October 26th, 2011
Roger Daltrey performs The Who’s Tommy was a 2.5 hour concert held at the Key Arena here in Seattle. I was very happy with my seat, right in front of the stage, just behind the floor seats. The first half being the complete Tommy rock opera and the second half various The Who songs, plus a surprising medley of Johnny Cash songs!). Simon Townshend rather than Pete Townshend played guitar (he is Pete’s younger brother and has performed regularly with The Who in recent years). It was a fantastic show with great songs, lots of interaction from Roger Daltrey and plenty of crowd support (it is hard to believe that he is 67)!
Tommy (1969) was the fourth album released by The Who. A rock opera about a “deaf, dumb and blind kid” who’s life spirals through the loss of his father, abuse, becoming a pinball wizard, his recovery from his disability and his eventual guru like status and his attempts to enlighten his new followers by advising them to become blind, deaf and mute (didn’t go down too well)!
There was also a movie of Tommy made in 1975 that bought the album to life and starred Roger Daltrey as Tommy. Other members of The Who and numerous famous actors/singers appeared including Elton John, Tina Turner, Eric Clapton, Oliver Reed, Ann-Margret and Jack Nicholson. I remember seeing this as a kid and totally not getting it, later in life I learnt to appreciate the story and the music more.
Towards the end of the concert Roger Daltrey made a nice tribute to Keith Moon (The Who’s legendary and eccentric drummer “Moon the loon” who passed away in 1978 only aged 32 from an overdose of prescribed drugs) and John Entwistle (The Who’s influential bass player who passed away in 2002 aged 57 the night before they were to perform a concert in Las Vegas, he also sadly died in true rock and roll style having a cocaine induced heart attack whilst sleeping with a stripper!). Daltrey also paid a tribute to the amazing songwriting talents of Pete Townshend and mentioned that now that he has his voice sorted (he has had a number of throat operations in recent times to resolve problems that hampered his singing), he and Pete are working out how to resolve Pete’s hearing problems on stage (he is deaf from playing too loud for years on end!) so they can play together again as The Who (I saw them perform at the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix in 2009 and they were awesome!).
All in all a great show. Long live Roger Daltrey and The Who!