Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena – May 11, 2015
Ah Nashville – home of “the greatest show I’ve ever done” says Roger Daltrey, of his own concert at the legendary Ryman Auditorium in 2009. That was indeed a magic night – those of you who were there would remember it fondly.
We’ve had almost a week break before this show; Roger’s doctor recommended the rest (insisted on it!) so many of the band and crew had some serious time-off in town. Pete made the most of it, of any of us, as he booked some studio time and made some music of his own. One was a true direct-to-disc live performance cut straight to lacquer record – no overdubs or “fixing” allowed.
This show had its flaws, too, although it seems to be a part of any WHO show you’ll ever see. On any given night there may be a half-dozen “trainwrecks” (as they are sometimes called) because this band doesn’t even try to perform to perfection – that’s not a goal. Instead, a live performance is an opportunity to TRY things. Each version of ‘My Generation’ is played differently, with changes of tone, tempo, chord voicings and rhythms. This is why when they play the old ‘My Generation’ it still has energy and life; it seems new because it IS a new version that you’ve not heard before.
But, that rawness sometimes leads things down an odd path! Tommy’s ‘Amazing Journey’ started tonight with an unexpected jolt as Pete played the chord sequence over and over, until Roger (in a true Señor Moment!) started on the wrong part. Almost instantly, the band fell right into step behind the singer; they are true professionals and that’s the best way to make the audience comfortable – follow the singer.
Roger is now sporting a small beard and mustache, which looks really cool. I can’t recall seeing this look before onstage, hope it stays for a bit! He’s been doing some great bluesy harmonica bits throughout the show: ‘Magic Bus’, ‘I’m One’, and of course the famous live ending to ‘Baba O’Riley’. He’s never given much credit for this, but it’s a great thing he’s added this extra-dimension to the WHO shows.
Pete had been shopping in town, finding some new things-with-strings to occupy his hands for the next few years, mainly classic vintage acoustic instruments, which is indeed a specialty in Nashville. During the show he noted that “There are a few songs that are in the Key Of Nashville: songs in G, songs in D. This next one’s in D – ‘Kids Are Alright’…”
Next up was ‘Squeezebox’, which Roger said was “A real Nashville song!” Pete disagreed somewhat: “I don’t think it is – I think it’s a Polish polka!” It was the perfect town for that banjo solo break, though…
Pete told the story of the day their friend had taken Mr. Keith Moon out shopping in a Southern fireworks shop. Keith proceeded to stock up on cherry-bombs “to blow up lavatories in Holiday Inns all over America.” Then at the counter, Keith found a new treat, a new glue they called SUPER glue!”And from that day on….. our life was hell” with furniture and things stuck to ceilings etc…
Our hotel rooms are bit calmer now, welcome hideouts for the band and crew. Needed. This will be a busy week for us all…