stateless: (who)
[personal profile] stateless
i'm not keen on support bands who actually lessen the level of excitement. the bowl lighting up red, white and blue fifteen minutes before the who showed up should've actually been the opening act. that brought me back to life right quick.






after the second night i can honestly say i was glad to be way the fuck up in the stands on saturday. because though i could hear everyone around me talking louder than i could hear the music (during the new stuff, anyway), i was able to sit back and just take it in, really soak up the details. sunday was not kind to me in that way, but it was far kinder in a hundred others.

setlist

i can't explain
the seeker
anyway anyhow anywhere (night 1) / substitute (night 2)
fragments
who are you
behind blue eyes

"mini opera 'thing'"
sound round
pick up the peace
endless wire
we got a hit
they made my dream come true
mirror door

baba o'riley
eminence front
man in a purple dress
black widow's eyes
mike post theme
you'd better you bet
my generation/cry if you want
won't get fooled again
++
pinball wizard
amazing journey
sparks
see me, feel me
listening to you
tea and theatre


when susan and i glided into the pit sunday night (as i hyperventilated) we walked past our seats, which were way the fuck over on the end. we hung around the back til things started happening and then chatted with some cool people and stuck near the stage.









pete's tech


we were smack in front of pete's mic, behind two VIP rows of people in their own little cubicle, and we were able to stay there until 'behind blue eyes'. which makes me very glad i actually heard 'behind blue eyes' the first time cos i sure as fuck didn't hear much of it as security busted through and made people clear out. but that's ok cos it was totally worth it.

when the band walked out and the lights were up and everyone around us started to go crazy i thought i was gonna lose my head. i couldn't fucking believe where i was, i couldn't believe what was happening, and everything was bright and swirling and i swear to fuck i actually almost understood what it must have been like to see the beatles. i couldn't focus on a fucking thing, i was just jumping and hitting the little barrier wall and grinning and staring at pete, who came out in a suit jacket with his shades on and looked like the sharpest motherfucker in history.




the main reason i hate seeing shows at the hollywood bowl is that the sound sucks. it kinda seems like you're listening to a shitty stereo from another room. ok, not quite, but almost. there were quite a few moments the first night when i knew i should've been blown away by the power in the music where i just wasn't. this more than anything is why i'm glad i spent the money for the pit tickets, and this more than anything is why roger waters still could've been much more than it was. there were moments, though, when it did happen that night, where i was completely surrounded and drowning in it. 'who are you' was the first. fifteen miles from the band and i was having an out of body experience. i don't think it was until then that it clicked, that i realised just what i was there for, just how big it really was. this band has been a constant presence in my life, since the womb, man, and there they were before me. them. legends. the sound of it, absolute perfection. larger than life. every note speaking to me, feeding me. a train up on the screen, speeding along the tracks, taking us for a ride. i can't even explain the feeling of it from the third row where the sound was everything it should have been. the train on the film zooming along behind pete's head, making me lift my arms, making me tilt my head back and close my eyes, smiling, just smiling.

the same sensation came again with 'endless wire', pete changing the melody, and every note spiraling up toward heaven. this is a new song, people. he's still fucking got it. he's still got rage, too. at the beginning of the song he was handed a guitar that should've had a capo on it but didn't. "you suck!" he spat at his tech. thank you mom for teaching me the importance of learning to read lips. :-P

what i lost from 'baba o'riley' the first night came though full force from the front. oh my fucking god yes. by that time susan and i were over to the side in front of a speaker and fuck me, there was actually bass! pete sang the bridge with his fucking head movements as he does and my brain collided the present with footage from 'the kids are alright' and i couldn't breathe. "it's only teenage wasteland - YEAH!"

the absolute shock for me on the setlist was 'eminence front'. i dig the song, yeah? dancey little funk number that is is. but, fuck dude. live? it's another animal. live it's heavy and serious and absolutely beautiful. "the sun shines, and people forget." saturday i saw this song across the room, we met and i was overcome, but sunday i fell in love. "big wheel spins, the fucking (h?)air thins - people forget! forget they're hiding.."

and pete's funny, you know? he was commenting on how the sound was better than the previous night. "better. bet. ter. i should speak american. bedder." what i love about the way he talks to the crowd is that it's so casual. he sounds like he's conversing with a group of people in his living room. he and roger both, they'll have specific things to get across during the show, but depending on the night and the mood the explanations could take any number of random turns. both nights before introducing 'black widow's eyes', roger was saying how only pete townshend could write a song about stockholm syndrome (though funny enough, sting has as well), but sunday pete said exaggeratedly to the front row, away from the mic, "it happened to me!" and pointed at roger. PLEASE MARRY ME, ETC. the band introductions i also loved, for all their twists as well. pino palladino came to their rescue when john entwistle took 'one thing too many', and now "he hovers with us.. on the other side of what we now refer to as the mirror door." his brain. i love his brain. turns out keith moon's daughter was in attendance, and sadly just lost her mother, who "was hit by a fucking enormous truck." on guitar, "my brotha! my actual brother, my biological brother, simon townshend!" zak starkey is "a near relative," and motherfucking dude, i never realised how much he resembles ringo. it's nearly frightening. the expressions. in the theme of tragedy, their usual keyboardist "rabbit" just found out his wife has cancer, so his tech has been filling in and doing a stellar job. "we didn't even have to rehearse! .. actually, he's making a fucking mess of it."

THERE WERE MENTIONS OF CSI. THIS IS TOO FUNNY. 'mike post theme' is about tv and music, and how "the music was staying the same, i was changing." (night one he sang a bit of the 'i love lucy' theme. hee.) i love the new stuff. i really, really fucking love it.

'my generation' was everything it should be, everything it wasn't quite from the stands. there was a fucking jam at the end, pete's guitar riddled with delay, and bits of 'cry if you want' which is amazing and had me spellbound. "let your past go, let your tears flow." roger was scatting a bit too, i think, with things like, "you're not alone," and it was kind of fucking amazing. the first night they went back into 'my generation', pete repeating, repeating, "i hope i die before i get old, i hope i die before i get old.." and i couldn't help but think of how he's had to alter that statement in his mind, alter it so he can still back it. ("'Hope I die before I get old' is something I still have to live with, but not for the reason many people think. I have to be very, very vigilant not to become one of those people I despised.") this time he hung on the A at the end of the jam and they barreled straight into 'won't get fooled again'. playing cards turning up on the screen. a heart, a peace sign, a rainbow, a who target, a dove. the back of the cards were at first different colours of camouflage and then cartoonish war scenes, old fighter planes and soldiers in trenches. not exactly subtle images but projected in such a way that you wouldn't realise unless you were paying close attention. at the end of the song pete flung his strat from his hand, spinning it in the air and catching it again by the neck. my jaw just hung open.

pam had been able to stay second row centre the entire show so by the encore susan and i went for it and snuck back over there. when the guards tried to ruin it for everyone susan managed to sneak into the sectioned off area and wound up where she was night one - at pete's feet - and i hid behind some tall people and basked in the energy. it is so different even mere yards from centre stage, and i knew i had to get back into it again. we had our opportunity for taking in the show, it was time to throw ourselves back into the madness.

as a guitarist, you cannot see this man play and not be changed forever. even seeing it on video has changed me as a musician and this, being fifteen feet from him as he windmilled, as he jumped and twirled and hopped, as he attacked the strings with a twenty year old's vengeance.. i can't imagine anyone who's merely looked at a guitar ever would the same way again. 'sparks' is one of my favourite pieces ever written, and the man fuckin used his micstand as a slide. he opened his arms and became an airplane, tilting to the side, sly grin on his face. he had lost his coat for the encore, he was just in a teeny black t-shirt now, the shades had come off by song five, and i felt i could see him, just him and the guitar, no hiding behind any shields, just pure fucking energy.

way back in the stands on the first night, 'listening to you' was only the potential of what it could be. ("The finale of Tommy never failed to mesmerize me along with the audience,” Pete wrote in 1977. "It always felt to me like a prayer.") standing in front of him for this lived up to and surpassed everything i ever thought of it. i got it, fully, what he's always said about how by the end of 'tommy' the audience and the band had become one, that it was other-worldly. and it was so clear that this has not and never will leave him. he was entirely focused on the crowd before him. throughout the show he was aware of the people in front of him but for this song something shifted and his gaze never left us. his eyes were moving back and forth, scanning us, putting out and taking in. it's a sight i will never forget, that piercing blue and the feeling coming from them, the lessening of himself to something greater. it was the moment i had come for, the moment i couldn't leave without. the "losing something", as he has said, the letting go.

listening to you i get the music
gazing at you i get the heat
following you i climb the mountain
i get excitement at your feet
right behind you i see the millions
on you i see the glory
from you i get opinions
from you i get the story


then just the two of them wrapping it up with 'tea and theatre', quiet and acoustic, warm and beautiful, soft and humble. the perfect ending, a condensing of the madness into peace. all of us sad, all of us free.



Date: 2006-11-08 12:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] achtung12.livejournal.com
nobody cares about the who, except you and i! :P i enjoyed the write-up thanks! :)

Date: 2006-11-08 12:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stateless.livejournal.com
i know! well, brendan, maybe, if he can read. michele cares. and ally is actually the one who requested a write-up..

Date: 2006-11-08 01:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] achtung12.livejournal.com
oh i know... i know... .. just went a long time..... i'd type up what i wrote in my notebook.. but nobody wants to read about having pete spit on you... :P

Date: 2006-11-08 02:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ohnonothimagain.livejournal.com
you're the only two people i would read a who review from. i read something in the paper about the saturday performance that gave like an 80% positive review. it actually said pete didn't look like he was that into it. wtf?!? i'm glad both shows were a different experience. each one has had its highlights for me. the second and fourth times for me have been the best. this one was most special because of all the new songs...and we were probably the few who appreciated the new material as something special rather than just filler waiting for them to play "baba o'reilly". if i hadn't met pete on friday, i'd probably be a lot more jealous of you guys seeing them in the pit...as it is, i'm only a little jealous. ;) at least i know you're appreciating them for the same reasons i always have. (while i was working, i was driving around the valley, picking up open house signs and listening to klos, as the company van has no cd player. in honour of the who basically starting at that time, they played who's next in its entirety...it helped the night go a bit quicker. that's an album that really never gets old.) lemme know when you'd like to get together. i'll bring over everything i have and give you whatever you don't have. one of these days we need to have a conversation about "the who sell out" and its brilliance.

Date: 2006-11-08 04:19 am (UTC)

Date: 2006-11-08 08:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stateless.livejournal.com
not technically really, but 'after the rain has fallen' makes my brain go that route a bit.

Thank you

Date: 2006-11-08 04:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] la-woman.livejournal.com
I want to hear Eminence Front live. Glad both shows gave you what you needed from them. :)

Re: Thank you

Date: 2006-11-08 04:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ohnonothimagain.livejournal.com
eminence front is absolutely amazing live! they've done it at 3 out of 4 shows that i've attended through the years, and it destroys the album version by far.

Re: Thank you

Date: 2006-11-08 04:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] la-woman.livejournal.com
Wow... 'Cause I love the album version, so wow!

Date: 2006-11-08 04:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nostalgicecho.livejournal.com
the lessening of himself to something greater that is beautiful.

also...which sting song would that be?

Date: 2006-11-08 08:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stateless.livejournal.com
it really was beautiful.

(see above)

Date: 2006-11-08 06:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shihadchick.livejournal.com
really engrossing write up, Court. just... yeah. thank you for sharing.

(um, and you know why the CSI, right? *just checking*)

Date: 2006-11-08 08:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stateless.livejournal.com
aw dude, thanks.


as far as i know mike post didn't write the music..? is it cos it's alongside hill street blues or nypd blue or something..?

Date: 2006-11-08 08:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shihadchick.livejournal.com
you're welcome.

...and, okay, now i'm confused? i just meant that, like, a bunch of people are extra-familiar with some of the songs because remixes of them are the theme songs for each of the existing CSIs. (and, actually, are essentially (along with the theme for Veronica Mars, but that could've been written FOR the show, so I'm not sure if it counts) the only instances where existing music being used that way doesn't make me, at least, want to claw my ears off.)

Date: 2006-11-08 08:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stateless.livejournal.com
ohhhh. it uses who songs as theme music? that makes his comment the first night make more sense. he had said something about not needing the money. i didn't know, no.

did you see my post the other day about him watching the show?

Date: 2006-11-08 08:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shihadchick.livejournal.com
all three of them do, yeah. CSI (Vegas) is Who Are You, Miami is Baba O'Reilly and I forget what New York is, but it's definitely another Who song. they actually work amazingly well in the context, it always both startles and pleases me.

I did, yes! and then I had to tell Kat, as she is my CSI pimpbuddy. :D

Date: 2006-11-08 08:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stateless.livejournal.com
that's funny! i so fucking get it now. god i'm oblivious.

i love him so. "na na na na na na." hee.

Date: 2006-11-08 08:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shihadchick.livejournal.com
*pet* Is okay. No reason for you to have known, really. :D

Ahahahahahaha. And, FAIR.

Date: 2006-11-08 08:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shihadchick.livejournal.com
*some of the Who's songs. pretend like i speak english.

Date: 2006-11-13 08:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ruidoso.livejournal.com
woah.

i actually almost understood what it must have been like to see the beatles

...woah.

also, the way he is with the audience (as you've described it), sounds very glen-like.

Date: 2006-11-14 08:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stateless.livejournal.com
absolute MADNESS.

and YES. there are so many similaries within all of them - pete, bono, glen, etc. the more i read the more i find, and seeing him just made it so clear..

Date: 2006-11-14 11:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ruidoso.livejournal.com
so cool. and it makes so much sense, too. that you'd be drawn to similar musicians to one another (and yourself).

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