The Who rocked Hyde Park in front of thousands of people and lifted London into another level. As the sun baked down on a very well organised Hard Rock festival, remaining members Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey had put together a new look line up that included a replacement bass player for John Entwistle, who died of an apparent heart attack on June 27, 2002 in a Las Vegas Hotel Room, reportedly with 2 hookers and a massive load of chore on the bedside table the day before The Who were to begin a U.S. Tour.
Myself and James Sherry had Access all Areas passes and managed to meet Pete Townshend backstage. Now, myself and James love our music and our tastes are actually quite similar, so it’s not a secret to mention that we both agree that The Who are a band that sits at the top of the pile as our most influential band ever. So meeting Townshend in the flesh after so many years of hearing his music was one of the best moments on record. In fact, we were so happy about it that we decided to sneak into the restaurant area and eat Who-food! And what do The Who eat on a Sunday afternoon? A full Lamb roast, with all the trimmings, profiteroles and merangue of course! Take that! On the way out i managed to bump into Paul Weller whose “Setting Sons” album was my first ever, so the day was going to plan somewhat! We saw a new band called “Rose Hill Drive” support earlier on, definitely ones to watch out for..
With Zak Starkey taking care of Keith Moons most famous drum stool and some wonderfully crafted photgraphy and animated sequences, The Who got off to a fabulous start roaring through classic tracks “I Can’t Explain”, “The Seeker”, “Anyway Anyhow Anywhere”, “Who are You?”, “Baba O’Riley”, and “Bargain” from Who’s Next?.
Visually, the show was as good as the musicianship, constantly changing, inviting the audience to soak up the good old days of good old fashioned punch ups, Mods on scooters filling the streets dressed stylishly on trips down to Brighton which became a legendary seaside town from that era from the scene alone.
Tonight, The Who played a bit of everything, with Townshend in between making sure that the message was clear to youth culture – basically write better songs and you will become more famous. It’s true to say though that no bands of this generation will ever play, write or record music at this level, but they also dropped a couple of newer numbers into the classics like “Real Good Looking Boy” – a new song from 2004 and a brand new song whose title evaded us as we were so high on the whole thing.
The wonderful “My Generation” came with an extended jam on the backend, the crowd were going mental where we were standing! But there was room for more and the set also was made up of “Drowned” and the wonderful “Love…Reign Over Me” from Quadrophenia, “Kids are Alright”, “Won’t Get Fooled Again”, “Behind Blue Eyes”, and “Substitute”, until the final crescendo of “See Me Feel Me”, “Pinball Wizard” and “Amazing Journey” that represented the tunes from Tommy.
It was a magnificant show and you could tell that Daltery and Townshend were in their element here. This will go down as one fo the best shows ever, and if you did not manager to get there, you can tune into www.thewholive.tv and watch thier shows whenever you want.
Check them out as these guys are fully webbed up and waiting for you to drop by.