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December 11, 1979 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-12-11

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The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, December 11, 1979-Page 5

FROM MA SONIC

TO PONTIA C:

The Who redeem shattered faith

By MARTIN LEDERMAN
AskcunI Whofmn if theivcare ho well
te are pla-ing oeany single date. The
Wholdon 'ont n l u5 tias pEOple
might imagine. tut as performers,
their respins. to the a die strs energy
is ritit."
-Pete Tornshend, 1977
The problem with rock and roll is it's
the kind of thing that, when yoa
lhecone inrolIrel with it. you become
oldsess,-d.
-Teoiesihend, 1978
It's this obsession that is really
worrisome. The obsession that prom-
pted people to lay out as much as $100
for a pair of tickets to the Who concert
at Masonic is not the same obsession
that resulted in the death of 11 fans
during apre-concert rush in Cincinnati.
At least I hope not.
There's something different here,
and to understand it, one has to take a
look at the Who's "warm-up" concert at
Masonic Auditorium in Detroit two
weeks ago; the colossal show at the
Silverdome last Friday; and what hap-
pened in between.
Phase One-Masonic
The Who at Masonic is everything
anyone could have expected, and more.
Roger Daltrey, limber as ever, sings
strong and clear. His rendition of
"Behind Blue Eyes" was amazing, as
he perfectly expressed both the
cynicism of the beginning and the
viciousness of the roaring electric in-
terlude. John Entwistle played his part
especially well, acting as the stabilizing
force of the band while displaying the
most agile bass playing in all of rock.
Townshend, of course, was the leader
as always, and he performed with an in-
tensity that can be captured by very
'few people on stage. He really doesn't
'need to destroy his guitar in order to
achieve the levels of power that he
does. He is a unique showman with a
purpose; a performer with a love for his
art unequalled in all of rock.
Something must be said about the ab-
sence of the late Keith Moon: The Who
is not the same band without him, and it
kdoesn't try to be. Kenny Jones is an ex-
tcellent drummer, granted, and Lord
eknows he (and the band) try awful hard
to make the transition smooth. Moon
was not only the best drummer in rock,
the was the most unique. His incredible
lunacy and recklessness was somehow
tencased in a controlled precision that
'only he could pull off.
r THE WHO was the only band that
'actually followed the drums in its per-
formance. Jores is only a drummer, not

a magician. Those times when a
specific fill from the past is sorely
lacking (such as on "Can't Explain"
and "I Can See for Miles") is when the
difference is first noticed. Later, it's the

Phase Two - Townshend
...it (losn , ,get I ,, uptight. i'
someoe ,ay clap or sing or shout or
screa or d o hatr you ,r>nt to (h,.
Tihat 5sexactlY what Iwant tod(li,>(l if

' . there's no bleeding, no fighting for
the music! It's not the same as it used to
be.

... Pete Townsend, Nov. 31, 1979

there's salratio,.
-Tonshend, 1977
Afterwards, Townshend was quite
pleased with the Who's performance,
but seemed a little disturbed by the
crowd apathy.
"I used to think it was better to play
in the small halls, like Masonic, but now
I'm not so sure," he said. "Sure the
audience is fighting to get a place
on the floor, but there's no bleeding, no
fighting for the music! It's not the same
as it used to be. We aren't motivated to
do well, and it hurts. At Masonic, we
can see everything that's going on out
there, and it affects us. At Pontiac, we
can't see anything that's going on, and
we don't have to think about it."
He went on to say that if the true fans
were still around, the large arena
shows would be able to reach more of
them. He didn't believe that it was wor-
thwhile either financially or
emotionally to play in the small halls.
"When I go on stage now, I'm simply
taking your money and putting on a
show. I want to put on the best show
possible, but it just can't be done as well
at Masonic as it can at Pontiac. At the
Silverdome, it's easier to play and

assume that the crowd is relating. At
Masonic, I have to ignore what's hap-
pening out there, just play my heart
out, and hope that someone, somewhere
out there, is getting something from it.
THE IMPRESSION Townshend gave
was that it was becoming harder and
harder for him to uphold the cohesion
between the audience and performer
that used to be so evident. He had come
out of retirement because he felt that he
was responsible to an entirely new
generation of Who fans. On Who By
See WHO, Page 7

incredible solos from "Won't Get
Fooled Again". They're just not there.
Moon's absence makes the Who more
than ever Townshend's band, which
isn't bad, mind you: His guitar playing
has never been so expressive, nor his
leadership so evident. The addition of
horns and keyboards are not as in-
trusive as one might think. They aren't
so much prominent as they are com-
plementary. It's not a worse band than
it was when Moon was kicking, just dif-
ferent. As they say, the music must
change.
Still,. something else was missing,
and it wasn't in the Who, but in a lack of
response from the crowd. Sure,
everyone said that thev were dancing
during the encore "Dancing in the
Streets," but they must have all been in
the balcony.
The crowd was simply not in tune
with the group. An incredible perfor-
mance of "5:15" brought minimal
response, while a lackluster rendition
of the Tommy medley extorted a
mechanical uprising.
Anatomiscal
T-shirts
Sci-Fi T-shirts
Dinosaur T-shirts
A UNIQUE
CHRISTMAS
GIFT
BOOKSTORE
1216 S. University
663-9333

I feel like jumping tp andl towivnand
dancing. I 1don't rant ,reron#e telling
,ne that I'i tbringing them tdown or
that the, c'an'I liste, to th- music or
somnnething. People shold e ,,n
aud(ie'n(l and if it's time to get up ,,n1
(ance, ,vervodv shouldd o i, at tl,-
sattl a' tinthie.
-Tionlshen, 1968
We get our life 'extensions from, our
aldienf(es. Whole thre' s (ti auience,

GOOD
LUCK
ON
FINALS!

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HARRY'S CHARGE and other
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Located in Ann Arbor at
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(Next to Farmer Jack's)
Open Mon., Tues., Fri. - 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m.
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Sun. - 12 noon-5:00 p.m.
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