27 Sep 2016
Back To The Who Tour: Mediolanum Forum, Milan, Italy, September 19, 2016
Our second AMAZING show in Italy. There definitely is something going on here, who knows what. Could be the lack of Who shows here, making them more fervent about it all. Or maybe just the culture, loose and ready to have fun. It is the perfect example of the feedback between performer and audience; almost any negative onstage is forgotten or ignored and the love of the crowd pushes the band to excel above the expected show.
And yes, we have perfect weather AND air conditioning. A wonderful start for the event. The night starts with Pete saying some lovely things in Italian; “I love you, and (“bene, bene!”) good, good!” and “Ciao, ciao!!!” was followed by a proper English “ ‘ello Milano!!!”
I’ve noticed these shows being short on talk, and long on playing. No difference tonight, lots of great jamming and not so much chatter. Maybe a language thing? Speaking of, Pete mentioned last show he’d tried to say “Let’s go crazy!” before ‘My Generation’, and he was informed he’d really said “Let’s fix the walls!”
‘Behind Blue Eyes’ became a total singalong, every single word was familiar to this crowd, and they were loud and in-tune; not a bad thing.
Someone in the audience, wearing a white boiler suit and with a Townshend-esque nose, yelled “PADRE!” to Pete, who replied “None of us, but I’ll take you. Can you paint my ceiling?!” (referencing classic Italian artists of the past. He looked more like a guitarist in a tribute band than a painter, who was down in front on the other side: We’d noticed an unusual sight: right in the front row, one talented gentleman had brought his watercolour paints and paper, and was doing sketches and artwork of the onstage performance as he watched. Thought we’d seen it all? No!
During ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’, Pete seemed to attempt the knee-slide, but ran across the stage, and stopped short near Pino, both standing fully upright. Then Pete turned and headed back to his own side and tried the slide there – nope. His trousers grabbed the stage surface and sent him tumbling end-over-end! Still impressive, and show us another rocker trying these stunts at this juncture.
Pete tried to throw some guitar picks (plectrums) into the audience – Rick Nielsen style. This is a rarity for him, and they went in all unintended directions. “I’m no good at it” he confessed, so that’s maybe why it never tends to happen?
We now have another short break, almost two weeks, and then the famed “Going to California” direction. It’s home for me and some of the crew, but I know everyone is really looking forward to this unusual next leg – which will be the last shows of 2016, as well!
Yes: Bene! Bene! . . . and The Jets (home!)
Onward . . .
Tonight’s Set List
I Can’t Explain
Who Are You
The Kids Are Alright
I Can See For Miles
Behind Blue Eyes
You Better You Bet
Love, Reign O’er Me
The Acid Queen
See Me, Feel Me
Won’t Get Fooled Again