Amazing Journey / Sparks
See Me Feel Me
Who Are You
You Better You Bet
Won't Get Fooled Again
Behind Blue Eyes
Behind Blue Eyes
Review by Debbie Bruns
(the professor with the tattoos)
Oh, what a night!
I grew up in NYC and saw some shows, in nosebleed seats for the most part, at MSG as a teenager (Rod Stewart, Pat Benatar and Neil Geraldo). Wish younger me knew I would be in the second row to see The Who in 2022. What an experience!
The venue was sold out and the sing alongs were amazing. The energy was 12 on a 1-10 scale, more for songs, which brought eruptions from the crowd as the first bars played. There was some New York specific banter such as for Eminence Front and the orchestra was first rate. Pete was clearly happy to be back in NYC.
Roger was smiling, twirling his microphone, egging on the audience and had a few quips. Pete didn’t introduce Roger at the sign off though (although he did intro the band earlier before Baba). They were also running late (The Wild Things played for about 40 minutes and then needed to switch out the drum kit and the like) so maybe an oversight in the hurry to finish by 11pm.
The Tommy set began with a glitch for Roger’s vocal on It’s a Boy, not sure what happened but the rest of the set more than made up for it. Listening to You was intense especially with the audience participation. The song is powerful on its own but with 20 thousand voices singing along, it’s an entirely different level.
The Seeker and Relay were exceptional at MSG. Pete had fun with it and Roger was on point (he always is though!). Roger’s voice was strong and emotive, as it was throughout. The range in his voice is a thing of beauty to go as high and low as he does and, of course, the growl and the scream.
The stripped down section including You Better You Bet and Behind Blue Eyes was a crowd pleaser. Then, the orchestra returned and things went up a notch with selections from Quadrophenia. The Rock was brilliant and Roger came back out more than ready for Love Reign O’er Me, and Baba O’Riley. Kudos to Loren Gold for his amazing piano interlude and Katie Jacoby for her rockin’ violin playing in her hometown.
Be happy, be healthy and, of course, be lucky!!
Review by Lauren J. Hammer
MSG, aka, The Garden. The quintessential U.S. Who venue, that holds almost mythical stature.
On the one hand, in my experience, the best shows of the tour, are usually in the “off” markets. On the other hand, I absolutely LOVE NYC, and NY fans sure do love their Who.
The last time they came through, in September of 2019, it was an “extra” show, tacked on at the beginning of the 2nd leg. As such, it was their “dress rehearsal” show. Great to be there, but a bit of a sluggish show.
But this time, it’s late in the leg, and they are a lean, mean playing machine.
While I’m profoundly disappointed by how the set list has been cut down, and most importantly, the absence of the sublime, Imagine a Man, the show itself was super strong. Not astonishing, but top shelf. As a critic, it was most definitely the strongest of the ones I’ve seen, although not necessarily my “favorite.”
But most important of all, was what happened after the Tommy segment. Once they finished the opening chunk of Tommy, Pete came up to the mic and offered a powerful and heartfelt personal sharing, beyond what I remember ever seeing him do. He talked about the challenges of the tour during Covid, all of the members of the band and crew who have carried on through Covid to make this all possible. He talked about how he’s at the age now, where he’s lost many people - some to Covid and many to Cancer. And he gave a specific and heartfelt shout out, to my/our dear friend, Joel Naftelberg. Joel was one of the hardcore, Who lifers, dating back to the early 70s. Later on, about 20 years ago, he worked with them in a professional capacity. His Who participation, both personally and professionally had dialed back in recent years, but he always remained an active part of this community, as well as many others. For the past seven years, he’d been fighting and living with some pretty heavy duty cancers, and in Baba-speak, he dropped his body, just a few weeks ago.
He is deeply missed, by many of us - particularly the other night. Thank you, to Pete, for giving Joel that public love and acknowledgment. I don’t know if Beth or Chelsea or Harrison were in the room but I know there were many of us in the room, who loved him, and for whom that was deeply meaningful.
Oh, and just FYI, there is a super cool NY specific poster. One of the nicer ones I’ve seen
On to Bethel!
(Heading there in the rain, as I write - poetically en pointe.)
Review by Jack Duffy
Like two old friends, making up for lost time, The Who and the crowd at Madison Square Garden did just that on Thursday night. An eager anticipation of the band’s first post-COVID show in New York City, coupled with numerous “Let’s Go Rangers!” chants prior to the band hitting the stage, made for an electric atmosphere in the World’s Most Famous Arena.
While no new surprises in the setlist, even in the second to last show of the tour, the band was loud, sharp and hitting on a cylinders - a second gear that they always seem to find when playing the Garden. Busted fingernail and all, Pete was in tune with the crowd all evening and seemed genuinely touched to be back in familiar territory, reflecting on how hard the last two years have been on everyone, but with an eye towards a brighter future.
Pete, Roger, Zak and Simon were locked in all night and fed off each other’s energy throughout - especially during the opening Tommy sequence. To hear Won’t Get Fooled Again, and the Garden sing-a-long, is a true Rock & Roll experience.
At the end of the night, Zak had zoned in on me with one his sticks, pointing right at me with it, which later led to a successful toss and catch, as the band waved their goodnights to the MSG crowd. As other recent shows and reviews have reflected, especially in the Northeast, this leg of the tour is finishing on many high notes.