The Who at Desert Trip weekend two

 

The Who Setlist Desert Trip, Back to The Who Tour 2016

 

 

Videos

I Can't Explain
The Seeker
Who Are You
The Kids Are Alright
My Generation/Cry If You Want
Behind Blue Eyes
Bargain
Bargain
Join Together
You Better You Bet
5:15
I'm One
I'm One / The Rock
Love, Reign O'er Me
Amazing Journey / Sparks
Pinball Wizard
Pinball Wizard
Pinball Wizard / See Me, Feel Me / Listening to You
Baba O'Riley
Won't Get Fooled Again
Won't Get Fooled Again
Band intros

 

Press

LA Times
Billboard
OC Weekly
Desert Sun
The Sun
The Music
Mercury News
Backstage Blog

 

Review by Pat Stanton

The last Who concert of the North America Hits 50/51 tour was magical.

Pete was playful and danced all night in keeping with his opening line when he asked if the fans came to see old people dance, a repeat of the first weekend's line. Unlike in Mexico where the altitude seemed to effect him, Pete was on all night.

Just prior to the band taking the stage, the wind started to blow. The grounds have dust and sand everywhere and many of the staff wore bandanas over their mouths without the wind. You can just image the sand that was blowing with the wind.

The wind bothered Roger, who repeated Jagger's line from Friday when he said singing there was like singing into a blow dryer. Friday's conditions were nothing compared to Sunday. Roger soldiered on regardless of the wind, drinking copious amounts of water to compensate. His voice broke when he first attempted the high note in the Love Reign closing but he hit it on the second attempt. Naturally the local paper covered it that he "struggled" with the difficult song. Personally I thought his rendition was a stunning as usual with a small falter that he corrected to finish masterfully. Critics.

Pete initially mentioned when he took the stage that it was a happy and sad occasion as it was their last NA concert on this two year tour. Perhaps it was the last time the band will play in America.

Pete did all his tricks for this show - leap, machine gunning and slide- plus he danced like it was 1976. He had a mishap in a guitar swap mid show and ended up with a slight gash over his right eyebrow but it did not slow him down. His slide was one of his recent best.

Pete repeated Mick's comment that the concert was to see people before they croak. He mused on who they would "dig up" next year. Rumors have spread that Led Zeppelin was been offered a king's ransom to headline. Maybe they will bring back some of the artists.

Set list was the same as recent shows without Acid Queen. No encore tonight.

Pete asked us if we were tired, smirking that they were not. Yes we were hot and tired after 3 days in the blazing desert sun but we were still up for the show.

The Pit fans were not as spirited as they were last week although they got into the performance. Apparently many were there for the second act, Roger Waters, something I realized during his show as the difference in audience participation was significant.

I realized after watching all six concerts this weekend that the Who concert is a cohesive performance, with peaks and valleys and changing moods that flow into each other rather than just a jumble of songs. McCartney's show was the only other concert with a similar structure, at least to me.

If this is the last of the Who shows in America, it could not have ended any better. Fabulous show!

 

Review by Lauren Eastman

Still on a high from this once in a lifetime experience to attend the second weekend of The Desert Trip, I am grateful to fellow Who fans who helped to get me in on the front rail with them for all three nights. After seeing incredible performances by The Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney, it was hard to believe that it could get even better - but it did!

When The Who entered the stage in the Coachella Valley around 6:30 PM on Sunday night Oct. 16th, the crowd of 75,000 went wild. The Who made this last show of their North American Who Hits 50/51 tour a memorable one. I was fortunate to attend the first show on the North American leg of this tour in Tampa, so now having attended the last show - I will compare them.  

This final show in Indio, CA was very tight, professional and flowed like a beautiful river.  The ageless performance became more powerful by changing up the graphics on the big screen since the earlier shows, particularly images of the band as they played and sang, making them bigger than life.

Roger and Pete looked relaxed and happy as they came onstage. Both interacted with the front row fans, and you could tell that they felt the love and were savoring every moment themselves. They were not there just to perform, but to take it all in. Pete showed his love  by shotgunning at the audience with his guitar, Roger by blowing kisses.

One of my favorite moments was hearing 5:15 again, which was not played at the previous 5 shows that I was able to attend on this tour.   Getting to see Pete successfully slide during Roger's "scream" in Won't Get Fooled Again was a fantastic ending to a fantastic weekend.

Pete ended by thanking the audience and the other performers and said "We don't know who they will dig up next year, there must be some other old people left".   Nobody is left like you Pete. Nobody!

 

Review by Seth Davidson

This is a review of the Who's performance at the second weekend of Desert Trip. But its not just a review of the music.    

I've seen the Who a whole lot of times, dating back over 40 years.  I've never bothered to count. If I had only seen them once, it would have been life changing.  For a long time, I've thought every time I've seen them could/would be the last. My wife and I even used to write about it in an annual holiday letter:  "This past year, Seth saw the Who for the last time 4 more times."   I certainly thought it was possible it might be the last time when I saw them this past spring in DC (after seeing them in NY and Philly earlier on the Who Hits 50/51 energizer bunny tour that just kept on going and going and going....)

But when I got a call from a friend in LA urging me to come out to California from the east coast for Desert Trip, I couldn't say no (even if I didn't exactly say yes). I gave him the go ahead to buy me a ticket with the idea I'd decide later whether or not to go.  But there really wasn't ever any doubt.  I've never had a ticket for the Who I didn't use and wasn't going to start now.  Even though the seats Ron got were not "down front" where I’ve been fortunate to be so many times over the years. And even though we'd be camping, which isn't at the top of my list of things to do. But this was my childhood friend Ron -- the friend who gave me the cymbal Keith Moon handed to him at the end of a Cap Centre show. The friend who handed me a drink a few weeks later and told me that he had just heard on the radio that Keith had died. The friend who attended the VH1 Honors show with me decades later and was captured on video singing along with me. Seeing the Who again with him was a no-brainer.

And then things started to happen.  Really good things. First, I got profiled in the Desert Sun newspaper as one of four "excessive" Who fans written up in advance of Desert Trip.  I knew the other three -- two have been in my house, the other shared second row seats with me at Forest Hills.  They really are the true excessive fans. The only thing that allows me to be mentioned in the same breath as them is that I've been at it longer than any of them. I'm on old fart. But not boring.

Then, Teenage Cancer America announced a contest -- for every $10 you donated, you were entered in a drawing for tickets, airfare, hotel, and other stuff.  I support TCA every year anyway, so I made my donation early and...won the grand prize.  So no camping  - instead accommodations at a luxury resort. Two tickets. Free airfare. It was last minute, but when I called my college friend John -- John who had attended the Who's Quad show with me (and others) at Cap Centre in 1973.  John, whose picture I can pick out (barely) in the poster that accompanied Odds and Sods, my first 'down front' show.  And when he said yes, it meant Ron's 22 year old daughter got the chance to go using the ticket that originally had been earmarked for me.  Karma was flowing all around.

And then more karma -- my more recent who pals told me they had my back and had a plan for getting me into the pit for the Who's performance.  The contest seats were in the grandstand and, like a lot of the seating at Desert Trip, they felt a bit like they were a country mile from the stage.  I was tempted to stay up there for the Who, just to get a sense as to how the crowd was reacting when they weren't close to the action.  But I couldn't resist and ended up about five rows back in the pit.  I am blessed with wonderful friends.

So how was it?  It was another amazing journey in long line of amazing journeys.  As they have so many times in the past -- Monterey, Woodstock, Concert for New York City -- the boys delivered when it counted the most.  Pete, who was in great spirits, said early on it wasn't a competition.  But you know he had his tongue planted somewhere in his cheek when he said it. Of course it was a competition. The most incredible battle of the bands ever.  

The set list may not have varied from week one or that much from the other shows I've seen the past year, but the intensity was clearly turned up a notch. There was a bounce in Pete's step -- dancing Pete -- and there was a grin on Roger's face -- everyone seemed in the moment. This wasn't going to be a show where crotchety Pete or annoyed Roger complained about the sound or something not working.  Everything was working.

But it really wasn't.  Roger had trouble on the end of Love Reign O'er Me.  But when he missed the note, he just grinned shrugged, and tried again -- and nailed it.  Probably better than at any of the other shows I've seen.  When Pete suddenly appeared with a cut on his forehead, there was no drama. He didn't even bother to wipe it off until after Baba O'Riley.  Apparently he collided with a guitar during the swap out during the Sparks/Amazing Journey.  Tear up a finger nail? Who cares?

Pete machine gunned my friends in the front row, pointed, winked, made faces and seemed to thoroughly enjoy himself.  Same for Roger. Same for the others in the band. (Loren in particular was grinning ear to ear and had the "can this be for real" look on his face all night).  

Highlights?  When you're smiling and yet tears are flowing because you're feeling the awesomeness of the moment while reliving the past, they're all highlights.  I give high marks to Eminence Front -- the song that used to be my bathroom break song (before I realized that there was no way I was walking out of a Who performance for anything).  The Rock instrumental -- I saw some interesting videos behind various acts over the weekend, including Roger Waters' epic videos. But that chronological/documentary video that runs behind the Rock -- it mesmerizes me.  And why not.  It's the history I've lived, from the British invasion through Vietnam to Iraq, 9/11 and up to today.  WGFA?  Great. Kids? Great.   Highlights? What wasn't a highlight?  

And then it was over.  I decided to leave the pit. Because this strange trip was more than music -- it was a high school reunion (in addition to Ron, I connected up with two other high school (45 years ago) buddies.  I just missed out on running into others from different parts of my life (a former work colleague, a scuba diving buddy).  All linked by the music.  When I got back to the grandstand, I asked John how the crowd reacted to the Who way back there.  And he just smiled and said -- epic.   To be honest, I wasn't sure I could sit through Roger Waters after the Who -- after all, in more than four decades of Who concerts, I'd never seen an act follow the Who. When the Who was done, that was it.

So that's the review.  It was epic.  There were other epic moments over the weekend. Neil's Cowgirl in the Sand, the Stones Gimme Shelter and You Can't Always Get What You Want.  Several Macca songs.  Moments during Roger Waters and Dylan's sets.  But for end to end greatness with no down moments, no pacing issues, no bathroom break moments -there was only one band out there.  The one that I've seen, felt and heard for forty-plus of my 63 years.  Yes there were tears.  And it turns out that my friend Ron -- whose not an obsessive, excessive Who fan -- well it turns out his wife said that she saw tears from him too.

So that's the review. Such as it is. Only thing left to say:  Long Live Rock. Long Live the Who. And Long Live the Who's fantastic fans.

And PS -- When you get a moment, go to teencanceramerica.org and make a donation.  There's good karma out there for those that do.

Pete Townshend - News, Articles, and History