Pete Townshend right that The Who are still ‘f***ing brilliant’ as oldies reign with triumphant gig

THE WHO Wembley Stadium, London

A SHORT way into The Who’s monumental Wembley Stadium gig, Pete Townshend takes the mic to thank everyone for spending hard-earned cash on the pricey tickets.

But the old rebel, resplendent in beige raincoat and blue boiler suit, can’t resist adding, “Now why don’t you all f*** off!”

Pete Townshend is a 'blues man' in his boiler suit
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Pete Townshend is a blues man in his boiler suit[/caption]

The guitarist was in lively, amusingly combative mood throughout, complete with his trademark windmill flourishes, on a Saturday night of surprises.

He and fellow surviving founder member, singer Roger Daltrey (looking fit and dapper), may be in their mid-Seventies, but they’re not going quietly.

This time out, a full orchestra backed those towering vocals and immense power chords with, it has to be said, mixed results.

The strings and horns proved overwhelming on an opening selection from Tommy yet added to the drama of a sequence from the band’s other rock opera, Quadrophenia, which culminated in the still jaw-dropping primal scream of Love Reign O’er Me.

In the midst of the mayhem, support act, Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder, joined his childhood heroes for a rip-roaring rendition of The Punk And The Godfather.

One of The Who’s best-loved rock classics, Won’t Get Fooled Again, was recast as an endearing acoustic Daltrey/ Townshend duet, dedicated to activists everywhere because it was written about “hairy hippies who achieved f*** all”.

Then there were two new songs from their forthcoming album, the anthemic Hero Ground Zero and a cutting song for our times, Big Cigar, both boding well for the release.

They also eschewed the chance to play obvious hits such as My Generation and I Can’t Explain but took deeper dives into the back catalogue with Imagine A Man (from The Who By Numbers) and Eminence Front (It’s Hard).

However, they did turn to the great Who’s Next album for a sublime Behind Blue Eyes and a thrilling encore of Baba O’Riley, turning back the clock with the chorus of “it’s only teenage wasteland”.

With that, Townshend thanked Roger “The Voice” Daltrey while the singer reminded us that The Who may have lost their youthful glamour but the songs still sound “f***ing brilliant.”


★★★★☆


Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey - may be in their mid-Seventies - but they’re not going quietly
Getty – Contributor

Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey may be in their mid-Seventies but they’re not going quietly[/caption]

Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder, joined his childhood heroes for a rip-roaring rendition of The Punk And The Godfather
Getty – Contributor

Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder joined his childhood heroes for a rip-roaring rendition of The Punk And The Godfather[/caption]

Townshend thanked Roger 'The Voice' Daltrey
Getty – Contributor

The two surviving founders of The Who – Pete Townshend and Roger ‘The Voice’ Daltrey[/caption]

The Who's founding member singer Roger Daltrey with Eddie Vedder
Rex Features

A fit and dapper looking Roger Daltrey with Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder[/caption]

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