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Quadrophenia Hits the Sweet Spot

Photo by Michael Drazdzinski

 

Praise for the arena production of Quadrophenia, master-minded by Roger Daltrey, is growing with every performance by The Who, as they travel up the East Coast of the U.S.

 

There is no doubt no that the fans ‘get’ it and that this is a landmark interpretation of Pete Townshend’s masterpiece. One fan, Suzanne Coker, has written this:

 

“The production and performance of Quadrophenia are a showcase and lesson in what a rock show can be. While the material isn’t overtly spiritual the way Tommy tends to be, any Who concert feels as much like a spiritual gathering as an entertainment; between the quality of the material and performance, this one would’ve made a believer out of anyone, and on top of that, there were the visuals. Far from a distraction, they added layers, not only explained but enhanced meanings far more beautifully and effectively than any narration.

 

“Quadrophenia is arguably a nostalgia piece to begin with, written looking back at the band’s origins; what the visuals did was take that look back without flinching, then turn it forwards, giving the show not only an aspect of time travel, but of a spiritual journey not individual as in Tommy but communal: history in the best sense. This happened in two main ways: the newsreel-style images during the two instrumental pieces, and images from The Who’s past. To say too much more might be a spoiler for some, and unnecessary for others, so I will only say ALL members of the band were there in more than spirit.”

 

The Who tour is appealing not just to the band’s traditional and loyal fan base but also to a new and younger audience, as Pete Townshend confirms in his tour diary: “The audiences so far have been wonderful, and the shows promise to continue to improve. It’s great to see some old faces, but as always I’m glad to see a few younger people in the crowd, and I hope they haven’t been dragged along to check us out by nagging parents (or grandparents!).”

 

The show last night (Nov 11) hit Pittsburgh, PA and an enthusiastic crowd at the Consol Energy Center. After playing the complete Quadrophenia, The Who went ito some delicious encores –  ‘Who Are You’, ‘Behind Blue Eyes’, ‘Pinball Wizard’,  ‘Baba O’ Riley’  and ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’. Roger and Pete closed the show with a touching rendition of  ‘Tea and Theatre’ from The Who’s last album ENDLESS WIRE.

 

To check the itinerary of The Who’s N. American tour of Quadrophenia and More and to buy tickets, click  HERE. 

 

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14 thoughts on “Quadrophenia Hits the Sweet Spot”

  1. keith muir says:

    how about some british gigs in 2013!

  2. Ron Kimmich says:

    What a show ! Roger and Pete sounded like they did 20 years ago – Roger hit all his trademark notes and screams and the crowd went wild – 2 1/2 hours of Who-Mania that I shared with my family for the second time – thanks for the “Amazing Journey!”

  3. John labelle says:

    Getting hot for the Montreal show! Nice to read “Tea and Theatre” closed show (Loved that in ’06).

    Call Owen, Marika and Sara ( Arcarde Fire) to cover stings (‘specially on fourth movement. Would be awesome.

    Love you all
    JL

  4. TimTowner says:

    I just want to say thank you for the wonderfull show you all performed Friday night in Greensboro, NC. I took my 17, 15, and 13 year old kids. They grew up listening to you all. we just had to come see you all playing live. They just loved the show and want me to take them to another show. I would if I could. Maybe you all could another date to the tour and come to Charlotte, NC. Thank you again for the memories on Firday we will remember it always. Have safe and wonderful tour.

    Best Regards

    Tim Towner

  5. hntstr says:

    Saw them last night in Pittsburgh, fantastic show. I have seen them and Roger alone several times and they haven’t missed a step.

  6. Lyndagrace says:

    Masterpiece.
    Pure joy.
    Brilliance.

  7. Dave Scurry says:

    I’m just hoping like hell that Roger and Pete bring Quadrophenia
    to Australia. We haven’t seen anywhere near enough of them.

  8. David D. says:

    I am 41 and finally got to see The Who for the first time in Greensboro last Friday night. Amazing performance and the sound quality was near perfect. Every song was as good as one could imagine. I especially was looking forward to hearing I’ve Had Enough. That song as well as the whole Quadrophenia set was magical. They definitely turned back the clock. Only regret was that did not perform Emminence Front (my favorite).

    The opening act (Vintage Trouble) was also very good.

  9. andy murray says:

    hi just hoping that the current tour comes to the uk next year?

  10. Dave says:

    Saw the show at Greensboro NC, All I can say is it is one of the best concerts I have seen in my 56 years, LOVED IT

  11. Stephen says:

    Everything about this production of Quadrophenia is a revelation — so where to begin? Let’s start with the music. The band and arrangements assembled for this tour are incredible. The three keyboards and small brass section augmenting what has become the regular Who arsenal of Daltrey, Townshend, Townshend, Starkey, and Palladino deliver every nuance and all the dynamics of Pete’s towering masterpiece. The sonic range is incredible, and the sound system puts it all across with a clarity I’ve not previously experienced in a hockey arena. I was also knocked out by the vocals. Daltrey is singing better than a man half his age might reasonably hope to achieve, and the backing vocals added by Simon T and the others fill things out wonderfully. I have to say, however, that I was knocked out by Pete’s incredibly powerful singing throughout the night. He sang with a passion and consistency that often threatened to overshadow everyone else onstage — but then he would cooly drop back and give the other players a some room to soar. I’ve seen the Who in various constitutions over the last 25 years, and this was easily the best model, period. The visual concepts supporting the music also get it right: they suggest rather than dictate, and show instead of tell. Like the best of rock music, there is enough of a “through line” for you to keep your bearing in the narrative, but enough space for you to bring and/or discover your own meaning. The visuals are tasteful, powerful, and there are some incredible surprises along the way. I would have gone home happy with just Quad, but they “and more” at the conclusion was an embarrassment of riches. The anthems were all there and sounding fresh and moving. The final number — Tea and Theatre — with just Roger and Pete was soul-stirringly beautiful…what an incredible creative history and legacy these two guys share! This tour is a moment in history not to be missed. There is, simply put, no other band like the Who…don’t miss them if you can. (And BIG PROPS to opening act Vintage Trouble — timeless soul with a rock and roll heart and the incredible voice of Mr. Ty Taylor. How wonderful it is to have a band with some style and swagger — VT is not one of those bands that looks like the roadies took over!

    1. Steve Davies says:

      really well said, Stephen. I saw them in D.C. last night. All rock musicians should check these guys out to see how it’s done. Just an incredible performance on all levels. Pure joy.

  12. Stan Anick says:

    I was at the show in Pittsburgh, and all I can say is WOW! Definitely the best show I’ve ever seen. A true masterpiece, brilliant in both it’s performance and meaning. The audio level was perfect and the visuals out of this world. Thank you for making my life happier!
    -Stan Anick, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

  13. Bruce Savage says:

    Saw the show in Washington, DC on Nov. 13 and am still reeling from the masterful and riveting performance by the entire band. Quadrophenia is a masterpiece and the band performed it with such intensity and affection that it’s hard to remember that the work is older than many in the audience. Roger’s voice was powerful yet poignant and what can you say about Pete…consummate musician, power chords as dramatic as ever, and funny as hell. Truly one of the best shows I have ever witnessed in my many years of rock’n’roll. The audience really expressed their love and admiration, often singing the choruses at full throttle, and the cheers at the end of the show connected with Pete and Roger. Go see this show…you’ll remember it forever. Thanks Pete, Roger, and the rest of the band.

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