October 25, 2020

1976-03-15 – The Minneapolis Star

1976 03 15 The_Minneapolis_Star_Mon__Mar_15__1976_

The Who belatedly lights fans’ fire

Reviewed by JON DREAM
Minneapolis Star Staff Writer

Sunday afternoon was not made
for rock concerts. Yet The Who.
after a lethargic start, mustered
enough energy yesterday at the St.

Paul Civic Center Arena to offer
glimpses of why it is the maddest,
most enduring and one of the most
explosive bands in rock and roll.

The sold-out concert originally
was set for Friday night but was
rescheduled after one of the musi-
cians came down with the flu.

After a dozen years without a
personnel change. The Who is still
flourishing with its overpowering,
raw, loud rock and roll. The group's
concerts consistently sell out and
its current album. "The Who by
Numbers," is a critical and com-
mercial success.

Guitarist-songwriter Peter Town-
shend and The Who have under-
stood and expressed the alienation
of youth better than probably any
other rock band. The English quar-
tet certainly rivals the Rolling
Stones as rock's best band. The
Who. however, lacks the mystique
of the Stones. nor does it spark
the anticipation, excitement and

4B

the minneapolis star

fanfare that greets 11 Stones concert
or a new Stones album.

CONCERTS by The Who have
traditionally been jubilant celebra-
tions of visceral rock and roll
where energy is exchanged be-
tween the band and the audience.
The first half of yesterday's show.

however, suffered from an unchar—
acteristic energy shortage.

The first eight songs, which
ranged from the group's 1965 hit
"Substitute" to its current winner
“Squeeze Box." were performed
perfunctorily—there was profes-
sionalism but no passion. Singer
Roger Daltrey looked as if he were
working instead of enjoying him-
self. The Who failed to ignite the
audience and the crowd failed to
charge the musicians.

The band finally caught fire at
the end of "Magic Bus.” 45 minutes
into its lOO-minute performance. A
spirited, half—hour medley from the
quartet's classic rock opera, "Tom—
my," followed and the crowd expe-
rienced the kinetic feast it had
been waiting for.

Daltrey cut loose with spontanei-
ty and energy. His singing was of-

“ mon., mar. 15, 1976

Soprano’s voice, insight provide rich blend

Reviewed by ROY M. CLOSE
Minneapolis Star Staff Writer

The combination of a superlative
voice and remarkable interpretive
inSight is rare even amOngsingers
or the first rank. These are quali‘
,ties for which soprano Galina Vish-
ne'rskaya has long been renowned.
however, and her recitalatOrches-
trn Hail yesterday left no doubt
that she possesses them both in the
highest degree.

t'ntii she and her husband. cellist
and conductor Mstislav Rostr0p0v-
ich. left the Soviet Union in 1974,
Mme. Vishnevskaya was the Bol-
shoi Opera‘s reigning prima donna.
Her p e r i. o r m :i n t' e 5 Outside the
t',S.S.R. had been infrequent, al-
though at one time or another she
has sung 111 many of Europe'siead-
mt: (rent houses and during the
1960-61 season she appeared in the
title roles of the Metropolitan‘s Op-
era's productions of "Aida" and
“Madama Butterfly.“

this area. having performed with
the Moscow State Symphony 0r-
ehestra at NorthrOp Auditorium in
1960 11nd in recital at the St. Paul
Civic Center Theatre in 1967.

She is of medium height and
buxom. and has long black hair,
which she wears piled high on her
head in an elaborate arrangement
of dark swirls. When she sings. she
tends to move about very little: her
characteristic pose is stationary,
head slightly bent, arms extended
and hands clasped in front of her.

Y e s t e r d a y program, which
(with the exception ot~ a Puccini on-
core) consisted entirely of songs by
Russian composers, didn't provide
an opportunity for judging how
Mme. Vishnevskaya projects an op-
eratic role. For that experience
we'll have to wait for her next rc-
citai—or with any luck—«some not
too distant Met Spring, season at
Northrop.

But her performance demonstrat-

soprano is an exceptionally intelli-
gent and sensitive interpreter of
songs. She offered more than a
dozen of them, by 'l'chaikovsky and
several other composers, and each
presentation was a model of clari-
ty, assured delivery and expressive
power.

SHE HAS :1 "big" voice. one cap-
able. of filling much larger rooms
than Orchestra Hall. and projects
well even at pianissimo. At the low
end of her range hertone is asiux-
uriously thick as any contralto‘s; at
the high end it remains surprisingly

full, with no break between. If it
isn't an unusually flexible instru-
ment, it's one ideally suited to the
dark emotions of the Tchaikowky
and Rachmaninoff songs she sang
yesterday. Her technique is ex-
tremely polished; one noticed this
especially in her firm, steady cres-
cendos and decrescendos, and in
the seeming effortlessness with
which she crossed intervals of an
octave or more.

Each of her interpretations bore
the imprint of thoughtful planning.
Consistently she gave the impres-

sion of having carefully considered
— and accurately assessed — the
ultimate destination of both text
and musical line. so that subtle
s h a d i n g 5, rather than abrupt
changes, were invariably sufficient
to charge the songs with drama and
poignant meaning.

Mme. Vishnevskaya's accompa-
nist, Nina Svetlanova. provided
steady support. The recital drew
far less than a full house—about
1,000 people —— but the audience
was enthusiastic, and had every
reason to be.

‘Lies’ touches, holds emotions

with soft sadness, quiet humor

Usual jubilance missing

ten flat but consistently inspired
and he bashed tambourines with
the madcap violence long as-
sociated with The Who. Between
leaps. splits and kicks, the uninhi-
bited Townshend, renowned for the
ritualistic smashing of his guitar at
concert's end. played with his pat-
ented windmill motion. His solo on
the "Overture" in "Tommy" was
especially praiseworthy.

THE ANIMATED Keith Moon
again demonstrated that he is one
of the best powerhouse drummers
in rock. By contrast, bassist John
Entwistle was his usual staid self.

After ”Tommy." the group
closed with a moving rendition of

Eddie Cochran‘s "S u m m e r t i m e
Blues" and a call to revolution —
the inspiring medley of "My
Generation," The Who's 1965 an-
them, and its 1971 hit "You Won’t
Get Fooled Again," which brought
the crowd to its feet.

it was the second standing ova-
tion (the other coming at the close
of the "Tommy" medley). Most of
the 18,000 fans clapped for nearly
15 minutes for an encore that never
came.

Despite the bright ending. The
Who did not create the overpower-
ing frenzy the band is known for.
Townshend didn't demolish his gui-
tar. In fact, he didn't even breaka
string.

The absence of energy and fer-
vor made apparent the band's con-
fusing stage presence. Usually the
lead singer is the centerpiece of a
rock band yet Townshend, the con-
summate guitar showman. is clear-
ly in the spotlight for The Who.

DALTREY is a fine rock singer.
but he lacks stage presence. He
doesn‘t dance around and his
moves seem limited to swinging his
microphone like a lariat and clum-
sily trying to catch it, and dizziiy
running around in circles. More sig-
nificantly, he has poor audience
contact.

The muscular-budding movie star
may be a hero as the protagonist in
"Tommy," but rock fans don't idol-
ize him as they do the Stones' sing-
er-iyricist Mick Jagger.

The Steve Gibbons Band, a tough
English quintet, opened the concert
with a diverse set that included
Bob Dylan's "Watching the River
Flow," Chuck Berry '5 "Little
Queenie," and original Southern-
styled rock, boogie and blues. The
musicians are top-quality and ver-
satile. but the band clearly lacksa
style of its own.