12 Nov 2012
Quadrophenia Hits the Sweet Spot
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.
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