Pete Townshend wrapped up his US mini-tour of Classic Quadrophenia with a stunning performance at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles on Saturday night, September 16th. The setting of the classical outdoor amphitheatre in Griffith Park was the perfect venue for this wonderful production, as the casual but chic LA audience enjoyed the amazing acoustics of the beautiful orchestral soundscape and comfortable atmosphere of the warm open air.
The cast and conductor were the same as the Tanglewood and Met shows, with Robert Ziegler leading the huge orchestra and choir. Alfie Boe brought a great deal of power and energy to his performance of the lead character Jimmy, leaping about all over the stage, slamming the microphone down to the ground at times, and making the songs soar with his incredible vocals. He was behaving much more like a rock star than a classical tenor, and he truly energized the crowd.
Pete’s portrayal of the Godfather and Jimmy’s Dad brought a new dimension to his usual role of legendary rock star guitar player. His performance was more like music theatre, playing the Godfather as a bit aggressive and flashy, with some humour and very fancy dance moves thrown in. In contrast, he played the Dad character as a bit older and more worn out, with a loving relationship to Jimmy. It was a joy to see Pete perform in this new setting, and it was clear that he was having a wonderful time all evening. His guitar playing on "Drowned" and "I’m One" was also particularly stunning, and meshed extraordinarily well with the orchestra.
Billy Idol was also very theatrical in his role as the Ace Face / Bell Boy, and he did a great job bridging The Who’s 1996 production of Quadrophenia that he also performed in, with this new classical version. The interplay between all the singers was a lot of fun to watch and really brought the songs to life. They all came together at the end to perform "The Real Me" for an encore.
The whole audience rocked out to this unique hybrid of classic rock and classical arrangement that was brilliantly orchestrated by Pete’s wife, Rachel Fuller. It was a very special evening of music that will be cherished by all who attended.
Many thanks to Pete Townshend and Rachel Fuller for bringing Classic Quadrophenia to America!
Thanks to everyone who contributed photos and videos for all the shows!