The Who in Toronto, Night One

Finally. Finally.

Sixteen-and-a-half months after getting tickets I saw the Who’s first of two Toronto shows. The show was delayed by almost five months after Roger Daltrey contracted viral meningitis; the second show, which is on April 26, was actually delayed twice. Anyway. I’m in the midst of one of “those” Steve weeks, which in this instance has been compounded by moving house and starting a new job (details forthcoming!). For now, then, it’s just a setlist and a few notes from Tuesday’s concert. It was really good. This can’t be the beginning of the end. Can it?

Set:

  • Who Are You (this is the first time I’ve seen the Who open a non-Quadrophenia show with anything other than “I Can’t Explain”)
  • The Seeker
  • The Kids Are Alright (love, love, love the version they’re doing on this tour)
  • I Can See for Miles
  • My Generation
  • Pictures of Lily
  • Behind Blue Eyes
  • Bargain
  • Join Together
  • You Better You Bet (these last couple songs don’t really “work” for me: they didn’t last year in Belfast and London and they didn’t Tuesday in Toronto. I like them, especially “Join Together,” but this was the one part of the set that felt indulgent.)
  • I’m One
  • The Rock (first time hearing this outside a Quadrophenia show; I’m guessing it’s been inserted into the set so Roger can rest his voice for “Love, Reign O’er Me,” but it slots in perfectly)
  • Love, Reign O’er Me
  • Eminence Front
  • Amazing Journey
    • Captain Walker [snippet]
      • Sparks
  • Pinball Wizard
  • See Me, Feel Me
  • Baba O’Riley
  • Won’t Get Fooled Again

At this point I don’t have much new to say about the Who. They’re my favourite band; their music means more to me than I could possibly express (and besides, “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture” and all that). They’re also the only band that consistently brings me to tears, and on Tuesday they did it on no fewer than three occasions. If this is the end, I’m glad I’m getting these last couple goodbyes–and that this band came into my life over twenty years ago. Where would I be without them?

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