September 26, 2020

2007-03-07 – The Indianapolis Star

2007 03 07 The_Indianapolis_Star_Wed__Mar_7__2007_

The Who draws on the big picture

By David Lindquist
davidJindquist@indystar.com
he Who’s entire career
seemed to unfold as a
seamless concept a]-
bum Tuesday night at
Conseco Fieldhouse.

The rock band is famous for
individual works of connected
songs (“Tommy,” “Quadrophe—
nia”), but this performance cre-
ated a picture larger than might
be reasonably expected for an
act 25 years past its first farewell
tour.

Songwriter-guitarist Pete
Townshend has spent his career
examining music and the mean-
ing of life, and the former may be
the answer to the latter.

Chronologically, the Who’s
thesis began with “Real Good
Looking Boy,” a tribute to Elvis
Presley recorded for a 2004 hits
compilation.

Vocalist Roger Daltrey intro-
duced the tune by reverently re-
calling his first exposure to the
King of Rock ’n’ Roll.

The Who’s primary contribu-
tion to the 20th century’s cul—
tural revolution arrived with a
sprawling rendition of “My Gen-
eration.” As Townshend pursued
instrumental tangents and Dal-
trey danced the dance of a hyp-
notized raver, video screens cy—
cled through decades of
youngsters making their own
scenes.

But selections from “Wire &

1 ONLINE EXTRA

Glass” — an abbreviated rock
opera found within the band’s
current and lightly regarded
“Endless Wire” album — truly
pulled together Townshend’s
ideas:

“Pick Up the Peace” imagined
a trio of young musicians exca-
vating good from the idealistic
605. The musicians find main—
stream rewards during “We Got
a Hit,” yet they’re selfless in
their celebration (“We were the
carriers” . Fame eventually

CAN YOU HEAR ME? Roger Daltrey

(left) and Pete Townshend led The
INDYSTAR-COM Who during Tuesday’s show.

GO to IndyStar.com/multimedia to view a photo gallery.

roughs them up and sharks cir-
cle on a video screen, but clos-
ing segment “Mirror Door” sa-
luted a legacy that stretches
farther back than Presley by
mentioning Mozart and Bach.

On the other side of “Wire &
Glass,” the Who rewarded its
encouraging audience of 9,000
with an epic version of “Baba
O’Riley.”

From Daltrey’s scene—setting
vocals to Townshend’s “teenage
wasteland” vocal spotlight to

SOUND EFFECT

The Who

Where: Conseco Fieldhouse.

Bottom line: A spectacular celebration of
song.

Daltrey’s harmonica solo, the
tune grew more tremendous at
every turn.

At 63, Daltrey remains a sing—
ing marvel who combines ten—
derness and blast—furnace inten—
sity on “Behind Blue Eyes.”

Townshend played electric
guitar for most of the program,
and he gravitated to slashing
single-note micro-solos in addi-
tion to his esteemed array of
monster chords.

The multidimensional efforts
of keyboard player John
“Rabbit” Bundrick and guitarist
Simon Townshend (Pete’s
younger brother) overshadowed
the no—frills playing of drummer
Zak Starkey and bassist Pino
Palladino.

Starkey and Palladino, of
course, fill the roles of late
drummer Keith Moon and late
bassist John Entwistle.

After botching his “My Gen—
eration” solo at Verizon Wire-
less Music Center in 2002, Pa]-
ladino at least proved he could
nail it at Conseco.

Wk Call Star reporter David Lindquist
at (317) 444-6404.