Sunday, June 10, 2018

Roger Daltrey performs The Who's "Tommy" - Bethel, NY - June 8, 2018 review, video & photos

On June 8, 2018 Roger Daltrey kicked off his "Roger Daltrey performs The Who's Tommy" tour at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in the Bethel, NY.  Here's the full review including my photos and HD videos.

At each stop of the tour, Daltrey, who is touring with most of The Who band, will perform backed by a local orchestra.  At this stop, The Hudson Valley Philharmonic filled the bill and they were conducted by Keith Levenson.

The tickets stated the show would start at 8:00pm and it appeared many in attendance expected there to be an opener as much of the crowd were still filing into the pavilion when the orchestra struck the opening notes of "Overture" at 8:10pm. Daltrey walked out onto the stage just before the first vocals to loud applause.

"Tommy" was performed straight through to the end without Daltrey talking to the crowd at all, not even a "hello" during this 80 minute main set.  He performed it much like an opera or classic piece, simply letting the music and lyrics tell the story instead of breaking it up with stage banter which was saved until its completion.

The album contains so many classics which were great to hear live. Below are the Youtube links to the three songs I shot close up and in HD with my camera.


"Pinball Wizard"

"Sally Simpson"

"Tommy" ended with everyone in the audience on their feet singing along. All remained on their feet giving a standing ovation afterward as Daltrey spoke for the first time thanking the crowd, the Hudson Valley Philharmonic orchestra and Conductor Keith Levenson who Daltrey stated he would not have been able to do this tour without and that he has worked with since 1994. The orchestra was spot on (with just two days of challenging rehearsals) and it was great to hear this complete bombastic version of this classic album live in it's entirety.

Daltrey's voice was powerful through out (and Pete's brother Simon did a great job covering Pete's vocal sections) although he must have had to deal with some pot smokers up front as later, before the final encore, he would admonish some in the crowd stating how he wished people could stop smoking for the hour and 20 minutes "because trying to hit those notes is a bitch" even without smoke in the air. A few years ago at a Who show in Long Island, Daltrey talked about how he was allergic to marijuana smoke and almost cancelled the show.  The open pavilion and cool breezy night must have made it only an annoyance tonight and did not have a negative effect on his voice.

This was Daltrey's only complaint of the night, it appeared he loved the performance and crowd reaction.

At this point we wondered what would follow.  Would it be "Tommy" and done?  Would it be a nice long set like he did when he toured "Tommy" in 2011 where he followed the "Tommy" performance with an additional 10 song set?  

Well, he didn't leave the stage, instead he strapped on a guitar and the band kicked into "Who Are You" to the crowd's delight.

The excitement continued when "Baba O'Riley" followed, giving everyone in the crowd the iconic moment at every Who (or Who related show) where you get to scream "We're All Wasted!" in unison.

Daltrey then introduced the members of The Who band joining him on this tour starting with "my brother" Simon Townshend, bassist Jon Button and then "fill-in" drummer Scott Devours because Roger joked he could not afford normal Who drummer Zak Starkey since he is "the son of a bloody Beatle!" Keyboardist Loren Gold was introduced next and then high praise for guitarist and musical director Frank Simes.

Roger than announced he had just one more song he would like to play for us.  He said it was a song he wrote with a friend in the early 90's and never thought he'd get to release on an album because it's so different but that it's on his new album ("As Long As I Have You" released exactly a week earlier) which is "possibly the last one I'll ever do, who knows at my's a spiritual song without being a religious song, it's about us and the universe we live's about where we're all's called Always Heading Home."

It's the closing track on Daltrey's new album and instead of going out tearing the roof off the place with one of many Who classics he could have played, he instead ended the show on a touching quiet note backed only by piano and some strings. 

Of course I would have loved more, but it was a fantastic 95 minutes of music.  It was odd to have a major show end at 9:45pm, but with so much great music delivered, a lot of songs I haven't heard live since 1989 and a few never at all, it was really a perfect early summer night show.

If you go, get there early. Roger, like Spinal Tap, is not only exuberant and full of raw power, but evidently very punctual.

If you want to see/hear more of the show, I was doing Facebook live for a bit of it and those videos are on the MostPeopleAreBlank Facebook group page (the link is in the paragraph below).  Those all in general have great sound, but the video is a bit distant and at times blurs out.  Those videos include the opening of the show (Overture/It's a Boy/1921), "Christmas", "I'm Free", "We're Not Gonna Take It"/Roger speaks after Tommy Set, and Roger's final comments/"Always Heading Home"

If you're not yet part of our Facebook group, please click the Like button below.  You'll always be kept up to date on future posts, have the ability to comment and share all content, and get access to our contests and giveaways! 

Click any photos to enlarge them to full screen.  Also follow on twitter @MostPeopleBlank   Then, of course, as always - Rock on and Enjoy - Paul

No comments: