October 22, 2020

2007-03-26 – Tampa Bay Times

2007 03 26 Tampa_Bay_Times_Mon__Mar_26__2007_

Review | The. Who

These guys, old? Please '

Roger I )altre‘,’ and Pete 'l‘ownshend more
than make up for canceling a Mareh 13 show.

8V SEAN DALY
'I'inn's Pop Music (‘rilir

TAMPA — Behold the rock gods at
twilight Pete Townshend and Roger
Daltiey, fighting off tired bones and
talk of retirement, not to mention the
last vestiges of bronchitis, with one
more Jurassic riff, one more anthemic
ehonls.

'iveive days after canceling a 'Ihmpa
show due to lead singer Daltrers bron-
chial malaise. the Who returned to the
Ford Amphitheatre on Sunday to settle
a score, to show God and everyone that
it takes more than a virus to knock out
these still-swaggeiing, still-bloody—
LOUD Brits.

“i might hit some bum notes tonight,
but what I have is yours," Daltrey told
the crowd of 9.500 (which was a bit
more than the original date’s atten-
dance). “And if everyone. sings along,
no one “11] give a (bleep) anyway.”

Co-authoring the British invasion

. with the Rolling Stones and the Bea-
tles, the Who started as a quartet,
four blokes who blended surly rebel-
lion with pure pop hooks. Over the
span of the band’s 42~year career,
drummer Keith Moon and bassist
John Entwistle were lost to their fatal
vices, leaving the 63-year-old Daltrey
and the 61-year-old Townshend to
carry on as a duo.

They know they’re fighting Father
Time — and they know they’re win—
ning, too. For opening song I Can’t
wplain, the band was backed by a
video screen flashing black-and-white
footage of the group circa ’65. But Dal-
trey today sounded downright magnif-
icent, howling the old refrain with new
verve (the crowd went nuts as soon as
he started singing), and whipping that
mike around. And Townshend shred-
ded his guitar with windmill verve,
the arrogant axman stubborn on his
throne.

How can you not root for these

KEN HEIVLE I Times guys?

Guitar god Pete Townshend made sure the 9,500 in attendance got their money's worth Just look at Roger: still a hunk, his

by busting out all his moves, including the windmill. The Who played an almost two—hour blonde locks shom close, his build still
set at the Ford Amphitheatre in Tampa on Sunday night. that of a prize fighter. He searched high

KEN HELLE | Times
Daltrey apologized for any illness—affected singing -— he didn't have to.

and low on ’17w Seeker and faimd every
last note. He gave WhoAre You a new-
found punch. He smiled and pointed
skyward during Behind Blue Eyes.

And check out Pete: There aren’t
many guitarists. alive or dead, who
look as cool cradling a Fender. And he
showed off every one of his guitar-icon
poses: the hop, the slap, the crouching
reload. the double windmill, the triple
windmill. You couldn’t take your eyes
ofi him, especially during the classics:
7726 Kids Are Aln'ght, Substitide, Baba
O’Rz’ley.

The sound was so clean, so loud. so
in-your-faoe, even the new tunes from
the 2006 album, Endless Wire — the
throwback sound of E'ag'ments, the
acoustic thoughtfulness of A Man in
(1 P1417110 Mass — were received as old
faves by the cheering throngs.

Of course nothing could top the hits.
With Daitrey and 'Ibwnshend backed
by a youthful four—piece, the band
unloaded Who Are You, Eminence
From. ibu Better )bu Bet, an extended
My (k'nm‘utinn.

The Who rocked away for almost
two hours, tacking on encores that
honored their rock opera days, includ-
ing Pinball Wizard from Tommy. But
the night’s most gooseflesh-inducing
moment came at the end of the first
set. Wm’l Get Fooled Again, aiguably
one. of the top five rock songs of all
time, was ajaw-dropping marvel, espe-
cially the epic finale, in which Daltrey
is required to howl into the mike, an
iconic snubbing of authority

As the big moment came, the crowd
started chanting: “Roger! Roger!" Dal-
trey took a long sip of water and then,
the spotlight finding him, unleashed
the roar. And he held it, too -— for at
least as long as it took Townshend to
windmill once, twice, five times, 10
times.

Take that, Father Time.

Sean Duly run. he reached at
sduly@sptinws.com or ( 72 7)
893-846 7. H is Pop Life blog is at
blogs. tam 1m!)uy.com/popm zwic.