The Who in Edinburgh, 09 July 2023


The Who Setlist Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland 2023, The Who Hits Back!




Simon Townshend

Pinball Wizard
See Me Feel Me
You Better You Bet
Baba O’Riley


Review by Lauren J. Hammer

After such a great night last night (other than the rain and the shitty high stage = inability to see 1/2 the band and almost all of the orchestra), we went into Night 2 with great enthusiasm and high hopes.

Simon started things off right with another enjoyable set. He had some tech problems, as he’s out of practice doing his own thing, but still, I really enjoyed it, as I always do.

Setlist was:
Love Wasn’t Enough
The Way It Is
She Asked Me
Break the News
I’m the Answer
Forever and a Day - 12 string

If I’m not mistaken, he replaced Waste of Me (which I believe is a new song) with Forever and a Day (the song that didn’t get played with the Thunderbird, the night before). And I think moving Low into the middle of the set is a much better place for it.

Also on the tech topic, a terrible buzz in the center front of stage speaker stack, and it kept up throughout the show. It was really awful. I’m surprised nobody even attempted to attend to it. It was drowned out when there was music, but between songs and when they were talking, it was really awful.

As for The Who show, it was not a great night. The crowd was an absolute dud. There was major conflict between standers and sitters. (You want to sit AND be able to see? Don’t buy a floor ticket unless it’s in the front row, or buy a ticket in the back of the house, off the floor.) There are plenty of shows that I don’t really care about, where I feel like sitting. And while I might silently WISH that someone in front of me was sitting down, I would NEVER expect that they should, nor would I ever presume to tell them to do so!

And even standing, it was difficult to see much with the shitty high stage, which was again, super frustrating. The IDEA of the castle was great. And it COULD HAVE BEEN if they hadn’t built this unnecessily high stage. Some locals a few days earlier at Rod Stewart told me they’d never seen the stage here so high. Same with security. Super frustrating.

And speaking of security…

As with the Rod Stewart show, both nights security was on OUR SIDE of the barricade. And they wouldn’t let us on the rail. They wouldn’t even let us on the platform. (This was kind of a mixed blessing/curse, as I really, really like having the rail to hold onto/lean against, but further back was a better angle.)

Unlike Barcelona, where security were really assholes, in this case, the security setup and policies were, well, shitty, but the actual people were mostly good folks. It was just that their policies and our enjoyment were at odds.

As for the show itself, it just wasn’t nearly as strong. Almost down the line, just not as good as the night before.

That said, even a weak Who night is still better than, well, anything else. But after Night One being so excellent, it was a disappointment.

Band set was the same songs as Night One, except they dropped Tattoo. (Bummer for me, as I’ve always been partial to it.)

On the plus side, it was really great to be able to share #100 with our friend Ian (from Glasgow), who was celebrated with an acknowledgment slide on the big screen before the show.

And I was so happy that our friend Simon from Liverpool made his way northward to share the night.

Hopefully, two off days in a row will lead to a recharged band on Wednesday.

Next stop: London!


Review by Pat Stanton

The Sunday July 9th Edinburgh show was dry with no rain so the fans and performers were all in a better mood. The set list was virtually the same with the exception of Tattoo being eliminated from the band only set.

Simon Townshend opened again and was much more polished than the Saturday show. He sang more of his favorites and as always sounded very strong and clear.

After the Tommy set, Roger came to the front of the stage and very politely asked the audience to stop smoking as it was blowing up to the stage. It was much nicer than he usually asks the audience to refrain as I have seen him threaten to stop the show previously. It worked as I didn't smell cigarettes or weed for the rest of the show.

Pete mentioned that Tommy is actually the story of a disabled boy and that Listening To You is really a form of a prayer. He indicated how happy he is when everyone joins in on it at the end of the rock opera and the Tommy set for the current show. He also talked about how much he enjoyed the Saturday show and the Sunday show so far, indicating again that he thinks they are 2 of the best shows in years. Roger looked at him like he was a bit crazy and just shrugged his shoulders as if to say the shows were no big deal. I tend to agree with Roger.

At the end Roger mentioned that they were sorry that they hadn't played Edinburgh in many years because the city didn't have a venue large enough but now had changed and he thought the venue was a "nifty way to use the space". He joined Pete in a high opinion of the facility but that is clearly from a performers' perspective, not the fans who must enter and exit through a constrained slippery cobblestone walkway on a significant slope or use the temporary toilets or stand in very long queues to buy anything.

Chatting was reduced for this show. Roger was clearly struggling as the show progressed as a back to back schedule is difficult for him. He gave his all in Love Reign and did it justice, mouthing "I'm glad that's over" when it was done.

The band only set was rousing as ever. It is so good to hear the harmonies in Kids Are Alright and Substitute, with help from Simon, Loren and Billy Nichols. Tattoo was dropped and My Generation was endlessly long, with Roger doing his weird rap style middle section.

After the orchestra returned following the band only section, Pete commented that they were probably pissed (drunk) as drinking is what most performers do during a break between sets. He apparently learned this from his musician father. And brass musicians are the worst according to him.

The Quad section was flawless, with Roger making all his cues, even in 5:15. He played the harmonica again in support for I'm One but the volume was too low on his microphone so it was barely audible.
After the introductions, Pete mentioned the name of the orchestra again as Heart of England symphony but on Sunday, the audience booed.

The audience was rather subdued, with most people sitting for most of the show, standing for a few songs. The fans were much less animated than for either Rod Stewart show or even the Saturday Who show.

They closed with Tea and Theatre again. Roger related how the audience would not quiet down on Saturday when Pete started to play the introduction to the song, sort of shaming people to be quiet. It was as good as ever.

It was a good, solid show, especially as it was a back to back performances.