Its been 22 years since the Who played the WNY area (23 if you want to count Buffalo itself) as the band made its way to KeyBank Center this past Thursday night. The current tour is appropriately named “Moving On!” as the band has been doing this for over 50 years despite the deaths of original members Keith Moon (1978) and bassist John Entwistle (2002). The Who are the originators of doing a so called “farewell tour”(which they first did way back in 1982) and then changed their mind as they consistently been a touring outfit since 1989. With all of this in mind, the band decided to switch things up on this tour. This tour The Who were featured with the local symphony combining the worlds of both symphony and rock.
Taking the stage at 8:30pm, vocalist Roger Daltrey and guitarist Pete Townshend led the band through a handful of selections off of the critically acclaimed 1969’s release of “Tommy.” Accompany these iconic musicians were longtime band members Zak Starkey on drums and Simon Townshend on rhythm guitar. Various selections followed including one of my personal favorites “Eminence Front.” Townshend who songs this track did mince some of the words up but nonetheless, it was still great to hear and with the symphony backing it added a lush over layer to it. Of course, “Who Are You” and “Join Together” got a stronger audience reaction.
The rest of the musicians retired for “Won’t Get fooled Again” as it only left Townshend with his acoustic guitar and Daltery ‘s vocals. They gave a different rendition of one of the bands most powerful songs. I, for one was hoping to hear Roger take a crack at the one of the most notable scream in Rock n’ Roll history but this wasn’t to be.
Other treats for the Buffalo audience were “Substitute” and “the Real Me” as both made their tour debut. Seeing Daltrey and Townshend joke some in between songs as a delight to see as well. Townshend talked about a new (The Who) record coming out this summer from last years Tommy celebration tour. That run only included Daltrey as Townshend stated he was too buys writing material for the next The Who studio album.
Whats a Who show without Daltrey spinning his microphone all round and Townshend doing his infamous windmill guitar playing. Both were done but on a smaller scale.
For the second show of the run, you can tell at times they were still working on a few things and the sound wasn’t where it should be but I’m sure with a few more shows under their belt it will be a fine tuned oil running machine by then. Nonetheless it was still a solid show with a band who Buffalo has longed to see.
(With the Buffalo Philharmonic):
It’s a Boy
We’re Not Going to Take It
Who Are You
Imagine a Man
(without the Buffalo Philharmonic):
The Kids Are Alright
Won’t Get Fooled Again (acoustic with only Daltrey and Townshend on stage)
Behind Blue Eyes
Tea & Theatre
The Real me
The Punk and the Godfather
Love, Reign O’er Me
We would like to thank Penny Guyon of Firefly Media for the credentials to review the show.