House of Blues - Chicago, IL - September 28, 2006
Pete Townshend - Greyhound Girl, Devil in Disguise (Elvis cover), Blue Red and Grey, Imagine a Man, Endless Wire, Let's See Action, In The Ether, I'm One (with everyone for show closer)
Rachel Fuller - Cigarettes and Housework, It's a mother fucker (Eels song), Just Breathe (with Pete on acoustic guitar)
Simon Townshend - Girl in New York, The Way It Is
Rose Hill Drive - Raise Your Hands (with Pete), Young Man Blues (with Pete)
Review by Hans
Just got home from the In the Attic performance tonight. For those of you in Chicago that missed this and for those of you unable to attend, you missed something magical tonight!
The Chicago House of Blues (the original HOB) is tiny, holding about 1200 people for standing only events. This night, seating was available which probably cut down the capacity to about 800 and the event did NOT sell out!! I estimated about 600 people there. Most I talked to did not even know this was happening until a few days ago, and if you don't keep up on Rachel's web site you wouldn't have known about it. I was about 10 feet from the stage, dead center. This venue feels like bands are literally playing in your family room and the sound is superb!
Rachel was the host and she was looking VERY hot. Tight leather pants with an embroidered skeleton head on her butt (which I believe matches those skeleton heads on Pete's scarf) with a black almost micro top....very sexy.
This is Rachel Fuller's event but it was dominated by Pete. Rachel selected the other artists and included on the bill tonight were (If I miss on the exact order of performers forgive me):
Simon Townshend who opened the 2 hour and fifteen minute event by playing 3 (I believe) of his own songs. I happened to meet Simon outside the venue before it began while he was having a smoke and had a chance to say hello. Simon's set was played alone on electric and was a great way to start.
Rachel then introduced Willie Mason, a very young performer who Rachel fancies, who performed about 4 of his own songs. If you were to close your eyes you would swear you were hearing Johnny Cash from 40years ago. He was very good. All acoustic backed by his brother on drums. He then Introduced Pete who played a final song with him, with Pete playing rhythm acoustic.
It was now Pete's turn and I must say it was magical. When the applause died before he began playing he said "thanks for coming out" I and some others yelled to him " Thank you for coming" He answered back, tongue in cheek, "...I was forced to come (by Rachel) but then again I like to being forced..." which drew a laugh. He was animated, engaging and told a story I had never heard before about his meeting one of the guys in the Flying Burrito Brothers in 1969 in California shortly after he finished Tommy. He was conversant and reminded me very much of Harry Chapin who often engaged in story telling about his life during his performances. It felt like one on one not like you were sitting with 600 other people.
Pete's set included (all acoustic):
Greyhound Girl- (after performing it told a story about when he was a boy and of his father's crippled greyhound that he hoped he could nurse back to health and return to racing. Unfortunately, Pete conveyed he and the dog were on a London bus in the open air rear of the vehicle and while holding the dog it took off on Pete apparently seeing a cat or something and hence no more dog. (Very funny stuff)
Blue Red and Grey
In the Ether (accompanied by Rachel on piano)
and LET'S SEE ACTION alone on acoustic!
Rachel then took the stage and played:
-Cigarettes and Housework
-It's a mother fucker (a cover of The Eels song)
-Just Breathe accompanied by Pete on Acoustic
Rachel sings like an angel; a gorgeous voice and she is very funny and gregarious (with a mouth like a truck driver) and at one point admonished Pete when he was teasing her saying "...good thing for you I am not on stage with you in The Who playing those tambourines" and in response Pete said "I told you I was forced here but then she put on those tight leather trousers and I had to follow..."
Mikey Cuthbert then played one of his tunes
Next up was a young group Rachel introduced named Rose Hill Drive. I must say they were terrific! A stripped down three piece group, pure rock no bullshit and their lead guitarist was exceptional!! I am going to pick up one of their CD's (later in the show, Rachel announced they will be opening for The Who at 4 California dates. I highly recommend not missing them). They played 3 of their own songs which really rocked and then their lead singer/ bassist said "I'd like to introduce Pete Townshend who is going to help us play this next song.......I don't fucking believe I am standing here saying that!" With that Pete picked up his Red Fender and played with the boys. After finishing and to everyone's astonishment the riffs of YOUNG MAN BLUES came out of Pete's guitar and is was off to the races, with vocals provided by RHD's lead singer and the CROWD.....I think it was about a 10 minute jam with Pete and Rose Hill Drive's lead guitarist trading back and forth one playing rhythm and one playing lead and so on back and forth...it was unbelievable and incredibly tight. The place went nuts and I heard people saying this is magic and I can't believe what I am hearing. To Pete's credit he kept up with the youngsters and at one point was totally getting into it and started to get in his zone. These kids were smiling ear to ear playing with him and you could tell they would have done this all night. It was really special and this moment would have been totally lost in a large venue.
The final song of the evening involved all performers singing with Rose Hill Drive playing and Pete on Acoustic.........I AM ONE.
Again, this was a magic night...the only way I can describe it....a once in a life time... and in some ways felt like a passing of the torch with the age difference very apparent between Pete and the other performers but the music transcended the time and age difference.
After seeing The Who Monday night and now this performance I can honestly say I think I enjoyed tonight more. No it was not The Who but I think it was something very special. After tonight, this week actually, I don't believe I can see another Who performance, this was too perfect. I almost feel sorry for the other cities left on the tour....CLEARLY the best of The Who and Pete may have been left in Chicago!
So let's see, Simon, Mikey, Rachel, Willie Mason, Rosehill Drive, and of course Pete for over 2 hours in an intimate venue, 10 feet from the stage for $90.00 Bucks!!!!
I CALL THAT A BARGAIN.. the best I ever had!!!