For Your Pre-New Year's Listening Pleasure: The Who Bring Tommy to Memorial Auditorium

Categories: Music
TheWhoatMemorial.JPG
Who Collection
Four months ago I stumbled across a rough keepsake of The Who's first-ever Dallas performance in July 1967 at Memorial Auditorium downtown; it's a rumble of feedback and chatter, though buried somewhere beneath it all is The Greatest Rock and Roll Band of All Time roaring toward immortality. And now we have this to add to our ever-growing stack of live-and-local Who odds and sods: On June 19, 1970, the band returned to Memorial, touring behind both Tommy and Live at Leeds, the latter recorded in February of '70 and released in May, one month before Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, Keith Moon and John Entwistle's triumphant return with the deaf, dumb and blind boy in tow.

The show, available here, appears to be incomplete; various set lists, such as this one, insist the band opened with "Heaven and Hell" and closed with "Summertime Blues," "Shakin' All Over" and, but of course, "My Generation." Nevertheless, Dallas audiences were treated to rarities seldom heard after that, including "The Seeker" (which, so the story goes, fell off the set list after this performance and wouldn't make its in-concert return for another 30 years) and "Water" (a Lifehouse composition first released as the "5.15" B-side in 1973).

After "I Can't Explain," "Young Man Blues," those lost gems and a little "pop song" (per Pete) called "Substitute," Townshend calls out the "maestro" -- one Keith Moon -- to "assemble the members of the orchestra for the overture" to Tommy, which fills the remainder of this playful, invaluable recording. I always was a Quadrophenia man myself; that said, they were shooting "Sparks" on this night. And lest I forget: Tickets cost $3 then. A ticket stub will run you $75 today.
My Voice Nation Help
9 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
Parisrec
Parisrec

Took my high school girlfriend to that show..she told me it reminded her of a nazi rally...

TG
TG

Just sayin' - you are a fool. You sound like a bitter Zep fan. Don't be a hater - Zep was a solid little band too. Maybe even in the top 20.

The Who? Without question the Greatest Rock and Roll Band of All Time.  

just sayin'
just sayin'

The only person here that sounds like a "fool" is you. Greatest rock and roll band of all time that did a concept record about pinball. Thats about it. And while I do find Zep to be a more enjoyable listen, I wouldnt call them the greatest band of all time, either. I don't think its possible to call any band the greatest of all time without question.

I wasnt even alive in the fucking sixties. As I grew up, I was able to listen to stuff from back then with an open mind. Stuff I dismissed as a kid ended up becoming some of my favorites. I just never could get into the Who. The few songs that I can actually listen to from start to finish are because of Keith Moon's drumming. The second I hear Pete on vocals, its time to change the channel. The lone exception being about 2 1/2 minutes into Baba O'Riley.

Cujo
Cujo

The Who weren't a very good band in the studio overall. The live shows and four of their records were their legacy. Had you actually seen them in any of the tours from 1968-75 you'd probably know better what the fuss was about. The Superbowl halftime show really was pathetic, so if you're basing it on that performance and most of their studio albums, you won't get it. The "Tommy", "Live at Leeds", "Who's Next" and "Quadrophenia" records were quite good but it's difficult to imagine how good they were live unless you were there. The other problem is that Entwhistle is too either too muted or Townshend is playing over him on the studio records. Let's contrast them with another poplular band with good vocals and not much in the way of musical chops. I'll pick U2:1. Decent lyrics, good singer : Even2. Horrible rhythm section: The Who had a far better bass and drummer3. Guitar player: U2 wins for bad guitar playing. Take away the effects pedals and he's lost. Even Townshend at his most trashed is superior. 4. Live shows: The Who had a very high energy show, U2 had lots of special effects for the stage show to distract how boring it is to actually watch them perform. The differences in technology notwithstanding, I'd sooner pay to see The Who in their prime than U2. The difference to me is stage presence.

They only match up with The Who on point #1 in my opinion. Yet they're wildly popular for no reason I can fathom as there are plenty of other artists who have better output and much more talent. I give them credit for staying together, the lead singer could have dumped them and gotten real musicians long ago.

This is all my opinion but having seen both bands in their primes, that's my take. It's all relative to what you want to take away from it.

just sayin'
just sayin'

I really just never got what the big deal was about the Who. Greatest Rock and Roll band of all time my ass. The only thing great about the Who was watching Keith Moon play. Fuck, Bonzo was a better drummer, Keith was just more fun to watch. Every clip of the Who should just be a drum cam with the vocals cut waaaaay down.

Cujo
Cujo

The Who shows in previous weeks are of better quality as is the Memphis show.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...