One of my first musical memories would have to be listening to the song “Pinball Wizard” by the legendary rock and roll band The Who. It was the mid-’90s, and they were my real first taste of music besides church on Sundays. It clearly made a lasting impression on me that’s still valid all of these decades later. So when I saw that they were only playing a couple of hours away I knew I had to jump on it and try to photograph the band. I sure thought it was a slim chance, and that I wouldn’t get approved. Well, it just so happened luck had a different story for me…
To start off the night we had the rockstars known as Los Lonely Boys. If you had the radio on, and it was 2003, you were bound to have heard their iconic song “Heaven” as it was everywhere. I don’t blame the radio stations because this song is insanely good, and has some phenomenal ear worms attached to it too. As soon as you heard it you couldn’t get that first guitar riff out of your head, or their catchy choruses. They put on a killer show, and you could really tell they put their all into it.
After the fantastic Los Lonely Boys finished their set it was time for the moment everybody has been waiting for, The freaking Who. It wasn’t just them though, backing them was an orchestra, which is something I’ve never seen before. But I guess when you’re The Who you can do those kinds of things.
For the long-time members being in their mid-’70s, they put on an amazing performance with so much energy, and they sounded fantastic as well. I was shocked that the lead singer, Roger Daltrey, could still swing his mic around as he did in the ’70s. For the longest time, I thought Adam Lazzara from Taking Back Sunday was the first to do that so it was mind-blowing to see Roger do it. I was also shocked by the rocking out that Pete Townshend did on the guitar as well.
These remaining members would definitely put some of these current acts to shame with their energy, and how they sounded. The backing band and orchestra were also fantastic and killed it at their respective instruments. For their whole set, they played 21 tracks, which included songs like “Pinball Wizard,” “Behind Blue Eyes,” and “Baba O’Riley.” They all sounded just as good as when they were recorded half a century ago.
You have to see these guys when they come to town. They are not only rock and roll royalty but also cultural icons that shaped the culture and music we hear today. They were also incredible live and made for a really fun, memorable night.
The Who Setlist:
We’re Not Gonna Take It
Who Are You
Ball and Chain
You Better You Bet
Won’t Get Fooled Again
Behind Blue Eyes
The Real Me
Love, Reign O’er Me