After closely following The Who’s Moving On tour all year long producing concert pages for this site, I finally got to see them in my home town of Seattle. Since this is my only show this tour, it seemed like a long time to wait! But what a joy it was to see them here, at what could be my final Who show in a city where I first saw them perform with Keith Moon in 1976. If this is the end, it was a good one to close on!
This was a whole new experience seeing The Who play at T-Mobile Park, the Mariners baseball stadium. The last time I saw them play in a stadium was in 1982 at the Seattle Kingdome. By a cool coincidence, before the show we had dinner with my dear friend Tim Gorman, who played keyboards with The Who on that 1982 tour! I wore my 1982 Who tour tshirt to the show as a salute to Tim.
Stadiums are definitely not my favorite place to see any concert, and this will likely be my last stadium show. Fortunately, T-Mobile Park has a retractable roof, because it was pouring down rain most of the day, and freezing cold. The rain did let up by show time, but the roof is not fully enclosed, so it was still super cold inside throughout the show. Band members and audience alike bundled up in parkas, scarves and hats trying to stay warm. I was a bit worried the cold would have an effect on Roger’s voice, but he sang extremely well all night!
The sound in the stadium had a bit of an echo, reminding me of the old Kingdome shows. Pete remarked on it, and said what a great job their sound guy did each night. It was much better sounding than I expected though, and was very loud. The cold night air seemed to help carry the sound throughout the venue, and some notes really soared.
Despite the cold, Pete and Roger were in high spirits all night, and performed magnificently. Pete was very chatty and in good humour, which for me is always the best part of the show. The only slight screwup of the night came during Substitute, when Simon didn’t come in at one point, which prompted Pete to jokingly call him a c*nt afterwards for messing up his favorite part!
Eddie Vedder made a guest appearance during Punk and the Godfather, which was really fun to see. He really injected a lot of energy into the show. We all love Eddie here in Seattle. He has been popping up on a few other Seattle shows lately, including joining Glen Hansard at the Moore last month.
I won’t go into details about all the songs, but I did shoot a lot of video, which you can see in my playlist above. It was a fabulous show, and while our seats were further away than I would have liked, we had a good unobstructed view throughout. The big screens and binoculars helped! I really had to zoom in for the videos, so please excuse the shaky cam.
After the show, my husband Tom and I made our way backstage, which was a bit of a challenge to navigate through the hidden passage way behind the dugout on the field. We found the hospitality room, where we got to hang out some more with Tim Gorman. I introduced Tim to Loren Gold, so the past and current keyboard players got to meet.
We ended up going into the inner sanctum of the backstage area with Tim, where Pete and Roger had their private rooms, and were fortunate to be able to go and visit with both. It was especially lovely to get the opportunity to chat for a few minutes alone with Pete, who was charming as always. We also chatted with Eddie Vedder, who was running around the halls with a baseball, signing autographs and posing for photos. Then we saw the whole tour band and manager come out to leave together.
We were all walking on cloud nine after the show. It was a night I will never forget!
We were lucky enough to do soundcheck and we could tell immediately that even though the roof was closed at T Mobile and the weather was cold, the band was in fine spirits. They quickly ran through a few tunes, one including a Seattle special guest, and then welcomed the orchestra back on to run through Overture. Pete commented that he loved the Seattle symphony and was really happy to have many musicians from that orchestra there (he made that comment through the evening when the show started too). Roger's voice sounded in fine form and Pete was joking with everyone. We could tell that despite the cold, it was going to be a great show.
Liam Gallagher was a great opener for the band. Did a bunch of solo material but ended with 2 Oasis classics (Wonderwall and Champagne Supernova).
Finally it was showtime! The band came out and from the outset you could tell that they were dialed in. Pete was wearing his red boiler suit and despite the cold conditions (Jon Button and Loren Gold were very bundled up) everyone was ready to rock. It was the typical Tommy opener on the tour (Overture/1921/Amazing Journey-Sparks/Pinball Wizard/We're Not Gonna Take It). With a full orchestra and horn section it was magnificent. Roger's voice was in fine form and Pete was blistering on AJ/Sparks.
Next it was Who Are You (which didn't seem to get much of a bump from the orchestra) and Eminence Front. Having an orchestral backing for Eminence really brought out a lot of nuance in the song, and Pete at points seemed to get lost in soloing during the song...which is how I can tell that he's really feeling it. Imagine A Man came next and this is where the orchestra and Roger shined. From there it was new material...Hero Ground Zero. Having not heard it much I thought it was good, but I need to hear it streamed a bit more to really get comfortable with it.
Next came the band set. Substitute, Miles, YBYB all sounded pretty standard. I am a huge fan of Pete's acoustic WGFA from the Secret Policeman's Ball...so a full on acoustic version with Pete and Roger was amazing. So intimate and yet so powerful at the same time. Pete's acoustic expertise was on full display as well. After that it was Blue Eyes with the violin and cello leads...again adding another dimension to a classic song.
For Orchestra set 2, Ball and Chain (or Big Cigars, or whatever they call it these days) was the opening song. I like the song and think it sounded good in the set. Then it was on to Quad. Having a full orchestra with horns really brought out the best in the material. Real Me, I'm One and then Punk with Eddie Vedder, who always seems to show up to Who shows around the world, but especially in his hometown. Punk kicked things into an extra gear thanks to the excitement and then it was into 5:15, The Rock and Love Reign O'er Me. Loren Gold did a particularly great intro to Love.
Of course the finale was Baba and it's both familiar and weird to have the synth track being played by the orchestra. It's always awesome to see Pete and Katie Jacoby doing a hoedown towards the end during the violin section.
That's it. Great show. Band was in fine form. Sound was excellent and despite a cold night the crowd was in great spirits. Amazing performance!