January 17, 2021

1979-12-11 – Philadelphia Daily News

1979 12 11 Philadelphia_Daily_News_Tue__Dec_11__1979_

32 Tuesday. December 11, 1979

Philadelphia Daily News

Cro wd T ame as The Who Goes Wild

By JONATHAN TARIFF

Some of the normally blase people
waiting outside the Spectrum last
night actually booed when a T-shirt
salesman came down the line, hawk-
ing shirts imprinted with a footprint
design and the slogan "I Was in Cin-
cinnati for The Who"

As they approached the entrance
way. the rock and roll animals began
their own impromptu chanting. just
a little less tasteless. First a yell went
out that “Iran Sucks." Then a rum»
bling of “Disco Sucks.” And finally.
as the wait began to seem intermina-

ble, the roar went out "General
Admissmn Sucks."

WAS ANYONE inside the hall
listening?

All the advance forecasts notwith-

standing. Spectrum security was

beefed up only a tad for The Who’s

first of two Philadelphia gigs, falling
a week to the day after their tragic
concert in Cincinnati that left 11
- trampled to death (and dozens more
i injured) in a rush on the doors.

a

5 Here. there were maybe a couple
dozenrextra police on duty, and some

extra harncades that the kids dainti-
1y shoved out of their way. No matter.
The truth is that The Who‘s music
normally attracts a pretty intelligent,
level-headed crowd. There are not
the heavy boozers and quaaluders,
that come out to boogie in wretched
excess with Van Halen or Black Sab
bath, or other crude rock groups of
that ilk. And last night. with the
world watching, the Who fans bent
over backwards to be well behaved.

IN THE SAME instant. though. an
observer could comprehend how
that friendly mob might have turned
Violent, crazy. as they had in
Cincinnati.

Some people had been waiting out-
side the Spectrum gates since as ear-
ly as 7 am, (or so they claimed), to
get first dibs on the unreserved floor
accommodations. Eighty percent of
the 19.000 tickets were general admis-
sion, and by 6 p.111. it seemed that
most of that number were already
lined up around the hall. Fortunate-
ly, the gates opened early, at 6:30 pm,
and the temperatures were mild for
the season.

Harsh winter weather takes a lot of
the fun out of standing outside, jaw-
ing with your friends. So does hear-
ing the band inside, going through a
late sound check that you think
could be the actual show. Both sour
conditions prevailed in Cincinnati.

m3, 111E Who were punctual to
the second. The lights dimmed and
show began precisely at 8 p.m., with a
long trailer for their new film “Quad-
rophenia.“ An extremely violent
film. it appears. Then, after a brief
pause. the newly expanded band

Who attracts an intelligent, IeVei-headed crowd

broke loose with their traditional
openers, "Substitute" and "I Can't
Explain." and from then on, the hits
never stopped coming.

Courting the young—ish (predomi-
nately 15-19 year old) crowd, the

focus was on recent heavyweights'

like “Long Live Rock," "Sister Disco"
(with super lighting effects), “Be-
hind Blue Eyes” and “Music Must
Change,” which now sounds suspi-
ciously like a jazz tune. Also in the
mix were a sprinkling of Who stan-
dards like “My Generation," “Magic

Bus," “1 Can See for Miles" and a
medley from “Tommy."

The big artistic question every-
one's been asking is “Would (newly
added) drummer Kenney Jones be

- able to replace 121.: late Keith Moon?"

The answer is a qualified “n0.“ Jones
(a one-time member of Faces) simply
cannot bring himself to Moon‘s mani-
ac excess. His sound is to neat, crisp,
but in its own way creditable. At the
same time. the additions of keyboar-
dist Rabbit Bundrick (ex-Free) and a
three man horn sections do spark the
group to a bigger, brassier sound.
AND THE remaining three core
members are in prime form. Guita-
rist and central focus Pete Town-
shend seems as agile and youthful as
ever with his bristling attacks on the
guitar (especially ear-opening on the
extended blues encore “Take a Fool
Like You") and athletic stage moves.
Bassist John (“The 0x") Entwhistle
remains rock steady, thank heaven.
And singer Roger Daltrey has ma-
tured nieely — the pipes are in fine
shape and his stage demeanor seems
a hell of a lot more natural than the
overblown, histrionic Daltrey of old.