See Me Feel Me
Who Are You
The Kids Are Alright
You Better You Bet
Won’t Get Fooled Again
Behind Blue Eyes
The Real Me
Review by Melissa and Gary Hurley
What can we say. The first show of the U.K. tour. Why did they play at this hell (Hull) hole is the question of the day. The capacity is 14,000 and The WHO brought in just over 7,000. Rod Stewart played there a few days back and he had 8,000 in the house. The drive took forever to get to the venue. It was approximately 44 minutes out of town. The actual pitch didn’t have tarpaulins on it and we had the grass under our feet.
The support was UB40 and the crowd went crazy. People were dancing, singing and over joyous with Ali the singer. Even Bill Curbishley was on side stage smiling away whilst UB40 was performing. The crowd was so noisy throughout the night. People taking selfies, talking etc. Say the least, down right annoying!
They started off with the usual Tommy hits and included the Acid Queen with the orchestra. The orchestra was simply amazing and the sound was perfect. We got to hear individual instruments for the first time. Pete was in a real good mood and was very talkative. He spoke about his middle brother Paul. How Paul’s late wife Sandy came from Hull and was a fisherman’s family. Also, how if the fisherman made loads of dosh they would spend it almost immediately as it was almost a myth that your luck would run out next fishing at sea session.
The orchestra left the stage and it was time for The WHO. Pete spoke about Moonie and about booze. He said he was sober for 30 years and when he drank he was a different person altogether. How true! We have Pete in his different personas throughout the many years. They dropped Tattoo and put in the 2000’s rendition of My Generation. It was nice to hear it again. Pete sang Eminence Front but, he got a frog in his throat. He struggled with his voice. After a tonic that a roadie gave him, he was almost right as rain. He did say the tonic tasted like Jeyes fluid (a cleaning product in the U.K.). Pete all night was playing licks on the guitar that was different from his normal. He did hit a few bum notes! All in the fun of it!
The orchestra returned and the Quad set was as usual. The orchestra was so much in the correct element for the music of Quadrophenia.
Many people complain that The WHO have sold out. Playing without Keith and John, and now playing with an orchestra etc. Thank goodness at 78 years old (PT) and 79 (RD) they still rock! Pete was talking about how he wasn’t a baby boomer as he just missed out the cutting off date. He laughed as he said he loved Gen.Z.
Review by Rob Thompson
It was a gloriously warm day as I made my way to the Craven Park Stadium in Hull to hear, for the first time, The Who playing their set with the orchestra. I had deliberately avoided online videos so I could experience this new presentation of WHO music without any prior knowledge of the orchestrations and I was not disappointed. But more of that later.
UB40 had already started their set as I made my way to my seat 9 rows back from the stage and I'm sure that judging by the warm reception they received there were a good percentage of the audience who had come to see them as well as The Who.
UB40 ran through a set that included all of their major hits and when security tried to intervene and ask people dancing in the aisles to return to their seats they were given short shrift from UB40 member Astro(?), a noble gesture but one which caused problems later.
As UB40 left the stage to thunderous applause Astro reinforced his message to security to let people dance. This resulted in few, if any, people returning to their seats and more people coming down to the front area. The couple who were sat to my left had the first 2 aisle seats and both needed walking sticks so were not able to stand to watch the show. The man asked a passing steward if he could do something about all the people blocking his view but was told that despite his earlier attempts to clear the area he had been told to 'stand down', due to the response of the UB40 member. When The Who came on stage the couple left after 2 songs as they were unable to see anything. I saw the lady scrolling through the refund procedure on her phone on Ticketmaster, but I wish them luck with that!
The show opened with the 'TOMMY' section, augmented by the orchestra and the 'Overture' sounded great ringing out on a summer evening. I haven't attended many open air shows before so it seemed strange at first to be watching The Who without the usual light show and back projection videos, but free from all the visual trimmings the band commanded the stage and focused attention on them as the true musicians they are. As expected the crowd went wild for 'Pinball Wizard', singing along to every word and the 'TOMMY' section ended with a moving version of 'See Me Feel Me' with a heartfelt vocal from Roger, and the crowd joining in with the 'Listening To You' refrain.
The orchestra left the stage for the 'band section' which included a sing along version of 'The Kids Are Alright' and a great version of 'You Better, You Bet', but highlights for me were 'Substitute' and 'My Generation' which segued seamlessly into 'Cry If You Want'. 'My Generation' clearly met with the approval of the crowd who sang along with every word and was a good move by the band to play it at this venue, but it was merely an appetiser for some who were waiting for the inevitable 'Won't Get Fooled Again' which never fails to hit the spot with the crowd anticipating Roger's scream at the end, a vocal feat which is amazing for a man now into his 80th year. The band section finished with a new (to me) version of 'Behind Blue Eyes' featuring Katie Jacoby on violin, Pete on acoustic guitar and Audrey Snyder on cello. It put me in mind of a version Roger and John Entwistle did with The Chieftians in the mid 90's.
During the show Pete mentioned his and Simon's middle brother Paul who had married a girl called Sandy who came from a fishing family from Hull and they had owned a successful fishing business until the industry had collapsed during the recession and has never really recovered.
The orchestra were back for the final part of the show, a selection of songs from 'Quadrophenia' - 'The Real Me' ‘I'm One' '5.15' 'The Rock' and 'Love Reign O'er Me'. 'The Rock' was the only musical piece that had any accompanying video and it has been updated to include visuals of the war in the Ukraine and the death of the Queen. I always find this a very moving piece whenever I see this live. It is the mixture of a powerful piece of live music matched to political and social landmarks and it never fails to bring a lump to my throat and send a shiver down my spine. I think it is a truly essential part of the show and it never fails to draw a response from the audience.
The show finished with the now established finale of 'Baba O'Riley' featuring the amazing talent of Katie Jacoby on violin, but just when we thought it was all over Pete and Roger remained on stage for 'Tea and Theatre', a song laden with all the poignancy of two men who have shared a lifetime of experience together and come through it battle worn but triumphant.
The show finished around 10.30pm and the set lasted around two and a quarter hours. These guys really have some stamina and can put a lot of younger bands to shame. Attending a WHO concert is not just going to a gig. It is an event and it is no wonder that they attract people of all ages who know that this is an important band; one that is still developing new ways of presenting their music and above all STILL BEING RELEVANT!!!
Review by Andy Jackson
Sam & i travelled all the way from Bradford, got parked up near the venue fairly quickly & made our way on foot to Sewell Group Craven Park. As we started queuing up before the gates opened, we could hear the The Who & Orchestra sound checking to a snippet of Who Are You, Overture & The Rock. Once gates were opened, we finally headed inside, bought merch & settled in our seats. The venue seemed to have a very relaxed atmosphere but kinda odd to see The Who in a place like this but this paid off later. Support act Ali Campbell of UB40 got the crowd warmed then finally it was time for The Who.
The Tommy section was a powerful start to the set. Amazing Journey/Sparks sounded immense with the orchestra, the crowd went mental to Pinball Wizard. Pete & Roger were in good spirits, chatting to the audience or joking with each other. The 45 minute section with The Who only without the orchestra was a treat to watch, mainly playing the hits to keep the crowd happy. It was good to see My Generation back in the set even if it did seem a little under rehearsed! Quad section sounded fantastic. The Rock has taken a life of its own on stage now, with the cultural news reels of 60 years past to the present day displays on the video screens, very touching & dramatic at the same time. Baba 'O Riley really is a great show stopper now, with Katie Jacoby on violin, the song just sounds magical! The orchestra & The Who band leave the stage with Pete & Roger left to play Tea & Theatre, an amazing end to a wonderful show!