Concert Review: The Who w/Joan Jett


“Yeeaaaaaah!” With Daltrey delivering one of the greatest screams in rock and Townshend doing his famous guitar windmill playing, the Who kicked off their “The Who Hits! 50” tour in Tampa.

While their last tour featured Quadrophenia in full along with a handful of hits at the end, the band has been playing a very similar setlist for the last several tours. It was refreshing to see that shaken up for this run – making for what you would hope and expect them to play on what is rumored to be their last major tour. Several songs, including “The Seeker” and “I Can See For Miles”,  have been played only a handful of times since the ’80s

The night loosely followed themes of albums/eras of the band. The first grouping of songs including the band’s earliest material including “My Generation”, “Pictures of Lily” and “I Can’t Explain.” From there the band shifted to do back to back “Quadrophenia” songs featuring Daltery’s sharp vocals on “Love, Reign O’er Me” (which received a standing ovation from the crowd).

A four song grouping of “Tommy” songs were played without any break which the songs and their themes to flow together. Firing on all cylinders the band closed out, without an encore break, with “Baba O’Riley” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”

The band was tight, yet relaxed and the set was exactly what a fan would hope for on what is being heavily hinted as the band’s final major tour. Chatty in between songs, when it came time to play the songs seemed more powerful then on previous tours (it does help they have three keyboard/multi-instrumental musicians and a backup guitarist with them).

While John Entwistle and Keith Moon were arguably some of the best at their craft, The Who with only Daltrey and Townshend still feels very much as the band then two members doing nostalgia shows (certainly helps that almost the band’s entire catalog was written solely by Townshend).

Zak Starky (yes, the son of Ringo Starr) has been a touring member of The Who since the ’90s and proved that he is quite the drummer with style that is more in line with Moon than his father.

Joan Jett’s 40-min minute set was seemingly fitting considering The Who’s punk roots. Just 72-hours shy of being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Jett had no trouble getting the crowd singing and dancing to her hits. Highlight of her performance was “Light of Day”, a song written by Springsteen for her to sing in the movie of the same name.

This was the third time I’ve seen The Who – the strong setlist and the high energy performance easily made it my favorite out of the three and I am already trying to find a way to catch one more show before the tour wraps up in late 2015.


About Author

Living among the too-many-to-count theme parks of Orlando, FL, Andrew is always looking for an excuse to check out a show, buy some vinyl, modify (instead of play) his guitars, and eat food your mom would consider unhealthy.

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