The concert at Sunrise was very entertaining and energetic. Roger was extremely chatty, playful with the audience and vocally strong all night, much more animated than usual. He seemed inspired by the audience and was the last to leave the stage, still waving to the fans as everyone else departed.
Pete was droll all night, but in good humor and voice, playing his numerous guitars with lots of gusto. When introducing Miles, he said that he wrote it four years after he wrote Magic Bus (pause) "when I was 11 and a half". His machine gunning at the end of Eminence Front was especially enthusiastic.
Many from this orchestra had rehearsed with the band for a week last spring in West Palm Beach before the tour initially started. Some will be travelling to Tampa for the Sunday show. Which makes it even more curious that they overpowered the band on several songs. Perhaps it is the mixing but whatever is the issue, it detracted from the show. Don't get me wrong, this was still a fun and entertaining concert but it could have been better.
The first orchestra set list was consistent with past shows.
Pete chatted a bit about Eminence Front as an introduction, relating how he wrote it while in Florida and that many don't realize that it is about cocaine use/abuse. He said that he was critical about people who used, of course until he started using. Roger had a good laugh, with some side comments at that statement. Pete also reminded us that it was used in Miami Vice shortly after the release on It's Hard, plus other commercial uses, even recently by GMC in car commercials. It was the beginning of the commercialization outside of the music industry of the Who. He attributed this as being responsible for expanding the popularity of the band to a bigger television audience.
The band set started again with Substitute. Roger frequently mentions during his solo shows that one of his favorite lines of lyrics is "I was born with a plastic spoon in my mouth". He told that to this audience and each time it came to that line, he would point to the audience and smile, leading us in singing it.
The WGFA Acoustic was especially brilliant tonight. Pete seemed very inspired with his part, with Roger often just watching Pete perform, smiling. I know that some fans resist this version and pine for the traditional WGFA with all the bells and whistles but this version showcases their partnership, mutual respect and love of each other.
Before launching into BBE, Roger came to the front of the stage and asked us to sing it with him, saying "this is hard work sing it with me", smiling broadly. He got some back from the front but of course we sang with him.
The Seeker was back. YBYB was out.
Roger got twisted up with his microphone in the second half, eventually dropping the microphone on the middle of the stage. He mockingly circled the microphone, wagging his finger at the bad microphone. He eventually tamed it and picked it back up, laughing the entire time.
Band intros are always interesting. Pete glowingly introduces Simon, then moves on to Billy Nicholls, relating how he was their music director in the past for him and Roger solo and band and now is a valued vocalist. Frank Simes seems like ancient history. Pete barely acknowledges Jon Button - why I don't understand - but it is the same every show. Loren always gets high praise in general and especially for his Love Reign intro.
Zak often gets a Keith reception, last night had Pete bemusing that unfortunately a band needs a drummer. Zak always takes whatever Pete dishes out, bowing to the audience with grace.
Keith Levenson and David Campbell always complete the intros. At Sunrise, Pete mentioned that David Campbell has a very talented son, Ben, adding that he looks like the walking dead he is so thin.
After The Rock, Roger came back on stage with a towel around his neck for the rest of the show. He had complained about an air conditioning vent directly over his head during sound check so it was probably hot on stage as it was adjusted for him so his voice didn't dry out.
Good show and especially enjoyable for the band to seem to enjoy it as much as we did.
Review by Mike Starcke
Fantastic show, great to see wonderful ole friends after almost 5 years since the 2015 show in Miami. Only beef: The sound system was way too low. Either that or I'm just plain DEAF! LOL! PS....Favorite song of the night; A hold back tears version of 'Imagine a Man' from The Who By Numbers LP 1975. Roger can still sing with that unrecognizable "boyish' voice.
I digress, the show started off with the Orchestra part with 'Overture' getting it off the ground and ending with a new song from the coming album 'Hero, Ground Zero', which really did nothing for me at this point, but maybe that'll change.
As I said at the top, 'Imagine a Man' was my favorite song of the night, but as far as the overall Orchestra part I still maintain that Amazing Journey/Sparks are the heroes of the lot at every show since they've been in the set going back to 1989 when they reinstated them.
Part Two of the show 'The band' started off with a energetic ' Substitute' followed by 'I Can See For Miles' a song I never felt from day one worked out on stage live. It's heavy, rockin' studio song that translate like in turtle pace compared. My favorite song of the band set was 'The Real Me'. A song they always seem to nail live all the time even with out The Ox there oddly enough.
Over all I guess I'd have to say that it was a strange concert as orchestra's and tons of acoustic guitar's don't tickle my toes as much as a stripped down band LOUD IN THE MIX would do for me. After seeing my 85th WHO concert I must say that it's only worth the strip down for me. And turn up the house sound system and every other sound system that not on "11"! I still enjoyed the show because as far as I'm concerned no one beats Pete and Roger in any format. Never did, never will.
Review by Kirk Englehardt
Forgetting my phone was a blessing in disguise. I went old school at tonight’s show. No pictures or video. Just lived the experience - and it was one hell of an experience. Roger’s voice was stronger than when I first saw them 30 years ago. Pete’s guitar playing was loud, raw and windmill-laden. The full orchestra and the arrangements - holy s**t! Amazing doesn’t begin to describe it. It was a spectacle for the ears.
The setlist was diverse and even tossed-in Imagine A Man from Who By Numbers, which I’ve never heard them do live. They also included two cuts off their forthcoming album - Ball and Chain (I’d heard and love), Hero Ground Zero was a new one for me and it was pretty damn good.
I thought this tour would be their last, but by the look and sound of things I think I may have the chance to see them again in a couple of years... before the guys turn 80.