Review by Tina Freeman
Years ago at a Who concert in Birmingham Pete requested that no one should "watch the show" through a mobile phone lense. He said it got him really mad, when you might as well be at home watching it on a little screen. I totally agreed and it stuck with me. So last night I took a couple of dodgy shots from a far distance as soon as we got there, then turned my phone off, and left it in my pocket. Also, I was with friends who wanted to stay at the back where there was plenty of space.
Space was an issue actually, in that there were so many empty seats it was shocking. Pete remarked on it, how sad it was to see. I think a few things caused this.... The fact that the concert was 'up North' and folks are still really reeling from Covid and austerity. The second being we've had nothing but rain for weeks, and it was an open air concert in a sports stadium. I actually loved it for that reason, I have seen The Who perform many times, but never like that. We did say the event had a strange War of The Worlds feel, with the moody sky and surreal atmosphere.
My friends photos showed the empty seats, and made it look as if the concert was half empty. I felt really bad for the band. Pete asked where all the teenagers were, and said we should all start bringing our kids. It did make me think, at least if my Quadwoof and Stinger books get successful then eventually there may be the new much 'younger generation' audience to enjoy them, ha ha.
The concert was still fantastic, with a huge orchestra. We were treated to (I think) the version of Quadrophenia Pete wrote to accompany the film, which Franc Roddam turned down. And the usual film of the photographic imagery that appears as their backdrop was so shocking when towards the end it added scenes during Covid, then The Queen dying, followed by The New King. That hit us hard.
All in all we had a tremendous night, a bally good dance on our ice rink sized dance floor, and it was emotional. I actually loved having so much space and dancing like dervishes, as usually we are squashed to death nearer the front, so it was a rare and special occasion.
Love Reign O'er Me in the pouring rain was indeed an almost heavenly experience, one that will live with me forever.
Keep doing what you are doing, reaching out to all those teenagers who don't know what they are missing!
Review by Melissa and Gary Hurley
The Rugby ground holds 18,000approximately for match. The Who had about 9,000. The venue was totally seated except for the very back which was standing. The side seating had been covered with tarpaulins.
The Who with orchestra
The sound was stunning. Every single instrument was heard. Just amazing! The strings gave depth to the Tommy excerpts. It’s the same set list at every show so far. The inclusive part was when Pete introduced three women who signed to the left of the stage for WRU. Is it because The WHO have gotten us deaf throughout the years? Pete once again bent some heavy chords & notes during Eminence Front. Unfortunately, the audience was lame and sat down throughout the set.
The heavens had opened up as the orchestra exited the stage. Pete said that Roger is a Shaman and Roger looked perplexed! Pete said it again and Roger with his hands to the sky made a gesture to banish the rain. Oh well he said. Then the hits from the sixties went down well. Pete said ‘we have old age pensioners who are all seated and then he told them to get off their fat arses and stand up.
The show concluded with Quadrophenia and band intro. Zak put a load of drum sticks between Billy’s legs and making believe that he was tossing him off! It all concluded with Baba O’Riley.