January 26, 2021

1979-12-06 – Democrat and Chronicle

1979 12 06 Democrat_and_Chronicle_Thu__Dec_6__1979_

' People ..

DEMOCRAT AN D CHRONICLE, Thursday, December 6, 1979

D&(‘ photos by Kevin Higley

The Who in concert Tuesday night: Roger Daltrey, far left; Peter Tewnshend, right, and John Entwistle in background.

Picture left shows Daltrey and annshend in a typieal performance style.

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W/llHt.

By JACK GARNER
D&C Popular Arts Editor

“This show's for them."

From the opening moment Tuesday night.
when Roger Daltrey dedicated the performance
to the 11 victims of Monday‘s tragic stampede in
Cincinnati. The “1103 concert in Buffalo Wen
something very special.

It‘s logical that the rock band. which
described itself as “shattered," would either be
awful or brilliant in a performance only 24 hours
removed from one of the worst tragedies in rock
history. The band certainly couldn‘t be com-
placent or mediocre.

And they were brilliant, putting on what may
have been the greatest rock ‘n’ roll concert I‘ve
seen in two decades of watching‘

For nearly three hours the veteran British
band virtually exploded through a colorful and
almost definitive set of their 15 years of
music,

LEADER AND GUITARIST Peter Town-
shend danced and leaped and struck power
chords with his trademark windmill arm mo
tion. bringing a youthful exuberance to his
musical maturity. His occasional singing (as
the second lead voice) was full of feeling.

Lead singer Daltrey seemed possessed.

The tour had this band in the news
even before the tragedy in Cincinnati

(-nrts‘tantly 0n the move. pacing Intently between
songs and twirling the microphone cord wnth
near abandon. His voice was powerful and
effective. especially on such great vocal songs
as Behind Blue Eyes, Pinball Wizard and
See Me. Feel Me — though exhaustion and
eiiiutiun embed it to bleak a little in [he 'mgher
ranges

Bassist John Entwmtle — a calm hut forceful
presence in the band — was his usual quiet self,
standing on the left side of the stage and
pushing out the strong bottom of The Who‘s
sound‘

A rare flaw in the show was that the
otherwise superb sound system left little room
to clearly hear Entwistle‘s bass lines—and
they are usually the best in rock But they were
"felt.“ nevertheless.

The most pleasant muswal surprise was new
drummer Kenney Jones. who has replaced the
late and legendary Keith Moon. His style is less
bombastic than Moon's (so was World War [I ),
but he contributed just enough trademark
dmm rolls to maintain the Who sound on the
older tunes.

In many ways. Jones' straightvahead com~
petenee actually gives the band a maturity and
freedom they didn't have with Moon ~ and may
help The Who pioneer new muste into the

eighties.

Almost as important. was the presence of
keyboard player John "Rabbit" Bundricki
Though he‘s not an official member of The Who.
hlS synthesizer and keyboard imput was very
important, especially in the post-Tommy ma-
lt'l‘l‘di Bundnek's jut) in ouncert Ls to perform
the keyboard parts that Townshend records in
the studio (through overdubbing)

THE CURRENT tour has had a distinct
musical importance. even before Cincinnati put
the hand horribly in the news Other than four
performances in New York in the fall. it's the
group's first tour with Kenney Jones. and the
first US. performances by the band in three
years

The tour enneludes one of the most speetaew
lzir years in the band‘s history — a period which
HK‘itldC‘d Who Are You. their best new studio
album in a long time. and two key films, a
documentary about the band, The Kids Are
Alright. and a dramatic film, Quadrophenia.
based nn Twwnshemi"; second rock opera. Both
films have been at-mmpanied by double-disc
albums

The Who has always been the most aesthetic
of the hard rock bands Though they have roots

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