Brian Kehew's Backstage Blog

The Who Hits 50! Tour: Frank Erwin Center, Austin, TX, April 27, 2015


A recovery day, following the intense and wet New Orleans experience.

“Texas!!! Even better, AUSTIN Texas!!”


AUSTIN (2)  AUSTIN (16)   AUSTIN (14)

Roger’s first words onstage. Indeed, we love it here. This is indeed a music city, and The Who are quite at home here. Probably the best sing-alongs we’ll see during this tour, as people are not afraid to shout it out here.


Pete mentioned to the crowd that his old friend Jeff Beck was here. But as Pete said, “So there’s at least one great guitar player in the room.” He next mentioned there were hundreds in Austin who could probably play better than he himself could. “UNFORTUNATELY . . . I’m the one you have to listen to tonight” which was followed by a huge cheer. Jeff Beck (sitting right alongside the stage) liked the rocker songs best: ‘Who Are You’, ‘Join Together’, etc. Jeff will be playing in town very soon, and is still doing amazing work every night; recommended! Roky Erickson was also around, and Joan Jett was rocking right down off the front of the stage, too. Not that any of this was pressure to perform for the band, more like musical camaraderie in a musical town.




Seemed like the show went as-expected with some significant technical issues. The wet New Orleans show was blamed for the multiple problems that plagued the amplifiers, guitars, video screens (some weirdness fixed by people on ladders during a song), and some computer stuff – all without causing much trouble overall to the show itself. The Who takes things in stride, just move forward, and deal with it.







During one of the many guitar exchanges, Pete explained the set order: “We’re playing quite a few old songs to kick off this set, and then towards the end, we play songs that aren’t quite as old, and then at the end we play songs that you might have heard on the television – probably selling soap! But I gotta pay for my Ferraris somehow!”

Once again the old ‘Magic Bus’ is a big singalong hit, and the most financially-oriented song we have. Pete’s 1968 claim that “You can buy it for 100 English pounds” meant $238 American dollars back then, and only $152 dollars now; the bus is a much better deal now than it was!


The very end of ‘Baba O’Riley’ is a quick set of repeated hits on the same chord. Tonight Pete extended the end by nearly four times, keeping everyone in the band (and the arena) awake and on their toes!

In the afternoon soundcheck, Pete had joked with the lucky VIPs who get to watch the the band rehearse very candidly, “We are here today to ruin Austin’s reputation as the City of Great Music. After tonight’s concert, nobody will ever come to Austin to hear a band again!” It seems that while The Who (as we know it) may not be back, Austin music will go on, as it should.


Tonight’s Set List

I Can’t Explain
The Seeker
Who Are You
The Kids Are Alright
I Can See for Miles
Pictures of Lily
My Generation
Magic Bus
Behind Blue Eyes
Join Together
You Better You Bet
I’m One
Love, Reign O’er Me
Eminence Front
A Quick One, While He’s Away
Amazing Journey
Pinball Wizard
See Me, Feel Me
Baba O’Riley
Won’t Get Fooled Again


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