October 21, 2020

1976-03-15 – Star Tribune

1976 03 15 Star_Tribune_Mon__Mar_15__1976_

Staff Photo by Bruoe Bisping '

The stage was black as vocalist Roger Daltrey at The Who gang "See Me. Feel Me" from "Tommy." '

The Who performs in St. Paul

By Michael Anthony
Staff Writer

The Who, the veteran British rock
band, now on the second half of
its winter American tour, played
a volatile, exciting concert at the
St. Paul Civic Center Arena Sun-
day afternoon before a crowd of
18,000 to 19,000 people.

The crowd esnmate is vague be-
cause it is not known yet how
many peOple who could not make
the re-scheduled date (the concert
was originally scheduled for Fri-
day night) will ask for ticket re-
funds, either in person or by mail.
As it was, the hall was jammed.
And at least several dozen young
people managed to slip by the
guards at one of the east doors
just before intermission.

The other unknown, before the
concert, was the condition of the
band's drummer, Keith Moon, who
had collapsed onstage last Tuesday

at the Boston Garden, thus caus-
ing the postponement of the St.
Paul date. Moon's illness was re-
ported as flu, and reports of the
Thursday concert at Madison
Square Garden in New York City
had him looking terrible but play-
ing well.

Moon may or may not have looked
terrible yesterday afternoon—the
size of the civic center preventeda
close-up look. But an initial sign
boded well: Moon, the official zany
of the band. rolled a somersault as
he, lead guitarist Peter Townshend,
bassist John Entwistle and vocalist
Roger Daltrey ran onstage just
after intermission. They followeda
lively opening set by the Steve Gib-
bon Band. Moreover, Moon's play-
ing was superb throughout. Moon
rides the cymbals more than do
most rock drummers, and on this
occasion he played as if he were
trying to make his final statement
as a drummer.

I.
5-35 , _
OuinDon, minneapous Tribune

/

/

"On a cold Sunday in December, which of you gentlemen wants to be
the one to tell the Parkettes that they are going to have to travel all the
way down to Industry Square to cheer on the Vikings?"

One anticipated that there might be
a tone of final statement, even des-
peration, in the Who's current tour.
They are, after all, the oldest (star)
rock band in the world—of those
working with the same personnel
—having first recorded in 1964.
Furthermore, they were always the
foremost spokesmen among musi-
cal entities for youth, initially and
most forcefully for the Mod genera-
tion in England.

Would the line "Hopeldie beforel
get old," from the band's youth an-
them, "My Generation," seem only
ironic when sung by Townshcnd
two months before his 315t birth-
day? Well, not really. The show
proved the Who remains one of the
most viscerally exciting acts in the
business, and for that we can be
thankful. Next year, maybe they
won't be. Also, anybody really lis-
tening to the band's records will
notice there's more talk about a
"waste generation" since the re-
lease of "Who's Next" in 1971.

In terms of technical and lighting
effects the show was superb. (The
set-up began at midnight,15-h‘ours'
before the all .VMostpof.

speakers and lig ts were suspende

from the ceiling, and during the
"See Me, Feel Me" number from
"Tommy,” where Tommy regains
his senses, the stage was black ex-
cept for pinspots on Daltrey and
two lazer beam contraptions shoot-
ing thin green beams of light across
the room: an extraordinary effect.

The lOO-minute set opened with "I
Can't Explain," the band's first
American single (at that time an
admitted Kinks sound-alike) and
continued with what was largelya
G r e a t e s t Hits package, though
there were a couple of tunes, ”Slip
Kid" and "Squeeze Box," from the
band's new album.

The Rolling Stones may have been
bigger with the media and high so-
ciety, but for many rock fans the
Who is the greatest of them all.
Surely the latter is the more inter-
esting, for the Who (and especially
Townshend) embody the most pro-
found tensions of the genre: artistic
intentions in a basically rough,un-
pretentious medium; a belief in
rock as a force for social change
held in balance with the idea of life
as entertainment. Only the Who

can say what Bill Haley hath
wrought.