds of the festival immersed us in New Orleans culture. We joined the line and followed a brass band around the grounds. We saw Native Americans in elaborate beaded and feathered costumes dancing and singing. We ate authentic creole food: alligator pie, crawfish bread, Crawfish Monica, fried green tomatoes, beignets, blackberry cobbler, pralines. Crawgator Daquiries. So many daquiries. Most everyone we encountered was eager to talk and share their experiences with us. It was fun to find out how many people had traveled from out of state, many were from upstate NY like us. Many people from around the world. This has been a 30+ year tradition for many attendees, they rarely miss a year. At the Fais Do Do stage we saw "Louisiana Man" Doug Kershaw, who is 86 years old, and still plays a mean fiddle. There was also a cajun band who played "My Generation" on this stage, all the lyrics in French. We saw the High Steppers Brass Band, with an 8 year old on tuba as the youngest member. We also became fans of Big Sam's Funky Nation. Galactic, featuring Anjelika "Jelly" Joseph tore up the main stage before The Who. Anjelika has a powerful voice and is backed by a band that is combination funk and Led Zeppelin. I would not be surpised to see more of Anjelika in the future, she has star power.
When the band entered the stage, the crowd roared. Both Roger and Pete were looking very fit and trim Maybe it was the years of rest the pandemic gave them, but they didn't appear to have aged since we had last seen them. If we were suffering from the heat, surely The Who were suffering onstage, with only electric fans to cool them. I think Roger felt the heat the most. He mouthed "It's fucking hot" and noticed he didn't have a towel on stage to wipe the sweat from his brow. He took a damp tissue from his pocket, which promptly disintegrated into two halves. He made a show of wiping his brow with the pitiful tissue remnants while laughing, then spoke into a microphone located on his drink stand that must have been connected to someone's earpiece backstage. He got a real towel a few minutes later.
Pete Townshend was dressed in a heavy suit coat and trousers, with no shirt underneath the jacket. He wore a gold chain and a jaunty red patterned scarf around his neck. Pete joked about wearing the scarf on such a hot day. He told us that he wore it in simpatico; he knew that all of us were standing in the direct sun with no shade, so he wanted to share the experience to feel "as hot as you must be. It's a nice, cool, breezy, Louisiana summer afternoon, isn't it?." Pete pauses and says, "I feel no pain." Roger responds, and then Pete says "I fucking know YOU do." Roger jokes about canceling it, and Pete says "He'll be OK when he sees how much we're being paid." Pete asked us how we were doing in the audience, and everyone applauded and said great! Pete said we were supposed to respond "fucking awful."
The band opened with "Who Are You". The banter before the song. Pete: "I believe we haven't played this song for a long time. 3 years." Pete turns and looks at Roger. "This should be very interesting. And we haven't rehearsed it either, for 3 years. And the last time we played it, Roger forgot pretty much all the words." Roger shrugs and gives a little laugh. Roger sounds like a scolded scoolboy talking to the headmaster as he says, "I will do better today, I will definitely forget them all." Pete and Roger share a laugh about it and launch into the song.
Pete was ebullient, so happy to be in the home of American jazz. He mentioned his father Cliff, and how his dad played dixieland jazz with the Squadronaires. Pete said if they had time, the Who would play "When the Saints Go Marching In". Little did we know that Pete was making an allusion to a show he would play later that night on Bourbon Street at the Preservation Jazz Hall.
We had explored Bourbon Street the prior night and decided not to go back...we found it exciting but loud and scary at the same time. All our senses were assaulted. Pickpockets abounded and were taking advantage of the inebriated. Scammers trying to force us to take Mardi Gras beads in the hopes of extorting us. Ladies of the evening twerking in alleyways. The street stank of urine and vomit. A person on a segway trying to put a boa contrictor on people's shoulders. A cool drum corps with coordianated movements working for tips. Maurice from American Idol playing guitar and trombone while simultaneously singing a warning for people to watch out for the truck coming down the street. A man laying on the road hanging on to a scared dog with it's tail between his legs. The mounted police next to the man telling a concerned tourist that's his act to get attention. It seems to be true as the man looked perturbed to have his ruse exposed by the officer. So all this, while some of it wonderful, made us say no way are we going back to Bourbon Street. If only we had gone on Saturday night after the show, maybe we could have heard Pete from outside the hall. But if wishes were horses then beggers would ride.
A highlight during Baba O'Riley was the interaction between Katie Jacoby and Roger and Pete while she played her violin. Roger did his jig while Katie alternated between the two of them. Pete and Katie were facing each other, a few times it looked like she was going to hit him with the bow and he took it as a challenge and backed up while strumming even harder and bouncing to the beat. She is a great addition to the orchestra shows and her violin solo really adds to the character of the song. Katie was looking lovely as always in a short black dress paired with Doc Martens.
Roger at the end of the concert is showing a few senior moments, which I will attribute to the extreme heat. I think most of us were punchy at this point, and we hadn't just performed on stage, so I can only imagine his exhaustion. At this point his shirt was open and covered with sweat. He introduces the band: "The orchestra! Loren Gold! Jon Button on bass! Simon Townshend over here! Keith Levenson our conductor. And of course, Zak Starkey on the drums. And two guitarists, two Townshends Simon Townshend and of course the maestro himself, Pete Townshend (Pete puts his hand over his heart). Pete goes to speak but Roger starts talking over him. "And our conductor, who holds things together, well kind of, for which we are very thankful, Keith Levenson!" Pete is bemused, and says, "And we mustn't forget...KEITH LEVENSON!" Pete borrows a Stan Laurel gesture and points his thumb towards Roger in a comical way while rolling his eyes. Pete then announces, with his index finger up in the air, "And we mustn't forget...Zak Starkey!" Zak gives an exaggerated shrug for our entertainment. Pete: "I just thought we might have forgotten someone. Anyway, Roger..." Pete then goes over to Roger and puts his hands on his shoulders and musses his hair in a brotherly gesture. Roger wishes that we "be lucky" and Simon and Jon Button do a little conga line dance together off the stage.
Even though I was desperate for rehydration, Kim said "Let's stay." The crowd filed out and we stood on the rail. My friend is small in stature but loud in voice. She repeatedly called to the stage hand for a set list. She said "pretty please" and they took pity on her because she was nice about it. The few stragglers also asked for guitar picks, and a handful of Pete's picks were thrown our way. I am terrible at sports, but I clapped my hands to catch a pick and because they were so hot and sticky it stuck right to me! We were overjoyed that we both got some souvenirs. The setlist was very damp and soggy by the time we got to the shuttle, the air was so heavy with moisture. Enough that there was a thunderstorm in the early morning hours. The rain we had been wishing to be drenced with while Roger sang LROM.
Seeing the Who at JazzFest was a unique experience I will never forget. The Jazz Festival had so much to offer, and if you have never been, it's an experience to be had. It doesn't have to be as costly as it was for me; there are general admission tickets if you aren't as concerned about getting close to the stage. We splurged because we knew it would be a one time thing for us because of the distance we needed to travel. It's an extremely fun environment and you will be immersed in culture.