Brian Kehew's Backstage Blog

The Who Hits 50! Tour: The Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT, May 24, 2015

Uncasville 1

Connecticut is one of the most beautiful states, and The Mohegan Sun is a resort casino set in the green wooded hills near the coast. Not far away is the little seaport town of Mystic, famous for its Mystic Pizza restaurant (as seen in the film of the same name). We’ve played here before, and it’s quite different than the Vegas and Atlantic City casino feeling. The building honors their Native American Heritage with displays of weaving and canoes, and the shopping and hotel area are quite nicely designed, very earthy and warm decor – not the tackiness you’d expect from the typical casino.

Uncasville 2

These casino-related shows are more and more common with touring acts. It’s probably starts with the old Vegas shows, but big-name acts are often found playing the multiple casinos all across America. However, it makes sense when you think about it: a typical concert venue only gets revenue from the ticket sales and parking. A casino can spend more money to bring in the same bands because crowds come in for the show, but they also book hotel rooms, eat expensive meals, buy trinkets and gamble ($$$). Casinos could even lose money on the show itself and still make great profits on the visitors gambling, so it’s financially a good deal for everyone.

Once you’re inside, the room looks and feels just like a typical arena, although a bit smaller. This room has a high ceiling, which is just exposed metal, so the sound bounces around a lot. We knew from the minute we tested the gear that it was going to be a LOUD show. From the soundcheck on, Pete was worried about his guitar volume. It was loud at even lower settings than usual – and when you turn down a guitar amp, it often doesn’t sound as good or sustain well, despite the apparent volume. Still, the show must go on, and it did.

Dennis Dunaway of Alice Cooper’s original band came out, plus his lovely wife (who used to be their dancing tooth onstage and more). Dennis entertained us all with stories about their old tours and brought copies of his new book. Back circa 1970, they did open for The Who once and as opening act, they’d set up onstage in front of a curtain. The Who’s gear was behind the curtain while Alice and company played. At the end of their set, they noted how GOOD their drummer Neal Smith had sounded, and their roadie informed them that Keith Moon had been behind the curtain playing along with their show! He was a big fan, as is our own drummer Zak Starkey! Rob Zombie and John 5 (Marilyn Manson) were also seen and seemed to enjoy it a lot. Despite these icons of theatrical rock in attendance, Roger and Pete tended to minimize their gore (no blood on guitars tonight) and all their onstage shocks are verbal!

Uncasville 5

The audience was an “upscale” one – maybe it’s the local property values, or nice folks coming in from nearby Providence, RI (where Pete mentioned he’d driven in from) One of our guests noted the large percentage of very attractive women in line outside, so maybe the casino world brings this sort of crowd. Pete noted that some members of the audience should not be attending a rock concert at their age! However, he also noted that there were a lot of older people who also ought not to be at a rock concert at their age!

I made a mental note that Zak played an incredible drum fill during Baba O’Riley. It’s always good and this band often plays things that stand out – as it’s not a “copy the record” type show. But now and then, something really cool like this stands out even among the normal ups and downs of the night.

Uncasville 4

Photographer William Snyder has brought two stage-mounted cameras that he can trigger from remotes, so we have some very special photos to show you here, wide-angle versions of the best spots in the house.

Onward, . . .


Tonight’s Set List

I Can’t Explain
The Seeker
Who Are You
The Kids Are Alright
Squeeze Box
I Can See For Miles
My Generation
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


1 thought on “The Who Hits 50! Tour: The Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT, May 24, 2015”

  1. I saw the Outlaws at Mohegan Sun Casino on September 12, 2015. That was the all time best concerts I have ever seen and I’ve seen alot. The lead singer dedicated the concert to my deceased son,Todd Leach. They even included my son’s name in their songs. They pulled me up out of the hell I was in. I would love to hear that , that concert was taped. I would pay anything for a copy.

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