Brian Kehew's Backstage Blog

The Who 2017 Tour: Allianz Parque Stadium soundcheck, São Paulo, Brazil, September 21, 2017

The is the first Who tour in South America. There are various reasons why it has never happened before, but the situation reminds me of their first tour in Japan, also a land they’d never played. Japan was a stunning reception, and still quite memorable among hundreds of other outstanding nights. That was a huge stadium as well – a festival, but we were the “opening act” for Aerosmith who have toured there often and built a huge following. This band doesn’t have an issue with such things – we did play before James Brown in Europe once (with full respect) and recently played before Roger Waters’ immense show twice this last summer. I’d pity a band that goes on after a full Who show, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible – but it usually requires lasers, dragons and explosions.

The recent Desert Trip festival in California, is now legendary as probably the fastest-selling/biggest concert ever given. The promoters here have hoped to replicate the success with a similar festival here, Sao Paulo Trip, although the acts are not nearly the world-changing artists (Stones, McCartney). Instead, we have rather big ones of a different age: Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Guns N Roses. It’s rather expensive to be here. I’m told the tickets are quite pricey for the four-day set, so hopefully enough general rock fans will appear to fill enough seats in this enormous futbol/soccer stadium.

Today is “the day before” – so we’ve unpacked our gear from the final Lake Tahoe show a month ago, set it all up, and it works! Soon, the band arrive to soundcheck. As it happens – they’re quite pleased. Roger usually has a few comments as each room changes his sound – today, just a few changes, then “thumbs up!” for Dee, our monitor engineer. That’s good. Pete loves any room that has a big distant sound, sort of like the echo you hear him add (since the Live At Leeds album) to create that echo slap-back. Here it’s built-in with the massive space, and he declares it The Best Guitar Sound he’s had in 20 years!? I suppose we should play stadiums more often!!

Not much more to report, but it feels promising, with memories of Japan and any country that has rarely – if ever – seen The powerful Who. No doubt a few diehards will fly in from America, England, Europe, Namibia . . . and join the throngs here. We look forward to seeing you all!