Review by Tim Ballou
Mike Campbell and his Dirty Knobs band were a decent opener though I expected more from a former Heartbreaker. It was a short set and he got the job done. The Who and band came on stage at 8:37pm. Pete entered whimsically wearing a red sheet draped over him like a cape and when the show ended he put it back on and pranced away. Not sure if there was any meaning to this other than a potential Halloween/vampire theme.
This was my 5th Moving On! tour show following the three 2019 Hollywood Bowl shows and Cincinnati 2022. It was essentially the same setlist which was no surprise. Like many others I would love to see a more varied offering including some of the great new songs from the 2019 WHO CD but we’re all wasting our time whining about that. These shows are for the general mass population, not the die-hard base. Most people come for WGFA, BOR, and YBYB. And they got them – with an orchestra.
I personally have no gripes about the stage full of musicians. Especially for the Tommy and Quadrophenia segments the instrumentation is outstanding in my opinion. And five minutes into this indoor show at the Honda Center I discovered a superior acoustic experience as compared with the four outdoor shows I’ve already attended. This was my opinion despite Pete mentioning more than once that there was an echo in the building that was giving them some grief.
I came in with low expectations and was very surprised at how great the show was. Roger’s voice was above and beyond what I expected. Pete still leaves a lot of guitar work to brother Simon but his voice was fine and his energy even better. He actually seemed to be present the entire show. Maybe not as chatty as usual, but still connected with the audience and his bandmates. I did not need to spend the money or the hours in traffic to see this show but I have no regrets. At this point these shows are not groundbreaking, awe-inspiring or life-changing. They are more like comfort food. And what’s wrong with that? As William Hurt says in THE BIG CHILL – “I’m not cynical about dessert.”
Review by Bob Lee
Friday in Anaheim was the kickoff to a much anticipated rock and roll mini-vacation for me. I picked up Nacho and his sister at their hostel in Hollywood and began the 2 1/2 hour journey to the Honda Center, a trip that should take 45 minutes but, Friday LA rush hour plus concert traffic. But we listened to music and talked, what we would have done had we got there early, and soon enough we were there. We had terrific seats in sec 220, and saw most of Mike Campbell's set from there.
Hockey arenas are never great for sound, but certain ones seem slightly better and worse acoustically and this is not one of the better ones. My enjoyment of the Dirty Knobs definitely increased as the soundman dialed it in, and it went from sounding "pretty bad" to "pretty decent" by mid set. It sounds a lot like Tom petty music, big surprise right? The final three were Petty songs and got the biggest response, he had the audience in his pocket by the time they hit Running Down a Dream. Worthwhile opening set, I'd say. Mike played with Jakob Dylan at In The Attic when it was at the Troubadour in LA and now I'm trying to remember what song they did with Pete.
The Who set began with Pete's memorable run around the stage in bat wings, which considering I'd spent the day decorating our house for Halloween, felt like a personal greeting. The sound was much better for the Who, pretty well balanced and clear. Roger is singing very well, sounds even better than at the Bowl in 2019. Even was showing off a little at the end of Love Reign, which no longer ends with a possibly pre recorded high note explosion of sound. They may not be what they once were but they have definitely found a way to play to the strengths they still have at this age, and I think everyone left that show happy. Incidentally the place appeared packed to the top, after looking like a slow seller they really got butts in seats by show time.
So how was Pete? I was close enough to Pete to see that he was still complaining about the sound in his wedge. He even has a separate mic that he can talk to the monitor guy through, we were close enough to the board to hear it. It seems they are using high tech computerized monitor mix devices that allow the guys to control their own mixes on stage, and something seems to go wrong with the timing once in a while. I encounter these things in recording studios, so players can set their own headphone mixes, and even in very pro situations, you get weird issues with latency where you're hearing one instrument a half second later than the others. In the studio, you can stop and fix it but during a show it must be nightmarish. Pete even screamed "there's a fucking ECHO in this room!" at one point during a solo. As a result I felt he didn't cut loose with the leads as much as I like him to. He didn't seem secure enough in his place where he could let go and play a ripping solo.
On Eminence Front he started singing the first verse too early, just quit doing his solo, but they're in sync with a tape so the band plowed on and the chorus had to be twice as long as usual. But they got it together, I don't know if anyone else even noticed. And I don't want to make a big deal of it, he was, you know, fine. His rhythm playing was good and he didn't have any really bad moments, just restrained compared to what I know he he can do. Simon handled his leads without missing a note. Pete did really sing well. That was one thing I was impressed with, everyone sang real well. We're the electric drums a problem? At times yes, at other times you couldn't really tell the difference.
As for the set list, to be honest "let's do three Kenney Jones era tracks and absolutely no pre Tommy songs " would not be my choice. Ball and Chain should have been replaced by a different song from the new album by now. But the Seeker and Naked Eye were both quite welcome. The latter has a nice slow burn groove, kind of a glow like Neil Young at his laid back best, that was nice to hear in this set. When I dropped off Nacho and his sister with their Tommy Burgers (how appropriate) it was 4:30am Chile time but a trip worth staying up for.
Review by Debbie Gosse
I was afraid the Philly and Boston 2019 shows would be my last shows to see The Who play. The shows were great but my seats weren’t and I heard more about the people around me then I wanted too. I’ve never sat front row for The Who but somewhere out there for over 25 + shows. Can’t remember the number. I had seats a little up on the side but great viewing.
The Dirty knobs were great rock n roll with the Tom Petty touch. Then came The Who on stage. What an amazing journey of about 2 hours. A bit of a sound echo issue early but corrected. Pete apologized for it but no problem the show rolled on. The big screens added a great touch to the concert. Not only cameras in front but camera shots from the back and close ups. Also a historical segment with scenes of John and Keith.
Roger’s voice was excellent and he hit the highs and yells when needed. Loren Gold’s keyboarding as perfect as always. In fact everyone was excellent including the orchestra. The dancing, windmill swings, and the moving flowed well. Pete seems to enjoy being on stage.
I have no complaints just love for the band I’ve had for years. A couple more concerts to see and hope for seeing again after this tour. Watch and enjoy the videos of the show. You probably know what they sang. Join together with the band.