Entries tagged with: Pete Townshend
by Andrew Sacher
The Who at Forest Hills Stadium - 5/30/15 (photo via BrooklynVegan Instagram)
The Who wrapped up the current leg of their 50th anniversary tour last night (5/30) in Queens at Forest Hills Stadium, the same place they played in 1971 before the venue stopped hosting concerts for decades (it stopped in the late '80s and began doing so again in 2013). It was their second NYC show on the tour after Barclays Center last Tuesday (5/26) and third in the area after hitting Long Island's Nassau Coliseum the week prior. They played an excellent set, but before that happened was another excellent set from their tourmates Joan Jett & the Blackhearts.
Joan Jett is a pretty great opener for The Who. Like that band, she's important, influential and still sounds relevant today, but her brand of punk/hard rock surely owes a thing or two to early Who. And she had no trouble getting their crowd going. Even if you've never actively sought out her music, just about anyone who's listened to classic rock radio can sing along to "I Hate Myself for Loving You" and her version of "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" (which, in a stadium full of Who fans, is pretty much everyone). At the same time, we got "Cherry Bomb" and "You Drive Me Wild" off The Runaways' 1976 debut album. Maybe those had a little less of the crowd singing, but they're classics of the early punk era and Joan still delivers them with the energy they demand.
After Joan's 11-song set, The Who took things back all the way to 1965, kicking off their set with "I Can't Explain." (It was almost the same setlist as Barclays Center -- we didn't get "A Quick One.") Like Joan, or maybe more accurately like fellow early seventy-something Paul McCartney, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey just show absolutely no sign of slowing down. Roger mentioned on stage that they might not be able to do this for much longer, but it's hard to believe him. I wasn't around to see them in the '60s/'70s, but Roger Daltrey's still prancing around and swinging his mic and Pete Townshend's still windmilling that guitar just like all the old live footage. He tends to end the show with his guitar in one piece these days though. Not every band can successfully rock a stadium, especially one with 50 years behind them and only half of their classic lineup, but The Who can and they do it in a way that's genuinely enjoyable.
The Who in Austin in April (more photos by Tim Griffin)
Like they have been for about 20 years, Daltrey and Townshend are joined by Ringo Starr's son Zak Starkey on drums, and they've also got Pete's younger brother Simon on guitar, Pino Palladino on bass, and three keyboardists. Tributes to Keith Moon and John Entwistle were shown on the stage's screen between sets, and they also had multiple montages with photos of the classic four-piece playing during certain songs. The spotlight was of course always on Pete and Roger, but it's also pretty fun to watch Zak Starkey do his thing. He's no Keith Moon, but some say he's better than Ringo.
The setlist was also almost flawless. It seemed a little unnecessary to include the dated '80s pop of "Eminence Front" with so many classics from the '60s and early '70s that could've been played, but other than that it was hit after hit. "The Kids Are Alright," "I Can See For Miles," "My Generation," "Bargain," "Love, Reign O'er Me," "Pinball Wizard," "See Me, Feel Me," the list goes on. For myself and so many other rock fans, these are foundational songs that are embedded in you for as long as you can remember. But aside from being rock history, they're also just great songs and it's pretty amazing that we still get to see them passionately performed by two of the guys who created them.
The Who and Joan Jett's tour picks back up again in late summer/early fall, and returns to the NYC-area on 10/25 at Prudential Center and 10/27 at MSG (tickets). We didn't get pictures of the Forest Hills show, but you can check out our pictures from the Austin show if you haven't already.
Zak Starkey also plays NYC two more times this week with his band Sshh. They open for reunited shoegazers Ride (whose lineup includes Zak's former Oasis bandmate Andy Bell) when that band's tour hits Music Hall of Williamsburg on Monday (6/1) (sold out), and they headline Santos Party House on Tuesday (6/2) (tickets).
The Who and Joan Jett's setlists and a video from Forest Hills, below...
The Who will celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2015...by going on tour. "The Who Hits 50!" tour will include a few NYC-area shows: May 20 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, May 26 at Barclays Center, May 30 at Forest Hills Stadium, and then on the fall leg of the tour, NJ's Prudential Center on October 25 and Madison Square Garden on October 27. Tickets for the whole tour go on sale October 17, 2014 at 10 AM with a fan club presale starting Saturday (10/11) at 10 AM and a Citi cardmember presale starting Monday (10/13) at 10 AM.
For the Forest Hills show, The Who will return "nearly 44 years after their first performance at the venue - they will open the stadium's 2015 concert season."
All tour dates are listed below...
Pete Townshend at Barnes & Noble Union Square (via @Griffin Lotz/RollingStone.com)
The Who's Pete Townshend came to NYC this week in support of his new memoir, Who I Am, making appearances on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and NYPL on Monday (10/8), at Barnes & Noble in Union Square yesterday (10/9), and then on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon later that night (the same episode that Jens Lekman was the musical guest on). That's a picture of him performing at Barnes & Noble above, where he played "Won't Get Fooled Again" and "Drowned" after a 45-minute interview. He also performed at his NYPL appearance, playing "Drowned" and "I'm One." Rolling Stone attended the B&N show and they report:
Townshend also opened up about the difficulty he's faced continuing the band after John Entwistle's death in 2002. "We feel the ghosts of Keith and John," Townshend said. "The second phase of the Who in a sense was really when we started to tour again around the year 2000, 2001. We were still able to evoke the sound, particularly with Zak Starkey. Now it's much more difficult even though Zak's there. John's sound was very big and rich and organic. When John died, there was a hole in the sound onstage and I was able to grow into that and find space. And I have to say as a guitar player, I prefer working without John. But as a member of the Who creating the incredible, powerful, driving, visceral sound, he's gone. I can't really do that again."You can check out videos from his interviews on The Daily Show and Fallon, and his performance "Drowned" from the NYPL show below. You'll notice in the Daily Show video that when Pete walks out, Jon Stewart's house band plays a clip strikingly similar to the second half of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven." Neither Pete or Jon acknowledge it, but it's a pretty ironic move considering Pete never liked Zeppelin's music (though he does think they're great guys).
At one point, Wenner asked Townshend why he hasn't made a solo album in 20 years. "I write lots of music, I record lots of music. I probably write a song every couple of days," he said. "I have a very big archive of unfinished material."
Currently, Townshend is working on the musical project Floss, which he said he is about two-thirds finished, which he described as "a story with music, characters, a Aristotelian plot line very different from what I've done in the past. . . . The thesis is we're all terrified. We're living in terror, we're living in anxiety, discomfort and the fear that we have is for the future, the fear for our children's future, we're worried about the planet, we're worried about terrorism, being able to sustain life as we love it, we're afraid we can't guarantee peace."
Townshend said he loves Lady Gaga and constantly listens to music. "I just kind of surf Spotify and last.fm and iTunes and stick it on my iPhone. I listen to a lot of new music." He added that he predicted digital downloads "back in 1985 and before that in 1971. I knew there the digital revolution would change the way art happens and is made and is sold and we're not finished yet."
The Who are taking their Quadrophenia tour to the NYC area for four shows in November and December.
Videos are below.
The Who is one of my favorite classic rock bands of all time, so I definitely had some mixed emotions when I saw that Roger Daltrey will hit the road to play The Who classic Tommy in its entirety along with selected "Who classics". Though he has blessed the tour, there will be no Pete Townshend, the brain behind Tommy. Pete has been replaced by Simon Townshend, his brother, who will play guitar alongside Frank Simes (guitar), Scott Deavours (drums), Jon Button (bass), and Loren Gold (keyboards).
Commenting on the tour, Pete Townshend says, "Great to see Roger performing TOMMY with his band in 2011. I will be there in spirit. Roger has my complete and most loving support. Roger is touring his unique concert version of TOMMY using his faithful presentation of the original work as the backbone for a set of wider material. It is wonderful to hear the way Roger and his new band re-interpret the old Who songs."The North American tour, which also promises "striking visuals," will hit two NYC-area arenas of considerable size: Prudential Center on 9/18 and Nassau Coliseum on 9/23. Tickets for Prudential Center go on AmEx presale at 10AM on Monday (5/16), and regular sale on Friday 5/20. Tickets for Nassau go on sale 5/20.
All tour dates and some video of The Who performing Tommy in its entirety with Pete Townsend and John Entwhistle is below.
Betty recently performed a tribute to Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey at the Kennedy Center Honors. Video, and all tour dates, below...
I missed a lot of the regulars the first time around, so here's a few more....
The Hold Steady
I am usually not a fan of compilations or career retrospectives, but the Afghan Whigs': Unbreakable: A Retrospective 1990-2006 is my most anticipated release of the week. Hands down, the Afghan Whigs are the most dynamic live bad I have ever seen, and I am first in line to pick up any Greg Dulli-related release.
Other releases I can strongly recommend this week include Architecture in Helsinki's single Heart It Races (single), Carina Round's Slow Motion Addict, Get Him Eat Him's Arms Down, Hallelujah the Hills' Collective Psychosis Begone, Long Blondes' Someone To Drive You Home, The Ladybug Transistor's Can't Wait Another Day, Moviola's Dead Knowledge, Pelican's City of Echoes, and Pissed Jeans' Hope for the Men.
Plenty of reissues are out this week, including the Pretenders' Get Close and Learning to Crawl (both remastered), David Bowie's The Best Of 1980-1987 and Young Americans (both remastered), and the Beach Boys' Live at Knebworth.
What new releases can you recommend this week?
Possibly due to contract limitations though, the usually rocking trio ended up playing their whole set acoustic - even the drummer sat there with a guitar and sang along. Ends up, it was great.
I saw them again since then though - not-acoustic at Mercury Lounge (pictures later), and I actually had trouble getting into it that time....which still leaves me struggling with an internal love/hate relationship with the iPod commercial band.
Anyway, they're showing all the signs of being the next band out of the UK to blow up. In addition to a Brit Award, two quickly sold out shows in NYC (by the way, the Brooklyn show never happened), and mega-interest at SXSW, they've also got validation by The Who's Pete Townshend, who, in Austin to give the SXSW keynote address, got up and played a song with them at the SPIN day party at Stubb's...
The Fratellis & Pete Townshend @ Stubbs - March 16, 2007 (CRED)
The Fratellis & The Police - Tour Dates
Wed 06/13/07 in Oakland, CA @ McAfee Coliseum
Thu 07/19/07 in Philadelphia, PA @ Citizens Bank Park
Sun 08/05/07 in East Rutherford, NJ @ Giants Stadium
So, expect to keep hearing about the Fratellis, even if they're too lazy to make it happen themselves. More tour dates below the rest of the pictures....
"Sting says contemporary rock music is so stagnant that he prefers to sing 16th century English ballads.
By comparison, Pete Townshend can't stand old rock stars and wouldn't even pay to see his own concert." [smh]
"In an abrupt change of course, the Who will stop Webcasting its live shows once the group's European tour wraps Saturday in Zaragosa, Spain. According to guitarist Pete Townshend, vocalist Roger Daltrey "seems to be unconvinced that the Web has any real contribution to make to our career." [Yahoo News]
"Four years after the death of bassist John Entwistle, the Who are hitting the road again for their first world tour in over 20 years. On Thursday (July 13), singer Roger Daltrey and guitarist Pete Townshend announced that the tour of arenas and amphitheaters will kick off September 12 with a show at Philadelphia's Wachovia Center." [MTV]. Dates below...
"Samsung's Four Seasons of Hope, an innovative national goodwill program, is making June 13th a true Day of Hope in New York City as it holds its fourth annual celebrity gala to benefit children and families."
"The program will also recognize the ongoing charitable efforts of sports legends Magic Johnson, Joe Torre, Boomer Esiason, and Arnold Palmer, and music superstar Jon Bon Jovi. Legendary rock band The Who, featuring Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey, will make their only U.S. appearance for 2005 to raise money for the roster of charities benefited by Samsung's Four Seasons of Hope.
The sold-out event will take place at Gotham Hall in New York City. TV stars Regis and Joy Philbin will once again host the annual gala fundraiser, which will feature a star-studded roster of celebrities from the worlds of sports, entertainment and politics."
Also found this...
"This live concert is limited to 450 guests and will also be web simulcast at www.Samsung.com for fans and friends of Four Seasons Of Hope to enjoy around the globe. To view the video from last years dinner please visit our web site at www.FourSeasonsOfHope.com.