Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Concert Review: Mohegan Sun Gets Rocked By The Who

Rock legends, The Who, made one of only ten stops on their North American leg of their 2008 tour at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Tuesday evening. With only two remaining original members, what was one to expect from a band that started out in 1964? Well, when the two remaining members are lead singer Roger Daltrey and guitarist Pete Townshend, you can expect a classic rock show like no other. As Pete Townshend said, "You drink, you gamble, you come and see The Who" and that's exactly what the sold-out crowd did.

The Who walked out onstage to a standing ovation before playing one note of music. As Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey felt humbled by the applause, Pete started with the guitar intro to The Who's 1965 classic "I Can't Explain". Roger's mic swinging started early as a video montage of the band's history shown in the background. Pete Townshend's signature windmill guitar strumming didn't appear until the evening's third song, "Relay". One of the band's newest songs, "Fragments" held the audience's interest before the band broke into the crowd pleaser "Who Are You". With the audience up on their feet, they sang along with Roger Daltrey to the 1971 classic "Behind Blue Eyes". Roger's intro to "Real Good Looking Boy" explained that without "The King", rock n' roll would not be what it is today and the band proceeded to play their tribute to Elvis Presley. After the rare "Sister Disco" from the "Who Are You" album, the keyboard intro to "Baba O'Riley" blew the roof off the arena with the audience singing along to the chorus.

Pete Townshend took over the lead vocals, performing the band's 1982 hit "Eminence Front". Next came two classics from the "Quadrophenia" concept album, a rockin' version of "5.15" and the thunderous "Love Reign O'er Me" which had Roger screaming out the chorus. "My Generation" found the audience playing "air guitar" while bassist Pino Palladino had his spotlight solo. The band closed their set with the crowd pleaser "Won't Get Fooled Again" which featured a solo by keyboardist, John "Rabbit" Bundrick. Even though the audience sang along to the chorus, nobody could outdo Roger's vocal performance.

Chants of "Who, Who, Who" brought the band back to the stage performing a medley of songs from their 1969 rock opera "Tommy". Pete Townshend's guitar intro for "Pinball Wizard" started an "Amazing Journey" of sight and sound before finishing with the fan favorite "See Me, Feel Me/Listening To You". As the band exited the stage, the heart and soul of The Who stood alone onstage before a standing ovation. Roger and Pete finished the evening with an acoustic version of "Tea And Theatre" from their mini-rock opera, "Wire And Glass". Not knowing when or if The Who will ever tour again, their fans absorbed every last moment.

Newcomers, Inward Eye, began the evening with an energetic 30-minute set. The trio played a set of punk rock originals. They mentioned how they used to listen to their parents Who albums and how excited they were to be opening for one of their rock idols. Upcoming shows at the Mohegan Sun Arena feature Staind with Papa Roach, Smashing Pumpkins 20th Anniversary Tour, Tim McGraw's only New England Appearance and two nights with the legendary Elton John.

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