The Who¹s Quadrophenia tour swept through Reno Saturday night creating quite the stir downtown.
All four corners outside the Reno Events Center were crowded with concert goers. The crowd consisted of people mostly over 50 with only a small number of people under twenty, but everybody was excited to be there, and well behaved.
The show started on time at 7:30 p.m. with Vintage Trouble taking the stage.
This is a band you will be hearing more about. They are a quartet formed in 2010, consisting of Richard Danielson on bass, Rick Barrio Dill on drums, Nalle Colt on guitar, and Ty Taylor on vocals.
They play an up-tempo rock and roll ala James Brown, Otis Redding, Sam and Dave and Motown. They played a short set of six songs. Singer Ty Taylor ventured out into the crowd during one song, dancing on chairs and with a young lady in the audience who approached him.
His on stage moves are comparable to James Brown with little bits of Michael Jackson thrown in. After their set they walked through the crowd and out to the lobby for a meet and greet. Check them out on Conan O¹Brien Feb. 4.
The Who took the stage at 8:30 sharp and launched immediately into the opening overture of Quadrophenia, "I Am The Sea." The band was surrounded by four giant electronic video screens and hundreds of lights. The Who marched non-stop through the entire album without missing a beat. The venue looked to be filled to capacity, and the crowd on the main floor was on its feet for the entire show.
The performance stuck to the original structure with the exception of an extended version of 5:15. At the tail end of this Pino Palladino, the bass player, left the stage and John Entwistle appeared on the giant screens playing an incredible bass solo. Zak Starkey (Ringo Starr's son) accompanied the video performance with an equally impressive drum solo. Zak is a very accomplished drummer and has been playing with The Who since 1996. In another tribute to a fallen comrade, Keith Moon joined in on vocals (and on video) on "Bell Boy."
The run-through went until 10:02 p.m. at which time Pete and Roger did finally chat with the audience for about 6 minutes and shared band introductions. The band consists of original members Pete Townsend and Roger Daltrey, along with Simon Townsend (Pete¹s
brother) on guitar and backing vocals, Palladino on bass, Starkey on drums, John Coury on keyboards, Loren Gold on keyboards and backing vocals, and Frank Simes on keyboards and backing vocals and acting as musical director.
They encored with "Who Are You," "Behind Blue Eyes," "Pinball Wizard," "Baba O'Reily," "Won¹t Get Fooled Again," finishing with Pete and Roger doing an acoustic duet of "Tea and Theater" ending at 10:43 p.m.
In their late 60¹s, Townsend and Daltrey still have the power and performance skills that they had in their youth. I didn¹t find a single flaw in their performances. Daltrey¹s vocals were spot on. His rock and roll screams would, if attempted by others, result in burst arteries.
Pete still executes his trademark windmill guitar move without having to be hospitalized. I tried it once, and it¹s not easy. You can throw out your shoulder, bust a knuckle on your guitar body, or tear the flesh of your fingers with the strings. These are trained professionals. Do not attempt this at home.
The architects of British rock and roll are basically all WWII babies who grew up in the bombed out cities and ashes of war torn England, and are approaching the end of their runs.
The Who are down 50 percent with the losses of Moon and Entwistle, but their performance was 100 percent. If you grew up with this generation of rock and roll artists composing the soundtracks of your youth, don¹t miss an opportunity to see and hear them live. It will help keep you young.