Who Are You
The Real Me
Love, Reign O'er Me
Behind Blue Eyes
Who Are You
You Better You Bet
Love Reign O'er Me
Won't Get Fooled Again
I Can See For Miles
Review by Tim Ballou
Great show. But what else am I going to say? They’re always great shows to us Who-centric folk, aren’t they? First time in all my scores of Who shows that I’ve taken one of my offspring. Seeing, feeling, and hearing through the senses of a 15 year-old girl was special for me, even though I had to cajole her to stand during the last three or four songs.
And speaking of standing, I’ve warily read about the lackluster Vegas crowds for these residency shows. From my spot in center orchestra, 14th row, I saw no sittees. To my right a bit and to my back, yes, they were there. In one of Pete’s closing banter utterances, he struggled to turn around and introduce Loren Gold, saying “I’m … tired.” And then he thanked the audience who must also be tired, because we were standing for so much of the show. So maybe from stage POV this Monday night show was an aberration?
The venue was outstanding. First couple of songs, seemed like the volume was a little low. Someone turned it up to 11, maybe 10.5, around Who Are You I think. And that’s when I put in my custom ear plugs - gotta save my ears for the 60th anniversary tour.
I don’t have the setlist changes committed to memory but for me personally, was thrilled to experience Relay, Naked Eye, and an awesome acoustic Drowned. The latter included one of the several musical mishaps of the evening. Roger was off key during a transition. Pete stopped a bit, let him know. Some laughs and they moved on. The first mishap happened in the opening of Bargain - 2nd or 3rd song I think. They stopped. Dead silence. Pete asked for a beat he could hear. They carried on. A series of guitar changes in another song. Pete seemed a bit distracted the entire evening, at one point bitching a bit about Roger’s setlist changes. Oh, and as I said above, he did declare that he was “tired.” Roger on the other hand, was in full tilt 73-year old Roger mode. I think he could’ve gone another set.
Other banter included several thanks for us coming out on a Monday night. Nice of them to be thinking of us and our inconveniences, but really, what does “Monday” night mean in Vegas? Absolutely nothing. Every day is a weekend for that geographical demo. Some snarking verbage from Pete about telling Celine, Elton, and Rod that The Who invaded their territory. A comment about tripping on Celine’s gown. An old story about seeing James Brown in Vegas. Pete said he left the stage more times than he entered it. Introducing Eminence Front, Pete explained how it used to be unpopular to license your songs to TV shows (EF to “Miami Vice”) but these days it’s the only way anyone will hear their songs.
They ain’t getting any younger, but from my perspective on 2016 vs 2017, I can declare that the level of band quality decay is still within a highly acceptable range. But maybe my level of decay is tracking with theirs so my “maybe it’s time to retire” meter is a bit off? Who knows. Who cares. Go see a show if you can. If you don’t enjoy it, then it’s YOUR time to retire.